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It's now been 32 years since Tim Burton's Batman launched, changing the superhero movie landscape forever and making Michael Keaton, best known for his comedies in those days, into an international blockbuster star. Keaton was famously a bit of a left-field choice to play The Caped Crusader back in 1989, but thanks to his work in Batman and Batman Returns in 1992, he remains the definitive actor in the role for many fans.
Next year, Keaton's portrayal of Bruce Wayne will get a revisit in director Andy Muschietti's The Flash when the actor will return to one of his signature roles for the first time since Batman Returns was completed. On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert this week, host Stephen Colbert asked Keaton what returning felt like, and more specifically asked Keaton if he felt like he might still be able to fit into the original costume.
"I did! I do," Keaton replied.
When Colbert jokingly asked if the suit needed to be let out at all, Keaton replied, "No! Svelte as ever. Same dimensions. Same fitting."
It's not the first time that Keaton has discussed slipping back into the role, and the costume, for his appearance in The Flash. In the past, he's described it as "shockingly normal" and "like riding a bike." That seems to be the case physically as well as emotionally as Keaton, now 70 years old, seems game as ever to jump back into the comic book fray.
Colbert also took some time to ask Keaton if he ever hangs out with his fellow big-screen Batmen.
"I don't know how many there are, like 77 Batmans," Keaton said after declaring that no, they don't all hang out together. "They probably should form their own union."
Keaton did have some high praise for at least one other fellow Batman, though. When discussing "definitive" versions of the character, he specifically brought up Will Arnett's "really funny" portrayal of LEGO Batman.
Despite joking that he won't spend time with the other Batman stars until a union forms, Keaton is already spending at least a little time alongside another big-screen Dark Knight, if only because they share the same movie. The Flash, directed by Muschietti and starring Ezra Miller in the title role, is set to employ a kind of multiversal view of the DC Comics film universe, which not only allows Keaton to return as Bruce Wayne, but also makes way for the return of Ben Affleck to his version of Batman.
Affleck was famously set to direct and star in his own Batman film after Justice League, then backed away from the role instead, leaving The Batman director Matt Reeves to step in and go in a different direction with new star Robert Pattinson. Now, Affleck will also get his chance to revive Batman, but unlike Keaton, he didn't have to wait 30 years to make it happen.
The Flash hits theaters Nov. 4, 2022.