DC’s cinematic universe is barrelling full speed ahead into a multiverse of movies — and if Warner Bros. has its way, it looks like it might have found itself an answer to the narrative glue that will tie at least some of that multiverse together: Michael Keaton.
As first reported by Cinelinx, a new press kit provided to media by Warner Bros. for its upcoming 2022 slate has confirmed that Michael Keaton is part of the cast of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah’s Batgirl movie, currently slated to debut exclusively on HBO Max sometime in 2022. Keaton joins the previously confirmed cast members Leslie Grace — playing, of course, titular heroine Barbara Gordon; J.K. Simmons as Barbara’s father, Gotham PD commissioner Jim Gordon; Brendan Fraser as an unknown villain (rumoured to be Batman rogue gallery staple Firefly); and Jacob Scipio in a similarly undisclosed role. Gizmodo has reached out to Warner Bros. to clarify Keaton’s addition to the cast, and will update this post as and when we hear back.
Although not directly stated by the press material (it would honestly be pretty hilarious if it was anything but), Keaton is presumably reprising his role as Bruce Wayne and Batman, the role he embodied in 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns, directed by Tim Burton. The actor was already reprising the role in next year’s long awaited Flash movie — alongside fellow Dark Knight Ben Affleck — but bringing him into Batgirl is a step further into tying Keaton’s legacy back directly into the heroes of Gotham City.
It’s unknown at this point what this means for Batgirl itself, whether the movie is set as some kind of continuation of the universe of Batman and Returns, or is its entirely own slice of the DC Comics universe and Keaton’s Batman is just popping in from across space and time. Either way, it’s good to hear that one of the most iconic takes on the Dark Knight is getting a moment in the spotlight again, especially to usher in a new generation of DC movie heroes. We’ll bring you more on Batgirl when we learn it.
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