After countless delays, it’s beginning to feel like Warner Bros.’ long-gestating The Flash movie is never actually going to see the light of day. But the studio wants to keep the hype train rolling anyway. WB has just unveiled new footage from The Flash at this year’s CinemaCon, and the big focus is (unsurprisingly) the return of Michael Keaton as Batman. The promo even shows Keaton back in the Batsuit for the first time since 1992’s Batman Returns.
The audience attending the Las Vegas event were also treated to glimpses of Wayne Manor, “iconic” Batsuits from the hero’s past, and the new Batcycle, which is described as being like the Batpod from The Dark Knight films but with two wheels at the front, according to IGN. The footage also shows Keaton’s Bruce living like a recluse inside his mansion, with long hair and a beard now adorning his aged face. It sounds like times have been tough for the Batman of the Burtonverse of late but perhaps a young speedster from another DC universe will convince him to relive the good old days.
In the process of teasing Bruce’s interactions with Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), the CinemaCon footage also spoils the return of a famous line from Batman ’89, a very fun easter egg that would have undoubtedly delighted fans in theaters had WB kept it a secret.
At one point in the video, Keaton’s Batman asks the Flash, “You wanna get nuts? Let’s get nuts.” Of all the teases in this new footage, this one line seems to be the moment that had excited attendees rushing to social media.
It’s for a good reason: this line is a call back to one of the best scenes in the first Tim Burton Batman movie. Just before their climactic final battle at the top of a Gotham City cathedral, Bruce first faces off with Jack Nicholson’s Joker inside Vicki Vale’s (Kim Basinger) apartment. Grabbing a metal fire poker, Bruce pretends to be Vicki’s wealthy, dim-witted beau and threatens an amused Clown Prince of Crime.
“You wanna get nuts?” asks a clearly in-over-his-head Bruce. The Joker simply pulls out a gun and shoots the rich bozo in the chest, but not before asking Bruce a question of his own: “You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?” It’s a moment that unlocks a pivotal memory for Bruce. Joker’s words just before he shoots him were the same ones spoken by his parents’ killer on that fateful night so many years ago. Jack Napier, now an insane killer clown with a taste for poison gas, was the same man who killed Thomas and Martha Wayne all along! Stopping the Joker has now become personal for Batman.
Whether or not you liked the “Joker created Batman, who then created Joker” twist back in ’89, there’s no arguing that this pivotal scene is one of the most memorable in DC movie history. It’s no surprise, then, that The Flash, a movie whose entire selling point seems to be ’90s Batman nostalgia, has found a way to bring back the scene’s best line.
But what we really want to know is whether The Flash will nod to the other best line from that scene…
The Flash premieres in theaters on June 23, 2023.