The Flash saw Michael Keaton return as Bruce Wayne, retired from his days as Batman after over 30 years. The film’s director Andy Muschietti recently revealed why Keaton’s Batman retired from fighting crime, claiming he wished to “defy expectations with the character.”
The Flash is one of those films where nobody can agree on anything about it. One of the few things at least most people can agree on is that Michael Keaton’s Batman is one of the better parts of the movie (though that often remains relative to their opinion of the film). While the film stated that Keaton’s Bruce Wayne retired from fighting crime due to there being no more crime in Gotham, director Andy Muschietti revealed his idea for why Batman retired, claiming he wanted to “defy people’s expectations” in going against his code of killing criminals:
“And my idea was, he did something that goes against his code and killed a criminal in front of [the criminal’s] child—not knowingly, but he still did it,” Muschietti explained on a featurette for The Flash “Which is an exact mirroring situation of what happened to him when his parents were killed in front of him [next to] Monarch Theaters, and that created the monster that The Batman is.”
“So he just couldn’t cope with it, and that’s why he decided to shut off his other side, Batman. And he hasn’t been able to forgive himself. And now, the way we find him is a bit of like, the evolution of that journey. You know, he’s a tragic figure. He’s basically a character that is in search of redemption, but eventually finds a way to do it by helping Barry.”
Online fans have mostly been torn on this decision. A retired Batman who broke his no-killing rule isn’t exactly subversive these days. In fact, it seems to be the norm between The CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths having a Batman that killed Superman and both Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan’s Batman interpretations grappling with the rule. While there are certainly fans who enjoyed the direction Andy Muschietti took Michael Keaton’s Batman in The Flash, this decision certainly isn’t winning anyone new over.
The Flash’s DC Universe future
Warner Bros. Discovery already has a script for a potential sequel to The Flash, written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, the man behind the two Aquaman movies starring Jason Momoa. However, James Gunn and Peter Safran did not discuss the Flash sequel during their DC Universe presentation.
Directed by Andy Muschietti from a script written by Birds of Prey scribe Christina Hodson, The Flash is inspired by the Flashpoint comic book storyline, which followed Barry Allen as he navigated an altered DC Universe. Written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Andy Kuber, Flashpoint radically altered the status of the DC Comics universe and led to the launch of the New 52 titles.
In addition to Ezra Miller, The Flash also features Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck as two separate versions of Batman, Ron Livingston as Henry Allen, Maribel Verdú as Nora Allen, Kiersey Clemons as Iris West, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Antje Traue as Faora-Ul and Sasha Calle as Supergirl.
Stay tuned for all the latest news regarding the DC Universe and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content!