Michael Keaton Says "We'll See" About Future Batman Return

With the rise of the multiverse as a key storytelling tool in superhero movies, the unlikely return of Michael Keaton as Batman became one of the biggest DC stories in years. Expected to step in as the DC film universe's main Batman following the events of The Flash, Keaton stepped back into the role for Batgirl, and all seemed to be going according to plan. Then, of course, Discovery came into the picture. The company acquired Warner Bros., but since Warner Bros. was worth significantly more than Discovery -- and also carried enormous debt -- Discovery immediately started slashing budgets everywhere they could, including shelving the nearly-completed Batgirl movie to take advantage of a tax loophole.

Following the Batgirl news, fans learned that Justice League star Ben Affleck would return to the role of Batman in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which raised questions about Keaton's future. Those are questions which, it appears, the celebrated actor has no answers for.

"A little later tonight, probably, if you're lucky enough," Keaton joked with Entertainment Weekly's Devan Coggan, when asked at the Emmys last night when fans might see his Batman again. "No, I'm kidding. I don't know! We'll see."

These comments seem innocuous enough. After all, the whole DC slate is in a state of flux right now, and even The Flash is having a hard time, with its release date moved a half-dozen times and now numerous allegations against star Ezra Miller making it incredibly difficult to market. Still, recent speculation that Warner Bros. Discovery might try to fully re-embrace Affleck will likely color Keaton's remarks here.

Keaton, who starred in 1989's Batman and 1991's Batman Returns, was expected to take on a mentorship role for a new generation of Gotham's heroes, like Batgirl (Leslie Grace), Nightwing, and other Bat-family supporting characters. Some had speculated that Batman Beyond, a property that has had a few aborted attempts to get started on the big screen, could be an endgame there. More recent reports suggest that WBD CEO David Zaslav wants to focus more on DC's biggest characters, perhaps with an eye toward revisiting the Justice League onscreen. That might make movies that center on B-listers and a 70-year-old Batman a more difficult sell to management.

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What do you think? Are you still excited for Keaton's Batman to...ahem...return? Sound off in the comments, or hit up @russburlingame on Twitter to talk about the ongoing tire fire that is Warner Bros.' DC plans.