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Bat-tastic! Michael Keaton joins HBO Max 'Batgirl' movie to reprise Burton-era Batman role

That makes two Keaton sightings as Bruce Wayne in upcoming DC films.

By Benjamin Bullard
Michael Keaton Batman 1989 Getty

Holy caped comebacks, Batman! In a Bat-tastic casting move more than three decades in the making, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Michael Keaton is set to once again to slide back into his iconic big-screen role as Bruce Wayne — this time as the newest addition to the cast of the upcoming Batgirl movie bound for HBO Max.

For those keeping score, Keaton’s new arrival to the Batgirl cast marks the second upcoming DC Comics-based movie this year that’s looked all the way back to the Tim Burton-directed past to find the right Dark Knight for the job. Keaton, who originally answered the Bat-signal as the Caped Crusader in Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns, is also donning the Batsuit for Warner Bros.’ feature film adaptation of The Flash featuring Ezra Miller in the title role.

For the HBO Max movie, Keaton will join a cast headed up by Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl), who in DC’s original comic book canon is the daughter of Gotham police commissioner Jim Gordon. Filling the elder Gordon’s role will be J.K. Simmons, who first portrayed Jim Gordon in 2017’s Justice League. Brendan Fraser is on board as Firefly, the movie’s pyrotechnically gifted villain, with Bad Boys for Life veterans Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah sharing the directors’ chair. THR reports that Batgirl already has begun production in London.

Not that fans need a reminder, but Keaton broke what had become an extended dearth of Bruce Wayne on the big screen when he teamed with director Tim Burton to revive one of DC’s most beloved heroes, beginning in 1989 with Batman and followed four years later by the Burton-helmed sequel, 1992’s Batman Returns.

Before Keaton’s first Batman movie, it had been more than two decades since Gotham City’s savior had gotten a feature-length film all to himself, with Adam West (Batman) and Burt Ward (Robin) bringing their TV series characters to life on the big screen in 1966 with 20th Century Fox’s Batman.

There’s no early word on when Batgirl will debut at HBO Max, but fans won’t have to wait too long to glimpse Keaton back in action in his original 1980s Batsuit (no, really — we’re being totally serious). Watch for Keaton to share the screen with Miller alongside Ben Affleck (also as Batman; it’s complicated) and Sasha Calle as Supergirl when The Flash, directed by Andy Muschietti, speeds into theaters on Nov. 4 of next year.