The Flash director teases Michael Keaton's return as Batman

The Flash will bring back Michael Keaton as Batman
(Image credit: Sunset Boulevard / Getty)

DC's revving up the bat-engines for Michael Keaton's return to being Batman. First announced this past January, we're going to have a third man under the cape and cowl, guarding Gotham — joining Ben Affleck's DCEU Batman and Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne (whose The Batman movie will be a standalone).

And today's bit of fun comes from The Flash movie director Andy Muschietti, who shared a reminder that the older Batman is coming back. Muschietti's Instagram post (embedded below) has no caption, nor does it need any. It's simply got a slightly retro Batman logo, stained by blood.

Eagle-eyed Bat-fans will compare the above image of the Caped Crusader and the below logo and note a difference. The new logo isn't as wide, as it's seemingly been stretched up a bit. But that yellow background behind the Batman crest is unmistakably a nod to Keaton's pending return as the World's Greatest Detective.

But it's also asking a big question: whose blood is on Batman's hands, err, armor?

Batman (in many incarnations) is notorious for avoiding killing his villains, instead often opting to hand them over to Arkham Asylum for incarceration. 

Sure, Batman doesn't need to kill someone to leave them bloody, but the blood-on-a-logo aesthetic feels like a reference to the iconic Watchmen's cover — and that book (and its adaptations) was filled with death.

We're wondering if the blood is that of another Batman. Ben Affleck has been rumored to be on his way out of the world of DC movies, and so that could be a sign of his impending departure.

How are there two Batmen?

The Flash movie, coming in November 2022, will link realities of the DC universe: Earth 1 and Earth 2. There's been speculation this will be done in a similar fashion as the Flashpoint comic series, which utilized the speedy Barry Allen's ability to travel in time.

However The Flash movie does it, this will bring Ben Affleck's Batman into contact with Michael Keaton's Batman. We're more than excited to see the results.

If this all sounds familiar, it's the big upcoming trend in superhero movies. Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness are expected to explore merged realities as well. Spider-Man 3 is heavily rumored to bring back previous Spider-Man actors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, in addition to old villains, such as Alfred Molina (who already revealed he's coming back) as Doctor Octopus.

This, of course, makes us wonder if The Flash and these Batmen will have to deal with duplicate villains of their own. Only time will tell.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.