The latest The Flash trailer suggests that Michael Keaton’s Batman is playing a bigger role in the film than many initially assumed. Ezra Miller returns as Scarlet Speedster after starring in Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. Directed by Andy Muschietti, The Flash’s first trailer was released at the DC FanDome 2021 and offers a sneak peek of what to expect from the stand-alone film.
It’s no secret that The Flash has been in production limbo for some time, with some director changes. However, the film finally got into production in 2021 and is currently being shot. Specific details on the plot are still sparse at the moment, although some relevant details have been confirmed. This includes the return of Kiersey Clemons as Iris West and the introduction of Sasha Calle as Supergirl / Kara Zor-El. Barry Allen is also joined by two Batman variants: the first is that of Ben Affleck and the other that of Michael Keaton. Obviously there’s a lot of excitement about her involvement, but the anticipation of Keaton’s Batman iteration has risen, simply because this is the first time he has played the superhero role in two decades.
Given that this is Flash’s solo outing, it was initially unclear how much Keaton would be involved in the film. Set photos revealed him as the Bruce Wayne personality, and the actor’s personal interviews confirmed that he is indeed wearing the cape and habit again. However, since very little was known about the plot of the film, questions arose about the extent of its appearance. Some argued that it would be nothing more than an extended cameo, with the main focus on Barry Allen instead. This makes sense since he’s the headliner of the film. The Flash trailer, however, suggests that Batman’s role in the film will be more prominent than initially thought; Much of the trailer is focused on him, including both versions of the Flash visiting Tim Burton’s Wayne Manor and then his Batcave. It even ends with the tease of the 1989 Batmobile reveal.
Interestingly, despite all references to Keaton’s Caped Crusader, the hero doesn’t appear properly in The Flash trailer. Instead, only a shot of his iconic hood can be seen looking outside the bath cave. But the fact that he provides the narrative for the majority of the trailer further shows the extent of his performance. At some point, it seems like the two Barry Allens and Supergirl are recruiting him for a mission, and it’s safe to say that he is at least considering joining his DC counterparts in the film. It’s worth noting that The Flash appears to be an adaptation of the Flashpoint story from the comics. Barry’s time travel likely broke space-time, which has had an impact on other universes, including that of Supergirl and Keaton’s Batman. The voice-over dialogue shows Bruce Wayne making sense of everything that happens.
The question now is, how does Affleck’s Batman fit into all of this? Based on what is known about the production of The Flash, the actor didn’t begin filming his scenes until mid-filming. Some theories suggest that Affleck’s Batman dies in the film and that this could serve as motivation for Barry’s time travel. In addition, many are also curious to see whether Affleck’s version of the hero will cross with Keaton’s Caped Crusader. Fans will likely have to wait for the movie’s debut to find out.