Michael Keaton Explains Why He's Undecided About Reprising Batman Role in 'The Flash' Film

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Jose Martinez
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Image via Getty/Emma McIntyre

If we’re taking Michael Keaton at his word, which is a hard ask for any actor rumored to be attached to a superhero franchise, then he hasn’t officially signed on to reprise his role as Batman in the upcoming movie The Flash due to scheduling conflicts, despite reports.

“I called them and said, I have to be honest with you. I can’t look at anything right now,” Keaton told Deadline. “I’m so deep into this thing I’m doing. Also, I’m prepping a thing I’m producing and getting ready to do down the road in the fall that I’ll be in, and I feel responsible to that. So, yeah, there is that. I’m not being cute or coy. If I talked about it, I’ll be just bullshitting you. I don’t really know.”

Keaton said he read a previous version of The Flash script, but hasn’t gotten around to looking at the latest draft. The 69-year-old confessed that his biggest concern is trying to work during a pandemic that has been scientifically proven to hospitalize and kill people in his age range at a higher rate.

“I keep my eye more on the Covid situation in the UK than anything. That will determine everything, and so that’s why I’m living outside the city here on 17 acres, staying away from everybody, because the Covid thing has got me really concerned,” Keaton explained. “So, that’s my first thing about all projects. I look at it and go, is this thing going to kill me, literally? And you know, if it doesn’t, then we talk.”

Keaton last donned the cape and cowl in 1992’s Batman Returns. Even though he has a complicated relationship with superhero movies, admitting that he has never seen a Batman movie all the way through, Keaton did return to the genre when he played Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Like all the roles he tries to take, Keaton was drawn to the motivations of Vulture and how the character didn’t check off all the boxes that come with the traditional villain. “The Vulture is a working class guy who has built up a great business. He’s not who I would call a classic villain – he’s more of an ‘interesting’ villain,” he said. “But I think it’s an interesting and coincidentally timely approach. He’s a guy who’s working hard but struggling to just get by. He feels like he’s one of the have-nots and deserves a bigger piece of the pie.”

Keaton was originally linked to the upcoming standalone Flash movie last year. The film is believed to feature multiple Batmans, one of which would also be played by Ben Affleck.

Unfortunately we won’t find out until next year, as The Flash is currently scheduled to hit theaters on Nov. 4, 2022.

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