The Flash Didn’t Include The Grim Reason Michael Keaton’s Batman Is Retired

In a new featurette that goes behind the scenes of Batman’s return in “The Flash,” director Andy Mischietti had this to say:

“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 of Bruce Wayne. If Bruce Wayne, as the story tells, has been retired 25 years, what happened to him? I always said something should have happened to Bruce Wayne to [make him] want to stop being Batman. My idea was that he did something that goes against his code. He killed a criminal in front of his child. Unknowingly, but he still did it, which is an exact mirroring of what happened to him when his parents were killed in front of him at Monarch Theatre, and that created that ‘monster’ that Batman is.”

Whoa, Batman’s parents were killed in front of him? We had no idea! Not a single Batman movie has ever explored the reason that Bruce Wayne became Batman. In all seriousness, having a Batman who broke his own rules by killing a criminal and learning that their child saw it all happen? That’s pretty dark, and that’s a detail we wish would have been included in “The Flash.” Because as great as Michael Keaton’s return as Batman is, there’s not an emotionally resonant reason that makes us care about Bruce Wayne being retired, and it undercuts the character’s role in the story a little bit. Muschietti elaborated a bit more on where Batman is at this point in time:

“So 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 the evolution of that journey. 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.”

Leave a Comment