Is The Flash feature film unraveling again?
In an interview with Deadline, Michael Keaton expressed some misgivings about reprising his role as the Earth-89 Batman. Though the actor is in talks with Warner Bros. Pictures to play the part, COVID-19 has made his willingness to return more complicated. “I’m more concerned,” he said. “I keep my eye more on the COVID situation in the UK than anything. That will determine everything, and so that’s why I’m living outside the city here on 17 acres, staying away from everybody, because the COVID thing has got me really concerned. So, that’s my first thing about all projects. I look at it and go, is this thing going to kill me, literally? And you know, if it doesn’t, then we talk.”
As it happens, the UK is the source of one of the earliest identified COVID-19 mutations, so the concern is genuine. In fact, it is genuine enough that we have to wonder if it will lead to another production delay and, perhaps, the film derailing once again.
Over the least seven years, various directors and writers have come and gone in Warner’s attempt to bring The Flash to the big screen. Things finally seemed to come together with It director Andy Muschietti, who offered an approach the studio and star Ezra Miller liked. Based on the info released during DC FanDome last August, it seems to return to the Flashpoint idea with Barry Allen (Miller) visiting other realities in the DC Multiverse. Keaton and Ben Affleck both emerged as actors returning to play Batman. Sasha Calle is also slated to play Supergirl.
But two weeks ago, Billy Crudup backed out of playing Henry Allen, citing scheduling difficulties. And now with Keaton signaling he may walk away, is it possible the production will collapse again?
Although, it should be said, Keaton also briefly walked away from playing the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming before ultimately taking the part. So it is possible the studio will be able to allay his reasonable fears about COVID.
In the meantime, The Flash is still scheduled for release on November 4th, 2022.