Flash director reveals traumatic reason behind Michael Keaton Batman’s retirement

Kayla Harrington
Michael Keaton as Batman

The Flash’s director has revealed the traumatic and heartbreaking reason why Michael Keaton’s Batman has retired in the film.

The Flash, Warner Brother’s latest superhero film, has been in theaters for a little over a month now, and has quickly become the biggest flop in superhero movie history.

Unfortunately, the movie was plagued with a ton of scandal before it even premiered thanks to Erza Miller’s criminal history, and things didn’t get better when the movie debuted, as bad CGI and a confusing plot left audiences unsatisfied.

One of the bright spots of the film was the return of Michael Keaton’s Batman, who has been a fan favorite since his two Batman movies premiered in 1989 and 1992, respectively. But Keaton’s Batman in The Flash wasn’t exactly what fans expected to see, and now the movie’s director has revealed the sad reason why he seemed a bit off as a character.

Flash director explains sad reason why Keaton’s Batman is retired

When fans heard that Keaton would be returning as Batman for The Flash, there was a lot of excitement, as Keaton’s Batman is incredibly charming and suave. But when you first see him in the movie, he’s grizzled, tired, and hasn’t fought crime in a very long time.

It’s a huge departure from the last time fans had seen him, and it was incredibly jarring to see such a selfless hero be reduced to a shell of his former self. While the movie itself didn’t explain why Keaton was in such a dark place, The Flash’s director has now revealed what happened to make Batman, Gotham’s savior, step away from the cape for good.

In a new featurette for The Flash, director Andy Muschietti revealed that he wanted to “defy people’s expectations of where Bruce Wayne would be,” adding: “I also wanted to deepen the backstory if Bruce Wayne, as the story tells, has been retired for twenty-five years, what happened to him? I always said something should happen to Bruce Wayne to want to stop being Batman.”

Muschietti went on to explain the tragic event that rocked Keaton Batman’s world, stating: “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. Which is an exact mirroring situation of what happened to him when his parents were killed in front of him [next to] Monarch Theaters, and that created the monster that The Batman is.”

The Flash CinemaCon header
Michael Keaton is back as Batman in The Flash

The director further explained that Bruce “[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.” When fans see him in The Flash, he’s “[at the end of] the evolution of that journey” and now acts as a “tragic figure.” Muschietti said that Bruce’s search of redemption is the driving force for his eventual agreement to helping Barry.

While this backstory isn’t incredibly out of the box, it’s still a gut punch to find out that Batman ended up putting a child in the same position he was in when his parents were murdered. In a dark way, it’s a full circle moment and the perfect catalyst to making Bruce give up being Batman forever.

The Flash is now playing in theaters. You can check out our other coverage on the film below:

The Flash review | Everything we know about The Flash 2 | Who is General Zod? | Is Nic Cage in The Flash? | Flashpoint explained | Who are Albert Desmond and Patty Spivot? | Barry Allen x 2 | How many Batmans are in The Flash? | Speed Force guide | Who is Dark Flash? | Story of Superman Lives Secret villain revealed? | Supergirl explained | The Flash budget