Batman is returning to theaters. Batman Returns is also returning to theaters. So many batty returns.
In addition to the Tim Burton-directed, Michael Keaton-starring Batmen hitting Cinemark on September 17th in celebration of Batman Day, the animated Batman: Mask of the Phantasm rounds out the marathon of some of the best orphaned Billionaire crime-fighting around.
This comes 33 years after Keaton first defined the character for the modern era, becoming the Bruce Wayne to live up to (to varying degrees of success throughout the sequels…). In a different world, it would also be an introduction and reunion of a classic incarnation that was about to spread through the DCU like wildfire. Instead, Batgirl and Keaton’s return to the character have been shelved, his presence has been dropped from Aquaman 2 because it made no sense for him to be there, and it’s a Riddler-sized question mark what will happen with the upcoming Flash movie and Keaton’s presumed cameo there.
So it’s possible that the Batman Day celebration will only make the world thirstier for a Keaton Batman that they can’t have.
If you can’t make it to Cinemark, all three films are streaming on HBO Max (until they’re inexplicably removed by corporate decree).