The Flash: Ben Affleck Return as Batman With Michael Keaton
These are the best times to be a DC Fanboy. First, we got the confirmation for the Snyder Cut. Then our very own Witcher, Henry Cavill was confirmed to return as Man of Steel. And now, the biggest piece of the puzzle, big Ben Affleck is back with his Batman to play a key role in The Flash. It may or may not be his last appearance as the Dark Knight. But what we know for sure is that he is not going to be the only Batman in the movie. Michael Keaton will also return with his Batsy to blow the DC Multiverse wide open. Keaton’s Batman will also be crucial to the story. But before we get to him, let’s talk about the Batfleck in the room.
Even if Ben Affleck will not return as Batman after The Flash (which we truly hope that he does), he deserved to be back at least one more time to give us closure. But it sounds like he will be doing a lot more than giving us closure. Vanity Fair broke out the news of Big Ben’s return right before the FanDome event. Director Andy Muschietti spoke to the outlet about Ben Affleck’s character, and the part that he is going to play in Barry’s story. Here’s what he said:
“His [Affleck] Batman has a dichotomy that is very strong which is his masculinity—because of the way he looks, and the imposing figure that he has, and his jawline —but he’s also very vulnerable. He knows how to deliver from the inside out, that vulnerability. He just needs a story that allows him to bring that contrast, that balance.
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. 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.
I’m glad to be collaborating with someone who has been on both sides of the camera, too. He understands.”
Muschietti obviously understands the importance of dragging Ben Affleck back to his DC gig. With him, not only will the movie get a much bigger boost than it was supposed to, but his experience (both in front of, & behind the cameras) is going to come in very handy. He may not have a lot of fighting to do as Barry would have him as a mentor figure and emotional support. After all, in the very little character development that Barry got in the Josstice League, Affleck’s Batman was the one with whom Barry got the closest to. So, it’s understandable that Affleck will play a pivotal role. Muschietti said:
“He’s the baseline. He’s part of that unaltered state before we jump into Barry’s adventure. There’s a familiarity there.”
Things will start off with Barry & Bruce. Then, something happens, something really bad. Comicbook.com’s Brandon Davis suggested that Batfleck might actually die right in the beginning, and that’s what’s going to nudge Barry towards this new age Flashpoint event that director Muschietti is kicking off. Well, this is just a dark theory and I don’t want it to come true. Anyway, what we can make out from Muschietti’s comments is that this new version of Flashpoint will probably not bring Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Thomas Wayne/Batman into play. But, it will tap into the multiverse, and we’d have Michael Keaton’s Batman coming in from Earth-89. Here’s what director Muschietti had to say about the Multiverse part:
“This 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.”
So, there’s a chance that we might see more than just Michael Keaton’s Batman. We could see other characters come in from different universes as well. Or at least there will be a set up for that to happen in the future. For now, we’re just happy that Ben Affleck is back. Everyone has been saying that Ben Affleck’s time as Batman was not the greatest part of his life because a lot happened with him behind the scenes. That’s why we were all worried that he won’t return. Even producer Barbara Muschietti was worried that Ben Affleck wouldn’t be willing to put the cape back on. Apparently, that wasn’t the case. Affleck was very open to the idea.
The producer said:
“There have been some all sorts of stories and things he said himself about having a very hard time playing Batman, and it had been difficult for him. I think it was more about a difficult time in his life. When we approached him, he’s now in a very different time in his life. He was very open to it, which was a bit of a surprise to us. It was a question mark.
We are all human and go through great times in our lives and terrible times in our lives. Right now he’s in a place where he can actually enjoy being Batman… It’s a pivotal role, but at the same time it’s a fun part.”
Well, Affleck has reemerged. He is in great shape and he is in a happy place with his girlfriend Ana de Armas. His last film, “The Way Back” saved him and reformed him spiritually. And on top of that, the Snyder Cut movement really helped him to contemplate his return. He was not only open to return, but he also called for a few changes in the script when he got the latest draft of it recently.
The Wrap claimed:
“According to an insider with knowledge of the project, conversations with Affleck started in the last couple of months to pique his interest in joining The Flash. Before committing, Affleck had notes on the script which were addressed in the draft given to him last week, and he finally agreed to join the project in the last couple of days.”
This is a great day as all Batfleck fans who are happy about his return. And it could mean so much more than just one movie. If Affleck was open to return for The Flash, then maybe he’d be willing to return for something bigger, like an HBO Max miniseries of his own. And it won’t just stop at that. If Snyder gets to do sequels for his Justice League, then Affleck will definitely be back for them. But all that is in the distant future. For now, we’re happy because Affleck just turned The Flash into one of the most anticipated movies of 2022.
It’s unlikely that Batfleck & Keatman will come face to face on screen. But, a possibility of that has certainly been opened up. Apart from Miller, Affleck & Keaton, Ray Fisher’s Cyborg is also more or less confirmed to be back in The Flash. At the DC FanDome, we’re going to find out if any other characters will also be reprising their roles. Since it is a multiverse movie, these “other characters” could either be from the DCEU (like Superman), or they could be from DC’s multiverse (other films or TV shows).
There’s a big chance for Grant Gustin’s Flash to make a teeny tiny cameo. After all it was the Crisis Event of the CW that made the Multiverse story possibly. Since, Ezra Miller appeared in The CW’s mega-crossover event, it’d only be fair for Grant Gusting to do the same. But let’s not bet on that just now. We’ll get to know more on The Flash Panel at the Dome. Let’s see what other surprises does the panel hold.
The Flash hits theatres on June 3, 2022.