Batman Surprise: Ben Affleck Returning as Dark Knight for ‘Pivotal Role’ in Flash Movie

"He’s a very substantial part of the emotional impact of the movie," director Andy Muschietti says.
Ben Affleck as Batman in "Justice League"
Ben Affleck as Batman in "Justice League"
Warner Bros.

Ben Affleck is returning as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Andy Muschietti’s upcoming Flash movie, Vanity Fair confirms. The casting comes as a bit of a shock since Affleck walked away from the Batman role following “Justice League” and in the middle of developing a standalone film he was set to act in and direct. That project morphed into Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” starring Robert Pattinson in the title role. As for Affleck’s return in the Flash movie, Muschietti tells Vanity Fair it makes sense since the film is set in the same timeline as “Justice League” and will star Affleck’s co-star Ezra Miller as the speedy superhero.

“He’s a very substantial part of the emotional impact of the movie,” Muschietti said. “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.”

Muschietti said earlier in the interview, “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.”

Barbara Muschietti, the producer of the Flash movie, told Vanity Fair, “There have been all sorts of stories and things he said himself about having a very hard time playing Batman, and it had been difficult for him. 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,” Barbara added. “Right now he’s in a place where he can actually enjoy being Batman. It’s a pivotal role, but at the same time it’s a fun part.”

Ben Affleck’s Batman will also return in Zack Snyder’s director’s cut of “Justice League,” debuting on HBO Max in 2021. Muschietti’s Flash movie is set to feature a multiverse storyline in which Michael Keaton’s iteration of Batman will also appear. The jury is still out on whether or not Val Kilmer’s Batman will appear. The film is being eyed for a summer 2022 release date.

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