Three decades after he menaced Michael Keaton's Dark Knight in Batman Returns, a new rumor claims Warner Bros. is looking to bring back Danny DeVito's Penguin for a cameo appearance in The Flash. In the Andy Muschietti-directed Justice League spin-off starring Ezra Miller as the speedy superhero, Keaton will reprise his role for the first time since Tim Burton's 1992 Batman sequel. When The Flash races into theaters in 2022, it's with Ben Affleck back as the Batman of the DC Extended Universe and the Keaton Batman from the DC Multiverse — and the older caped crime-fighter won't be alone, according to a new report:
Details surrounding Keaton's involvement in The Flash are limited, but early reports stated he would play a Nick Fury-type role as a mentor appearing in multiple movies. According to a June report from TheWrap, Keaton is the same Bruce Wayne from the two Burton films. That same report stated The Flash disregards the two sequels that followed without Burton and Keaton: the Val Kilmer-starring Batman Forever and George Clooney's franchise-ending Batman & Robin.
In December, Muschietti teased Flash goes to a place "where the DC Universe hasn't gone before," hinting at a crossover made possible only through the Multiverse. Weeks later, DC Films president Walter Hamada told The New York Times audiences are "sophisticated enough to understand" the Multiverse, which allows for an Affleck Batman, a Keaton Batman, and a Robert Pattinson Batman on a new Earth.
"[The Multiverse] really opens the door for us to do more crossovers, to really establish this idea that there can be a Flash on TV and a Flash in the movies," Hamada said during the virtual DC FanDome event over the summer. "You don't have to pick one or the other, you can love both. On one Earth, you have Gal [Gadot] and Jason [Momoa] and Ezra as this Justice League, and you can continue telling these stories. While on another Earth, you can have a more grounded, real, Year Two Batman [in The Batman]."
Asked about the open secret that is his Batman return in The Flash, Keaton told Jimmy Kimmel in October that he "can't confirm anything" and "we're having discussions as they say. We're talking about it. We'll see if that happens."
The Flash is scheduled to open in theaters on November 4, 2022.