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Quite often in the world of comic book movies, miracles happen and the day is saved despite the odds. It’s part of what makes watching those sorts of films so appealing in the first place, as it inspires us to hope for such miraculous happenings in the real world as well. Well, today is a day of miracles if you’re a fan of Ben Affleck’s portrayal as Batman, as he’s now been confirmed to be returning to the role of Gotham’s Caped Crusader as part of The Flash’s big multiverse push.
Starting with the news that Michael Keaton’s Batman variant was in talks to return for The Flash, this film’s still under wraps adaptation of the Flashpoint arc was hotly tipped as a multiversal approach. From that point, drawing in several variations of Batman seemed like something that was just waiting to happen, and sure enough, today’s news from Vanity Fair confirmed that. In their interview with writer/director Andy Muschietti, the man behind the 2022 film explained, as follows, why Ben Affleck’s Batman is so important to The Flash’s story:
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.
Earlier this year, Ben Affleck seemed to have made peace with swearing off of the role of Batman for good. With his passing on The Batman’s writing and directing gig in the name of his own health, and the supposed collapse of the DC Extended Universe all but assured, the days of Batfleck looked like they were behind us all. However, two very big components may have changed that fate in time for The Flash to take shape.
Between his flourishing romance with girlfriend Ana de Armas, as well as the news that Zack Snyder’s Justice League was going to finally become a reality, the overall picture of the DCEU may have seemed rosier to the man who first stepped into the cape and cowl in 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Further elaborating on his excitement to team with Affleck, Andy Muschietti added the following note to enhance his enthusiasm:
I’m glad to be collaborating with someone who has been on both sides of the camera, too. He understands.
There is, of course, the possibility that the return of Ben Affleck to The Flash might be saddled with heavy caveats. In particular, there’s a chance that Affleck’s Bruce Wayne might be returning in his everyday guise alone, ensuring that he won’t have to step into the suit again. Should this assumption be true, and the emotional thread of losing someone important be more important than Andy Muschietti is letting on, we could see Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne disappear once Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen changes history to save his dead mother.
It’s all speculation at this point, but with Ben Affleck confirmed to be returning in The Flash, and Michael Keaton still in the cards as well, there’s no telling what announcement could be coming next. Which means we’ll all have to keep our ears extra fine-tuned at this weekend’s DC Fandome event, which kicks off the two-day festival this Saturday. As for The Flash, that project has some time to get its bats in a row, before it zooms into theaters on July 1, 2022.