They’re Batman again. During Sunday’s Super Bowl, Warner Bros. debuted the first trailer for “The Flash,” the long-awaited superhero blockbuster that stars the embattled actor Ezra Miller in the title role and features appearances from former Batman actors Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader.
Here’s the plot that brings Keaton back to the cowl for the first time onscreen since 1992’s “Batman Returns”:
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?
Keaton was set to play Batman again in “Batgirl,” but that film was scrapped by Warner Bros. last year. Affleck last appeared as Batman in Zack Snyder’s re-edited cut of “Justice League.” (As that plot summary and the trailer shows, Michael Shannon is also back for this film, playing General Zod, the antagonist of “Man of Steel.”)
One of the last vestiges of the DC Comics movie universe ushered in by Zack Snyder, “The Flash” has maintained a loud buzz about its potential despite the franchise upheaval and Miller’s well-documented off-screen issues. Miller, who uses they/them pronouns, recently pleaded guilty to misdemeanor unlawful trespass charges in Vermont for an incident that occurred in May 2022.
In August 2022, Miller – who made numerous headlines over the last two years for erratic and problematic behavior – said in a statement, “Having recently gone through a time of intense crisis, I now understand that I am suffering complex mental health issues and have begun ongoing treatment. I want to apologize to everyone that I have alarmed and upset with my past behavior. I am committed to doing the necessary work to get back to a healthy, safe and productive stage in my life.”
But despite the actor’s troubles, Warner Bros. has stood by its star and their film. Back in January, when new DCU boss James Gunn addressed the media for the first time, he made sure to praise “The Flash.”
“Can I say one more thing? ‘The Flash’ is f–king amazing. Like it’s one of the best superhero movies I’ve ever seen,” Gunn said. “[Director] Andy Muschietti did an amazing job.”
“The Flash” is out June 16.
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