Why Michael Keaton’s Batman won the Super Bowl

Michael Keaton as Batman in The Flash.Warner Bros.

The Kansas City Chiefs might have ended the Super Bowl victorious, but Michael Keaton was the real winner last night, his Batman return a monumental moment in superhero history.

Sure, Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots was a good game that ended in something of an anti-climax. But is it as good as seeing a close-up of Michael Keaton saying “I’m Batman” for the first time in more than 30 years? Not even close.

Michael Keaton first played Batman in the self-titled 1989 feature that kickstarted the modern superhero boom, and changed comic book movies forever.

Under the guidance of Tim Burton, this was a complex, dark, violent take on the material, that got even darker when Burton and Keaton collaborated on 1992’s Batman Returns, one of the greatest comic book movies of all-time. Executives felt it wasn’t kid-friendly enough however, so that was the end of Keaton’s time in the bat-suit. Until now.

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New The Flash synopsis

Along with a new trailer, The Flash now has a new synopsis, which reads as follows…

Worlds collide in The Flash when Barry uses his superpowers to travel back in time in order to change the events of the past. But when his attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, Barry becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation, and there are no Super Heroes to turn to.

That is, unless Barry can coax a very different Batman out of retirement and rescue an imprisoned Kryptonian… albeit not the one he’s looking for. Ultimately, to save the world that he is in and return to the future that he knows, Barry’s only hope is to race for his life. But will making the ultimate sacrifice be enough to reset the universe?

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The OG Batman is back

The Batman referred to above could be the Ben Affleck iteration, who appears in the trailer. But then we get the BIG reveal. Barry Allen admits to breaking the universe, and “creating a world with no meta humans,” meaning there’s no one here to defend earth.

We then hear a familiar voice offscreen asking “Want some help?” We then see a bunch of bats, the Batmobile, and the reveal of this Batman’s figure from behind, as notes from Danny Elfman’s iconic Batman score ring out.

The Barry Allens – there’s two of them now – state “You are…?” Then we see Keaton’s face, under the cowl, and he utters the equally iconic line: “Yeah, I’m Batman.”

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Batman soars through the air in a way that ’89 and ’92 weren’t able to due to the more primitive special effects of the time. Then we briefly witness Keaton’s Batman takes down some goon, in the most awesome moment from any of the trailers that screened during the Super Bowl. The OG Batman is back, and summer 2023 now belongs to him.

The Internet reacts to Michael Keaton’s Batman return

The Internet went wild for this belated return, with the below fan Tweeting “Michael Keaton is by far the best Batman ever.”

Elie Mystal was as excited about the music as the cameo, stating “The Danny Elfman theme is as much Batman as Michael Keaton.”

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Jo from Nebraska literally states that Michael Keaton won the night…

Lewis reckons it now puts two Birdman scenes into a different context:

While actor Josh Gad is excited that – thanks to Harrison Ford and Michael Keaton both reprising their iconic characters this summer – 2023 is basically 1989 all over again.

That was our favorite moment of the Super Bowl trailers, but you can read about four more here.