With Batgirl Reportedly Shelved, What's Next for Michael Keaton's Batman?

DC fans got some bad news Tuesday when word started spreading that the Batgirl movie for HBO Max was being shelved. Not only would Batgirl not be available to stream on HBO Max, but the DC movie also won't get a theatrical release as well. One of the many anticipated moments of Batgirl included Michael Keaton's return as Batman. The actor is also set to reprise his Dark Knight role in The Flash, but with the many changes taking place at Warner Bros. Discovery, fans should start to worry if they'll even get the chance to see Michael Keaton suit back up as Batman again on either the big or small screen.

The amount of screen time Michael Keaton was scheduled to receive in Batgirl is up for debate. Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah confirmed Keaton's presence in June, where he was set to appear alongside star Leslie Grace, J.K. Simmons, and Brendan Fraser. It was believed that Keaton's Batman would help pass the torch to Leslie Grace's Batgirl, cementing her as a superhero as an elder Bruce Wayne slid into the background. For now, fans won't get to see the anticipated team-up, unless Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav changes his mind regarding his DC comic book projects being big tentpole features. Even though Batgirl has wrapped filming, its $90 million budget isn't enough to warrant a theatrical release. However, there is another big-screen DC movie that is still going to star Keaton.

Ezra Miller's The Flash is a multiverse-spanning project that's bringing in some big-name guest stars such as Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck, both reprising their roles as Batman. Sasha Calle is also appearing as Supergirl as well. Originally scheduled for November 4th, The Flash was pushed back to June 23, 2023. This delayed release date has caused a ripple effect for DC Films, including switching Michael Keaton's surprise cameo in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom to another Ben Affleck appearance as Bruce Wayne. Since The Flash is reportedly going to insert Keaton as the DC Extended Universe's resident Batman, his subsequent roles in Aquaman 2 and Batgirl would have connected seamlessly. But with Batgirl no longer happening and Keaton being removed from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the actor's only remaining landing spot is The Flash – and there are a number of mitigating circumstances pointing to that film possibly being reworked as well.

The Flash star Ezra Miller has had nothing but negative headlines after they initially got arrested for disorderly conduct and harassment in Hawaii in late March. That same night, Miller allegedly burst into a couple's bedroom window, stole several items from them, and threatened to burn them, leading to a restraining order that was ultimately dropped. Just hours before that court appearance, Miller was arrested an additional time in Hawaii on charges of second-degree assault after allegedly throwing a chair at a woman, resulting in a half-inch cut on her head. The latest controversy had Miller housing a family with three young children on a farm with firearms and marijuana crops.

Naturally, there has been heavy speculation regarding the fate of the fifilm. After the Batgirl news broke, a follow-up report states Warner Bros. is still figuring out what to do with The Flash. It would be a costly project to cancel outright, but according to Warner Bros. Discovery's own logic, it's too big of a film to drop on HBO Max. Replacing Ezra Miller with a new Barry Allen actor would also necessitate reshooting a majority of the film. Any of these circumstances would impact Michael Keaton fans.

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Could Michael Keaton's Batman be saved for some future DC movie down the line? It's possible! There's always the long-rumored Batman Beyond project to fantasize about. All it would take is for Warner Bros. to settle on a single vision and make it a reality.

What are your thoughts concerning Batgirl, Michael Keaton, and the DCEU overall? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!