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Michael Keaton’s Batman retired for this truly horrifying reason

The Flash brought Michael Keaton's Batman back into the DC Universe, and we loved to see it. Andy Muschietti has explained the back-story of this Bruce Wayne.

Michael Keaton's Batman retired in The Flash

We absolutely loved getting the chance to see Michael Keaton’s Batman again in the DC Universe this year when The Flash release date came around. It gave us the opportunity to see one of the best Batman actors don the cowl for the first time in decades.

When we met Michael Keaton‘s version of Bruce Wayne during one of the timelines in The Flash, he had stopped being Batman and was a recluse holed up in Wayne Manor. For more on his performance, check out our The Flash review, but it’s safe to say that we really enjoyed it.

According to director Andy Muschietti, there’s a very clear reason that one of the best DC characters had said goodbye to his hero career in this universe. It’s very dark indeed.

In a new featurette about Keaton’s return released by Warner Bros, Muschietti revealed the back-story he had concocted for this version of Bruce Wayne.

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“I really wanted to defy people’s expectations of where Bruce Wayne would be 30 years later, and I also wanted to deepen the backstory,” said Muschietti. “My idea was, he did something that goes against his code and killed a criminal in front of [the criminal’s] child—not knowingly, but he still did it.”

Muschietti explained that this was “an exact mirroring situation” of the young Bruce witnessing the murder of his parents. This created “the monster that the Batman is”.

He added: “He just couldn’t cope with it, and that’s why he decided to shut off his other side, Batman. And he hasn’t been able to forgive himself. And now, the way we find him is a bit of like, the evolution of that journey. You know, he’s a tragic figure. He’s basically a character that is in search of redemption, but eventually finds a way to do it by helping Barry.”

Michael Keaton returns as Batman in The Flash

This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to Batman’s story in The Flash, though we would’ve loved to see it referenced in the new movies themselves. It would’ve added even more depth to Keaton’s performance, and we already think he’s the best Batman.

For more of the best movies about Gotham’s protector, find out how to watch the Batman movies in order and the DC movies in order. We’ve also explained the other Bruce Wayne with our guides to The Batman cast and The Batman 2 release date, and asked who will play Batman in James Gunn’s DCU.

Elsewhere in the world of DC, find out why Batman might have put Aquaman 2 in trouble and learn about James Gunn’s DC plan for Chapter 1 Gods and Monsters. We’ve got more on the Superman Legacy release date and Batman’s return in The Brave and the Bold release date.