Michael Keaton On Playing Batman Again: "It's Like Muscle Memory"

Although fans have always dreamed of a potential Batman Beyond live action movie starring Michael Keaton, few could've expected last year's bombshell news that the Beetlejuice star would put on the cowl again and make his grand return as an older Bruce Wayne in The Flash, of all movies. But that's exactly what's happening and, while we might still need to pinch ourselves to believe it, Keaton himself found the transition back into his iconic Batman role to be ... oddly normal.

Keaton is currently doing press for The Protégé and, in an interview with Jake Hamilton, obligingly answered some nerdy questions about his experience slipping back into the suit from Tim Burton's Batman and the 1992 sequel Batman Returns. As it turns out, the veteran actor experienced all sorts of emotions while reprising such a nostalgic role:

"It was shockingly normal. It was weird. And like, I went, 'Oh, oh yeah, that's right. But also, as you start to play the scenes, it was like a lot of memories ... a lot of really interesting, like sense memories, actually. It's [like muscle memory]."

This sounds very similar to what previous actors have said about returning to iconic roles years after the fact. Keaton is a pro's pro and doesn't strike me as the kind of person who might get overwhelmed by the moment or lost in nostalgia after three decades away from the character (or at least admit to it), but it's cool nonetheless that he even agreed to return in the first place and was able to relive his memories while filming for the new movie.

"I'm Batman"

Elsewhere in the interview, Keaton plays coy when asked if he's uttered the words, "I'm Batman" again while on set of The Flash, but viewers will probably be more than happy to wait until the actual film to experience that for themselves. Of course, that's assuming that another bit of shameless fan-service wouldn't be a bridge too far in a movie that, admittedly, looks to be filled with fan-service.

The question of whether he's spoken to director Tim Burton since joining The Flash also comes up, leading to an interesting deflection where Keaton responds that he hasn't, but only because "...we had other stuff to talk about." Is there yet another Keaton/Burton collaboration in the offing after working together once more in 2019's Dumbo?  Keaton doesn't elaborate and isn't pressed any further, but we'll be keeping our eyes on that one. You can check out the full interview below.

The Flash, directed by Andy Muschietti in a story that's set to go all-in on the DC multiverse, will have a theatrical release on November 42022.