The Flash was already looking like one of 2022’s biggest movies. Now, with Michael Keaton returning as Batman in the film, it’s one of the most anticipated superhero movies ever. His last time in the cowl was 1992’s Batman Returns, and he left on top. Now in a conversation with Envelope: The Actor’s Podcast, he explains the decisions behind leaving Batman.

I remember one of the things that I walked away going, ‘Oh boy, I can’t do this’. [Schumacher] asked me, ‘I don’t understand why everything has to be so dark and everything so sad,’ and I went, ‘Wait a minute, do you know how this guy got to be Batman? Have you read… I mean, it’s pretty simple.’ It was always Bruce Wayne. It was never Batman. To me, I know the name of the movie is Batman, and it’s hugely iconic and very cool and culturally iconic and because of Tim Burton, artistically iconic. I always knew from the get-go it was Bruce Wayne. That was the secret. I never talked about it. Batman, Batman, Batman does this, and I kept thinking to myself, ‘Y’all are thinking wrong here.’ It’s about Bruce Wayne. Who’s that guy? What kind of person does that? Who becomes that?

1995’s Batman Forever was a drastic departure from the previous two films by Tim Burton. Joel Schumacher took the series to a place closer to the ’60s TV show than anything Burton had done. It was no longer a dark and dreary world, but one filled with color and style. So instead of Keaton, we got Val Kilmer stepping into the role. Batman Forever might not reach the heights of Burton’s two films, but its reception over the years has definitely gotten more favorable.

Keaton Makes His Grand Return In The Flash and Batgirl

Michael Keaton is going to be very busy over the next couple of years with DCEU films. His role in The Flash is already hotly anticipated and now he’s making an appearance in Batgirl as well. We’ll have to see just how he fares in his return, but hopefully its just as awesome as his appearances long ago.

You can listen to the entire Envelope podcast with Michael Keaton right here.

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