"I'm nodding like I know what the f--- they're talking about," he said of playing Vulture again in "Morbius," too.
Michael Keaton may have a handful of superhero films under his Batman utility belt, but that doesn't mean he has a full grasp of the inner-workings of either the MCU or DCEU.
The 69-year-old actor famously brought the Dark Knight to life in Tim Burton's "Batman" and "Batman Returns" in 1989 and 1992, respectively, before hanging up the cowl. In 2017, he went from DC to Marvel to play the villainous Vulture in "Spider-Man: Homecoming."
But in 2022, he'll return to both roles -- playing an alternate universe Bruce Wayne in "The Flash" and Vulture again in "Morbius," Sony's comic film centering on Jared Leto as the titular vampire. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter about both projects, Keaton made it clear he didn't really understand what the hell was going on in either of them.
"After the first 'Batman,' I'm not sure I've ever seen an entire [comic book] movie," he warned. "I just never got around to it. So you're talking to a guy who wasn't in the zeitgeist of that whole world."
"I'm nodding like I know what the f--- they're talking about," he recalled of his experience filming "Morbius." "I go, 'Uh-huh.' And I'm thinking, 'You may as well be explaining quantum physics right now to me. All I know is I just know my guy. And I know the basics.' So finally, they were looking at me, and they just started laughing. They said, 'You don't know what we're talking about, do you?' I said, 'No, I don't, no idea what you're talking about.'"
That lack of understanding carried over to "The Flash," which will follow Ezra Miller's speedster as he brings the comics' "Flashpoint" arc to life, weaving together alternate versions of characters from across the DC multiverse.
"I had to read it more than three times to go, 'Wait, how does this work?' They had to explain that to me several times," he told THR. "By the way, I'm not being arrogant, I hope, about this. I don't say it like, 'I'm too groovy.' I'm stupid. There's a lot of things I don't know about. And so, I don't know, I just kind of figured it out, but this was different."
He added that he was thrilled to return to the role of Batman because, for years, he "always thought, 'I bet I could be back and nail that motherf---er.'"
Of the film, he teased, "What's really interesting is how much more I got [Batman] when I went back and did him. I get this on a whole other level now. I totally respect it. I respect what people are trying to make. I never looked at it like, 'Oh, this is just a silly thing.' It was not a silly thing when I did Batman. But it has become a giant thing, culturally. It's iconic. So I have even more respect for it because what do I know? This is a big deal in the world to people. You've got to honor that and be respectful of that. Even I go, 'Jesus, this is huge.'"
"The Flash" is due out November 4, 2022, while "Morbius" is on track for a January 28, 2022 release.