Michael Keaton's Batman Reboot Reportedly Killed at Warner Bros

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Michael Keaton, Batman

As new DC Studios chiefs James Gunn and Peter Safran look to reshape the DC Universe, they have reportedly nixed a solo Batman movie that would have starred Michael Keaton.

Keaton is currently set to make a thrilling return to the cape and cowl in 2023's The Flash, pushing the boundaries of the DC Multiverse to new heights with his older and highly experienced Caped Crusader. But as James Gunn and Peter Safran start their path toward reimagining the DC Universe on the big screen, the franchise as a whole is facing a number of questions thanks to rumors of major changes already going into place.

Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel 2 has reportedly been shelved indefinitely, and rumors have also indicated that Jason Momoa’s time as Aquaman may also be finished. On top of that, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman 3 now stands without director Patty Jenkins as Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) continues to retool and revamp the controversial DC story that's coming in the next few years.

Now, reports have revealed yet another project that was reportedly stopped before it even got the chance to truly start.

Michael Keaton's Solo Batman Return Nixed

Michael Keaton, Flash, Batman

Insider Jeff Sneider shared on The Hot Mic that Warner Bros. was developing a Michael Keaton-starring Batman solo movie that would follow his return in The Flash. However, after DC Studios was formed in October with the hiring of co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran, the duo reportedly killed such plans that would've brought the 71-year-old Keaton back as the titular Caped Crusader role that he first donned in 1989.

The now-axed revival movie was said to be written by Christina Hodson, who also penned the scripts for Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey, The Flash, and the canceled Batgirl movie.

The Wrap's Umberto Gonzalez added to the report, noting that this movie was, indeed, being developed as an adaptation of Batman Beyond, an animated television show from the late 1990s and early 2000s that centered around a well-past-his-prime Bruce Wayne/Batman trying his best to fight crime in a futuristic Gotham City.

Michael Keaton's Batman Beyond No More

Batman Beyond, Michael Keaton

Michael Keaton's comeback as Batman has brought a certain level of excitement for DC fans over the last couple of years, with this being his first appearance in the Batman costume in more than 30 years. And according to this rumor, he was even on his way to getting his very own solo movie after the events that go down in The Flash, although it's still a mystery how exactly he plays into the story with details being so vague. 

But now, this becomes yet another casualty as Gunn and Safran rework the grand vision for the DCU from the ground up, although Keaton's place in that universe is a mystery with so many cancelations. While this doesn't mean that Keaton's role in The Flash will be lessened in any way, these canceled plans could indicate that Gunn and Safran don't have their actor in their plans for the next phase of the DCU.

Even though Gunn and Safran have already seen a number of fans complain about some of the rumored adjustments, it will be some time until their plans are revealed in full. And with Keaton already at age 71, many will certainly wonder how much longer he can actually play this role as the Batman legacy continues to build in new and unique ways.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.