Despite predictions to the contrary, Ben Affleck is coming back in the role of Batman for at least one DC superhero movie. He will essay the character in Ezra Miller-headlined Flash movie that is being directed by Andy Muschietti.
The movie will also bring back an even older Batman, the one played by Michael Keaton in Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992).
The Flash solo movie has had a long and hard road and has changed several filmmakers before Andy Muschietti decided to helm the project.
And now not only is the film confirmed, it has instantly become one of the most-awaited upcoming superhero movies. Apart from Batman, the film will also star Ray Fisher as Cyborg. Fisher played the role in Justice League and briefly in Batman v Superman. The film is stacked and may come out interesting, considering the proven ability of its director.
But why does this film have Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton as Batman? Well, the Flash movie’s titular speedster superhero will explore parallel universes and other dimensions. In other words, the film will introduce the multiverse that is such a huge part of DC Comics.
The film might explore the Flashpoint storyline as well. In that storyline, The Flash goes back in time using his speed to save his mother and screws up several events. Thomas Wayne is a grizzled, cynical Batman, Aquaman and Wonder Woman are sworn enemies and fighting over the control of Europe, and so on.
As I said earlier, Batfleck might be back but it is not confirmed if he will reprise the role in future movies. So why bring him back? I think Warner Bros brought him back because there was a huge demand for his iteration of the character. The studio will look at the response to this film and then decide whether Batfleck has a future or not.
Also, and this is a remote possibility, DC may also be setting up a new Justice League movie — the one Zack Snyder was making before he left the first one mid-way into post-production. Snyder Cut, Zack’s supposedly better cut of the movie which was heavily modified by Joss Whedon in the theatrical release, was confirmed earlier this year. Perhaps the studio may also greenlight the original Justice League trilogy Snyder was making. This may be conditional on whether Batfleck is received well in the Flash movie.
The other possibility is Batfleck may adopt a role in the DC universe similar to Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury played in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A mentor-like figure to younger superheroes whose role is mostly behind-the-scenes with rare moments of action.