It has been a week since Vanity Fair broke out the news of Big Ben’s return as the Caped Crusader. People believe that Ben Affleck is coming back as Batman in The Flash (2022) to make his final appearance. That would allow the writers to give him a proper exit from the DCEU, and give us a bit of closure. This belief has brought a dark & saddening theory into play. Apparently, the exit that his Batman might get from the DCEU might come through his death.
When Zack Snyder brought Ben Affleck’s Batman into play, he started off as a murderous vigilante. But towards the end of the film, he was inspired by the heroics of Superman. Whatever Justice League was, it still showed us Bruce Wayne’s transition from a dark brooding loner into a hopeful leader and a mentor to Barry Allen. And now, Ben Affleck’s story arc might come to an end through The Flash as he could make a final sacrifice play. This might actually become the reason for Barry’s Flashpoint event, but ultimately, the sacrifice will only motivate him. Zack Snyder would’ve also killed off Batman in Justice League 3, but since that’s not going to happen, The Flash might bring Batman’s arc to a circle much sooner.
There are two major reasons why the death of Batfleck theory might come true. The first is the role of Batfleck that director Andy Muschietti hinted at. He told Vanity Fair:
“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.”
Affleck’s substantial role in The Flash will leave an emotional impact upon Barry & the audience. Keeping this in mind, Comicbook.com’s Brandon Davis came up with the theory that Batfleck might die within the first act of the film. That way, Barry will be stuck by the feeling of extreme loss, and have motive him to run back in time and fix everything by saving his mom. Barry was in a happy place towards the end of Justice League. To kick off Flashpoint, Muschietti might need to create a situation where that puts him in a place that’s darker. This could be achieved if Barry is made to feel the loss of his new found mentor, Bruce Wayne. This is creation of a dark situation is the first reason why Batfleck might die.
The second reason is the number of Batmen that will be running around in live-action movies by 2022. It is more or less confirmed that Robert Pattinson’s Batman will continue with his franchise on a separate Earth. Meanwhile, Muschietti is also bringing back Michael Keaton’s Batman. Further rumors have suggested that his Batman might play a Nick Fury kind of role, assembling and mentoring young heroes. So when 2 Batmen will already be sticking around in the future, then WB might not want to make things confusing by having Ben Affleck’s Batman alive & kicking as well. That’s why they might prefer to kill him off instead of keeping him around for the long haul. It’s how Keaton’s Batman could become more streamlined with the DCEU if that’s what WB is planning for.
Nobody knows if Ben Affleck is back for the long haul. No one knows if he’ll get to do the solo Batman mini-series on HBO Max. We’re not even sure whether Zack Snyder’s Justice League will get sequels. So, we have a good reason to believe that Batfleck might die in the Flash. It could be disappointing, but very true.
Then again, no one would really have any problems with having 3 Batmen if their existence is properly explained in the future stories. Now that Affleck has done the impossible by agreeing to return, WB should actually make good use of that. Keeping him alive might create chances for us to get a live-action Bat-verse movie in the future. On top of that, the options for Justice League sequels & more DCEU appearances & at least one solo Batman series on HBO Max might always be available. Let’s see what the future holds for Batfleck.
We’re pretty excited about Batfleck’s return in The Flash. Here’s how the DC movie slate stands – Wonder Woman 1984 arrives on October 2, 2020, The Snyder Cut of Justice League will release sometime in early 2021, The Suicide Squad releases on August 6, 2021, The Batman will release on October 1, 2021, Black Adam arrives on December 21, 2021, The Flash hits theatres on June 3, 2022, Shazam 2 opens on November 4, 2022, & Aquaman 2 arrives on December 16, 2022.