Set photos from The Flash surfaced over the weekend, including the first new picture of Michael Keaton as Batman since Batman Returns hit theaters 29 years ago this weekend. The movie is inspired by the 2011 crossover story Flashpoint and will feature multiple timelines. That means Ben Affleck will also be back as Batman in the movie.
The first photo of Keaton on the set shows him as a graying Bruce Wayne in a suit. Keaton, 69, starred as Batman/Bruce Wayne in Tim Burton's Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). Other photos from the set to surface this weekend show Sasha Calle as Supergirl. The Young and the Restless actress is the first actress to play Supergirl on the big screen since Helen Slater in the 1984 Supergirl movie.
The Flash is directed by Andy Muschietti (It) and written by Christina Hodson. Ezra Miller, who starred as The Flash/Barry Allen in Justice League, returns, alongside Affleck. Kiersey Clemons stars as Iris West, while Marivel Verdu plays Barry's mother Nora Allen. Ron Livingston replaced Billy Crudup as Barry's father Henry. In the movie, Barry goes back in time to stop Nora's murder, which Henry is blamed for. This decision causes unintended consequences, just as it did in the Flashpoint story. The Flash hits theaters on Nov. 4, 2022.
Muschietti confirmed Affleck would return to the cape and cowl in an August Vanity Fair interview. "His Batman has a dichotomy that is very strong, which is his masculinity — because of the way he looks, and the imposing figure that he has, and his jawline — but he's also very vulnerable," Muschietti explained. "He knows how to deliver from the inside out, that vulnerability. He just needs a story that allows him to bring that contrast, that balance."
Although the focus of The Flash is Barry, Muschietti said Bruce plays a significant role in the film, as the relationship between the characters make up the "emotional" center of the movie. "They both lost their mothers to murder, and that's one of the emotional vessels of the movie. That's where the Affleck Batman kicks in," the director said, adding that he is "glad" to work with an actor who also has experience as a director. Muschietti also said Keaton has a "substantial" part in the film, so it's much more than a cameo.
Muschietti's Flash has nothing to do with the Flash Grant Gustin plays on The CW's show. In fact, during the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, Gustin's Barry met Miller's Barry in a surprise scene. The new film also is not connected to The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson and directed by Matt Reeves, which opens on March 4, 2022.
Affleck was involved in that project at one point, but he left amid his divorce from Jennifer Garner and rehab stint. Producer Barbara Muschietti, who is also Muschietti's sister, said they were surprised Affleck was open to returning to Batman again. However, he understood the character's importance to The Flash, even in a supporting role. "It's a pivotal role, but at the same time it's a fun part," Barbara Muschietti said.