According to a new rumor, Warner Bros. has a backup plan in case Michael Keaton backs out of playing Batman in The Flash.
Per Giant Freakin Robot, WB is in talks with The Dark Knight star Christian Bale to reprise a grizzled Caped Crusader and replace Keaton in the Scarlet Speedster’s Multiverse adventure.
As previously reported, Keaton has stated that he may pass on returning to the DC cinematic world because, at 69, he’s concerned about the COVID situation in England, where Flash is set to film. On top of that, he says he hasn’t read the script due to scheduling conflicts, particularly with the filming of his new Hulu series, Dopesick.
GFR stresses the studio is only in talks with Bale. “The papers have not been signed so he is not finalized to return, but it definitely sounds like Warner Bros./DC wants to nab him in some capacity for The Flash,” says their report.
They add, not knowing fully why WB is talking to Bale, that there could be more to this story. A ploy to “bring together three generations of Batmen” might be in motion to give audiences an unprecedented reason to see The Flash. It’s already known that Ben Affleck is returning as the DCEU Batman, perhaps for the last time.
Still, GFR’s “wager on this” replacement “is an either/or situation: either Michael Keaton is coming back as Batman or Christian Bale is.”
Mikey Sutton at Geekosity reached out to his sources on the matter and they say that while Bale is the “Plan B should Keaton fall through,” getting him will be more complicated than it looks.
Beyond money, he views his last outing in The Dark Knight Rises as his goodbye to the character, cementing his legacy in the cape and completing the trilogy’s narrative circle. That’s likely where Bale would like to leave it.
If this plan is just a negotiation tactic by WB or if Keaton is actually holding out for more money remains unknown.
Sutton bets Keaton will, ultimately, win out or relent, whatever the case, to wear the cape and cowl again which
Sutton bets that, ultimately, Keaton will either win or relent to donning the cape and cowl again, in realization of the casting which many, including The Flash director Andy Muschietti, felt certain about.
The fact WB and DC went to the trouble of commissioning concept art of Keaton’s Batman in The Flash, which was first shown off during a DC FanDome panel, shouldn’t be dismissed or understated.
Who do you think is going to win and star in The Flash as Batman? Let us know where you stand in the comments.