Despite the multitude of controversies surrounding Ezra Miller, “The Flash” has all the makings of the multiverse event of the summer. Both Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton reprised their roles as Batman in the DC blockbuster, which earned a rapturous applause after screening at CinemaCon and is expected to be a massive hit for Warner Bros.
Affleck has been a regular presence in the DC Universe for years (despite repeatedly insisting that he’s done playing Batman), but Keaton’s return to the character was 30 years in the making. The actor donned the cape and cowl for the scrapped “Batgirl” film, but “The Flash” will be fans’ first opportunity to see him play Batman since 1992’s “Batman Returns.”
It sounds like even Keaton himself got a bit nostalgic about the experience. In a new interview with IGN, “The Flash” director Andy Muschietti said that the actor was filled with emotion when he stepped back into the Batcave for the first time.
“When [Keaton] arrived to the set, the Batcave was already finished and it was lit and everything,” Muschietti said. “He stayed like this [eyes wide] for a while. I didn’t want to interrupt him. I just wanted for him to take it in. Who knows what was going on there? But something was going on there.”
The director revealed that Keaton wanted to capture the moment for posterity, so he asked Muschietti to take a picture of him in costume that he could show to his grandson.
“It was funny because at one point during the scene where we shot him in the full suit, he was like, ‘Can you take a picture? It’s for my grandson,’” he said. “It was one of those moments where he really showed something was inside that was very emotional.”
In a 2021 interview, Keaton explained that his approach to playing Batman changed after observing the outsized role in pop culture that superhero franchises have come to occupy in recent years.
“What’s really interesting is how much more I got [Batman] when I went back and did him,” Keaton said. “I get this on a whole other level now. I totally respect it. I respect what people are trying to make. I never looked at it like, ‘Oh, this is just a silly thing.’ It was not a silly thing when I did Batman. But it has become a giant thing, culturally. It’s iconic. So I have even more respect for it because what do I know? This is a big deal in the world to people. You’ve got to honor that and be respectful of that. Even I go, ‘Jesus, this is huge.’”