Why Ben Affleck Returning as Batman:
Ben Affleck has agreed to don the cape again in the DCEU for The Flash and producer Barbara Muschietti has revealed the reason behind it. Affleck was in a different place in life when he had played the Caped Crusader in Batman V Superman and Justice League. He was going through separation and divorce with his then-wife, Jennifer Garner, which lasted from 2015 to 2018. Ben was also battling with drinking problems and depression which landed him in rehab twice in 2017 and 2018. Initially, he was also keen to act, direct, produce, and write The Batman movie. But his personal battles changed the entire plan and replaced him with Matt Reeves as the director and Robert Pattinson as the young version of Batman. But Affleck has now revived from those days and in a much healthier and stronger state to reprise the role of Bruce Wayne. He doesn’t have any more distractions or pressures that were burdened on him during Batman v Superman.
Muschietti told Vanity Fair,
“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,”
She further added:
“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,” she went on. “Right now he’s in a place where he can actually enjoy being Batman.”
Affleck playing Batman in The Flash will allow Robert Pattinson’s Batman to develop without compromising on the existence of Zack Snyder’s universe. The Flash will be the first live-action movie by DCEU for the speedster. Its process met several obstacles that led to years of delay. It is set to star Ezra Miller as Bary Allen and will be directed by Andres Muschietti. Miller’s Flash was first introduced in DCEU’s Justice League. Ezra is a very fine actor who has previously worked in critically acclaimed movies like We Need To Talk About Kevin and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
The Flash will be inspired by Flashpoint of DC Comics which will shed light on Barry Allen’s backstory. In this storyline, the Flash runs back to the night when his mother murdered but in an attempt to prevent that, he accidentally sets off multiple timelines. The movie will enable DCEU to introduce the concept of the universe, thus validating all the universe and DC versions ever released. Be prepared to see Michael Keaton in the movie who played Batman in Tim Burton’s Batman franchise. Even CW Arrowverse adopted the same concept where we saw both Ezra Miller and Grant Gustin’s Flash in the crossover which brought the multiverses together.
While we can expect more versions of Batman to appear in this unified universe, Ben Affleck’s Batman is the most important for the development of Flash. Justice League had established a bond between Affleck’s Bruce and Miller’s Barry Allen. It was Wayne who brought Flash to the Justice League and his wisdom and experiences will allow him to guide Barry in his future endeavors. Both Bruce and Barry had a similar past as Bruce’s parents were murdered by thugs while Barry’s mother was killed by his nemesis, Reverse-Flash. Reverse-Flash is Flash’s biggest enemy who traveled back in time to kill his mother, Nora Allen. Batman and Flash’s connection will add a deeper meaning to the movie and fuel in taking the latter’s story forward. Director Andy Muschietti told Vanity Fair:
“[Affleck’s Batman is] 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, its 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.”
“[Affleck] is the baseline. He’s part of that unaltered state before we jump into Barry’s adventure,” he continued. “There’s a familiarity there.”
The Flash movie is finally set to release on June 3, 2022.