The DCEU will further expand in the coming years by embracing the concept of the multiverse, ushering in an exciting new era for the up-and-coming franchise. As part of the transition, it was confirmed during DC FanDome that every live-action adaptation of DC characters that existed before will now fall under the same roof, and this will be made possible by Ezra Miller's The Flash film that will be released in 2022.
Not much is known about the DCEU's execution of the multiverse, but a key moving part is the addition of Michael Keaton's Batman into the mix. Keaton played the iconic character in Tim Burton's Batman films in the 90s, and his return will be a huge moment for longtime fans, considering that it will propel his version as a significant part of the DCEU moving forward.
It is unknown how Keaton's Batman will be used after The Flash, but previous rumors suggest that he will have some kind of Nick Fury-type role for the franchise. Now, it looks like the actor's return to the realm of DC has been approved by a renowned figure in the Batman lore.
In an interview with Syfy Wire, Batman Beyond co-creator Bruce Timm shared his thoughts about the potential casting of Michael Keaton as an older Bruce Wayne in a possible live-action Batman: Beyond film. While sharing his approval of Keaton's return as The Dark Knight in DCEU's The Flash, Timm admitted that the inclusion of the actor “could certainly still work” in a live-action adaptation of Batman: Beyond since he could still “kick most guys' assess.”
“Honestly, I think the idea of Michael Keaton doing it is cool. Honestly, he looks a little too good. I know he's probably in his mid 60s now, but he looks pretty damn good for being over 60. I like my old Bruce Wayne to be like really old. But, who knows? It could certainly still work. He looks like he could kick most guys' asses.”
WHAT THIS MEANS
Batman: Beyond had a successful run in the early 2000s, and it's high time for the series to receive a live-action adaptation. Interestingly, a Batman Beyond project has already been rumored to be in active development, so it's safe to assume that it's only a matter of time before it will be pushed to the forefront of the DCEU.
Given Timm's unique contributions to the Batman character over the years, it's good to see his approval of Keaton's involvement in the current plan of the DCEU. In a way, it should also encourage fans to anticipate the actor's return as part of the larger multiverse.
In canon, it makes sense for Keaton to play Bruce Wayne in a live-action Batman: Beyond, considering that the character's place in the timeline actually fits. By now, years already passed in Keaton's Gotham, and there's a good chance that he already found his replacement in the form of Terry McGinnis: the future Batman. It's reasonable to think that this will be referenced in The Flash in some form, thus paving the way for a full-blown Batman: Beyond project under the DCEU banner.
In the animated series, the older Bruce Wayne didn't "kick-ass" that much, but he still had a lot of fight left in him. By adding Keaton to the live-action version, there's a strong chance that a team-up between him and McGinnis could translate on-screen, providing viewers a chance to see two Batmen working together to save Gotham.
All in all, the possibilities for a Batman: Beyond film are endless, and Keaton is poised to be a major part of that if the stars align in the future.