Rumours of Ben Affleck's demise as the Caped Crusader have been greatly exaggerated with news that his Batman will return in the Flash solo movie. According to Variety, Affleck has agreed to one more appearance as Batman after reading the script last week. It director Andy Muschietti is helming the highly anticipated adaptation which is set for release summer 2022.
The long-gestating solo film for Ezra Miller's Barry Allen is taking its story from the Flashpoint comic book arc, which if you're unfamiliar with here's a quick rundown. Allen wakes up in an altered world where his mother wasn't murdered, and he doesn't have his powers. That's not the only thing that's different, Superman is gone, Bruce Wayne is dead, Thomas Wayne is a super violent Batman, Martha Wayne is the Joker, and Wonder Woman leads a war against the Atlanteans. Much like The CW's recent Arrowverse crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths (which Miller had a cameo in), the big screen Flash movie is opening up the multiverse in a big way.
According to Andy Muschietti, Affleck's Batman is "the baseline. He’s part of that unaltered state before we jump into Barry’s adventure. There's a familiarity there.” While that sounds like Affleck's involvement will be an extended cameo, Muschietti revealed why Affleck's incarnation of Batman is vital for the story.
“His 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."
Affleck won't be the only Batman in the movie with Michael Keaton previously confirmed to be reprising the role for the first time since Batman Returns. It wouldn't be unreasonable to expect Robert Pattinson's incarnation from Matt Reeves' The Batman to make an appearance. We won't have to wait until 2022 to see The Flash and Batman team-up, the Snyder Cut of Justice League is coming to HBO Max early next year.