Next year, Batman returns, uh, again.

That’s when Michael Keaton makes his first appearance as Batman since 1992’s Batman Returns. Keaton will play an older Bruce Wayne in The Flash, a solo film for the DC Comics hero (played by Ezra Miller) where he passes through multiple parallel universes. It’s kind of a complicated concept if you’re not a big-time science-fiction reader (or you missed the first season of Loki). Keaton recently admitted it took him a while to understand it himself.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Keaton confessed that he read The Flash script “more than three times” before he finally began to get the whole notion of multiple Batmen in one movie. (Ben Affleck’s Batman will also appear in The Flash.) He added:

They had to explain that to me several times. By the way, I’m not being arrogant, I hope, about this. I don’t say it like, ‘I’m too groovy.’ I’m stupid. There’s a lot of things I don’t know about. And so, I don’t know, I just kind of figured it out, but this was different.

Keaton also noted that he’s always felt in the back of his mind “I bet I could go back and nail that motherf—er.” He said all the decades away from the character helped him “get this on a whole other level now.” While he never dismissed Batman back in the 1990s, he now sees that “it has become a giant thing, culturally ... This is a big deal in the world to people. You’ve got to honor that and be respectful of that.”

Keaton actually sounds pretty invested and excited to play the character again, which is great. If he was just doing it for the paycheck, that would probably come through onscreen. The hopefully very-easy-to-understand The Flash is scheduled to open in theaters on November 4, 2022.

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