Michael Keaton Had to Read ‘The Flash’ Script Over Three Times to Understand the Multiverse Story

Keaton is reprising his Batman role in "The Flash," but the specifics of his return confounded him at first.
Michael Keaton
Michael Keaton
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

Michael Keaton is reprising his role of Bruce Wayne/Batman for the first time since 1992’s “Batman Returns” in Andy Muschietti’s upcoming DC Comics and Warner Bros. tentpole “The Flash.” The movie finds Ezra Miller’s eponymous superhero journeying through the multiverse, which is why both Keaton and Ben Affleck will appear as different iterations of Batman in the same movie. Keaton told The Hollywood Reporter that he decided to return to the Batman character because he always wanted another chance to “go back and nail that motherfucker…so I thought, ‘Well, now that they’re asking me, let me see if I can pull that off.'” However, making sense of the multiverse was a challenge.

“I had to read it more than three times to go, ‘Wait, how does this work?’” Keaton said. “They had to explain that to me several times. By the way, I’m not being arrogant, I hope, about this. I don’t say it like, ‘I’m too groovy.’ I’m stupid. There’s a lot of things I don’t know about. And so, I don’t know, I just kind of figured it out, but this was different.”

Keaton continued, “What’s really interesting is how much more I got [Batman] when I went back and did him. 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.’“

Keaton also found himself a bit clueless on the set of Sony’s Jared Leto-starring comic book tentpole “Morbius,” in which the actor reprises his “Spider-Man: Homecoming” role of Vulture. When the filmmakers spoke to Keaton and attempted to detail the fictional universe of the movie using recent Marvel plot points, Keaton could not make sense of it.

“I’m nodding like I know what the fuck they’re talking about,” Keaton said. “I go, ‘Uh-huh.’ And I’m thinking, ‘You may as well be explaining quantum physics right now to me. All I know is I just know my guy. And I know the basics.’ So finally, they were looking at me, and they just started laughing. They said, ‘You don’t know what we’re talking about, do you?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t, no idea what you’re talking about.’“

Warner Bros. currently has “The Flash” on the release calendar for November 4, 2022.

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