Once upon a time, Ben Affleck was on board to write, direct, and star in The Batman. In the aftermath of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, that opportunity went away, and was eventually rejiggered into a standalone reboot to star Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader. By all accounts, including Affleck’s, the Snyderverse version of Batman was retired.
That was then, this is now.
According to Vanity Fair, Affleck is set to return to the role of Batman in the upcoming DC comic book movie, The Flash. Rumors have swirled that the movie would not only spin Ezra Miller’s Justice League speedster off into his own franchise, but adapt the Flashpoint comic book arc, and delve into DC’s expanded multiverse. Early talk suggested Michael Keaton could potentially suit up as an older version of Batman, after starring in the original film version from 1989. And now it seems there are even more Batmen in the mix, with Affleck joining the cast. After appearing in HBO Max’s “Snyder Cut” of Justice League next year, the actor will appear alongside Miller in The Flash, set for the summer of 2022.
“He’s a very substantial part of the emotional impact of the movie. The interaction and relationship between Barry and Affleck’s Wayne will bring an emotional level that we haven’t seen before,” director Andy Muschietti (It) confirmed to Vanity Fair in an interview. “It’s Barry’s movie, it’s Barry’s story, but their characters are more related than we think. They both lost their mothers to murder, and that’s one of the emotional vessels of the movie. That’s where the Affleck Batman kicks in.”
In comics, the inciting incident of the Flashpoint storyline is when Barry Allen used the power of the Speed Force to change his own timeline, attempting to keep his mother’s murder from occurring. That single change rippled out through the DC Universe, leading to enormous changes in history and the lives of his allies in the Justice League.
Muschietti added that “the movie is a bit of a hinge in the sense that it presents a story that implies a unified universe where all the cinematic iterations that we’ve seen before are valid [...] It’s inclusive in the sense that it is saying all that you’ve seen exists, and everything that you will see exists, in the same unified multiverse.”