Fans Demand Michael Keaton Join Robert Pattinson in Future-Set 'Batman Beyond'
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Pattinson could play Terry McGinnis, who takes on the cape and cowl under the guidance of the now retired Bruce Wayne.

Reports that Robert Pattinson was being cast as Batman had the internet in a tizzy on Friday.

But it was what version of Batman that had fans most excited — as theories began to circulate he might in fact play an apprentice to the original caped crusader himself: Michael Keaton.

"Batman Beyond" quickly started trending on Twitter as comic-book lovers speculated that Matt Reeves upcoming "The Batman" may in fact be set in the future, as the beloved animated series is.

If that were the case, Pattinson could play Terry McGinnis, who takes on the cape and cowl under the guidance of the now retired Bruce Wayne.

Fans have long been calling for Keaton to return to play an older version of the role he made famous in 1989's Batman and its 1992 sequel Batman Returns, both directed by Tim Burton and considered to be among the greatest comic book films ever.

Coincidentally, the 1999 DC series actually opens in the year 2019; it sees Bruce Wayne's Batman still fighting crime in his late 50s. But after suffering a heart attack while tackling a kidnapper and almost getting beaten to death because of it, he is forced to use a gun, thus breaking his cardinal rule, which ultimately leads him to retire his Dark Knight alter ego.

It is two decades later in the year 2039 he crosses paths with 16-year old McGinnis, whom he eventually allows to take on the mantle of Batman to deal with a new wave of villains, with the original rogues gallery of The Joker, The Penguin, The Riddler et al either dead, incarcerated or retired.

On Thursday Variety reported that Pattinson had been cast as Batman, but a subsequent report by Deadline claimed he was only on a shortlist, along with Nicholas Hoult.

"The Batman" is slated to hit theatres on June 25, 2021.

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