For an entire generation, Michael Keaton’s Batman is unquestionably the definitive version of the character. So many fans were thrilled at the news that Keaton would likely return as Batman for the DC Extended Universe.
Reportedly, the plan is for Keaton’s Batman to debut in The Flash and play an ongoing role in the DCEU. While nothing’s official yet, Keaton’s casting could pave the way for a full-on revival of Tim Burton’s Batman movies.
In other words, here are some other characters who could return.
Michael Keaton could bring some familiar faces back for the ride
According to The Wrap, the DCEU is honing in on Burton’s vision of Batman. In fact, Keaton’s return will ignore Batman Forever and Batman & Robin entirely. As such, the chances of Jim Carrey’s Riddler, Nicole Kidman’s Chase Meridian, and Alicia Silverstone’s Batgirl returning are slim.
But Burton’s Batman movies — 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns — still leave a lot of characters up for grabs. The most obvious of which is Robert Wuhl’s Alexander Knox. Wuhl briefly reprised the role for the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” event on The CW’s DC shows.
Kim Basinger and Tracey Walter — who played Vicki Vale and Bob the goon in Batman — could further connect the DCEU to Burton’s take. Sadly, Michael Gough and Pat Hingle have since passed away. So their respective characters of Alfred and Commissioner Gordon probably have too.
The DCEU could even explore the Tim Burton movie fans never saw
One of the more tantalizing possibilities for the return of Keaton’s Batman is the realization of Burton’s canceled third movie.
The director had big plans for the film, including Marlon Wayans as Robin. If the DCEU hopes to fill in the gaps of Keaton’s Batman post-Batman Returns, then it might opt to acknowledge Wayans was once Robin. Perhaps by now he’s retired or taken on his Nightwing persona for the comics.
Burton’s third movie also would have brought back Billy Dee Williams. Notably, Williams plays Harvey Dent in Batman but was replaced by Tommy Lee Jones when Batman Forever reintroduced him as Two-Face. Even a brief appearance would be vindicating for fans who’ve longed for Williams’ version. He at least voiced Two-Face in The Lego Batman Movie.
Likewise, the DCEU would have new opportunities to explore never-before-seen versions of classic Batman villains like the Riddler, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, and others. So many memorable baddies never got to appear in Burton’s short-lived franchise run. But even with all those possibilities, one villain is easily the one fans want to see make a long-awaited comeback.
Keaton’s Batman could reunite with Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman at last
Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman was the clear standout from Batman Returns. And considering how that film’s final frame reveals she’s still out there, it seems only natural for the DCEU to pick that up and run with it. Besides, if the idea behind bringing back Keaton’s Batman is to tap into what worked in Burton’s initial run, then Pfeiffer definitely needs to be included too.
The survival of Catwoman is perhaps one of the most disappointing dangling plot threads in the 1990s Batman movies. Once Joel Schumacher took over, his two Batman movies cut nearly all ties with what came before. Only the presence of Gough and Hingle really connect all four films. So Warner Bros. now has a chance — decades later — of course-correcting.
Will Pfeiffer — who, like Keaton, also has a gig over at Marvel Studios — even want to play Selina Kyle again? No one knows for sure just yet. But it’s hard to imagine the folks over at Warner Bros. aren’t exploring the possibility. Fans probably won’t know what to expect for a while. But at least they can look forward to Zoe Kravitz’s Pfeiffer-inspired performance in The Batman.