The Dark Knight Returns.
No, Frank Miller isn’t scripting the latest Batman film but Ben Affleck, who stepped away from reprising his role as Batman in Matt Reeves’ The Batman (a role now assumed by Robert Pattinson) will be donning the cape and cowl for a cameo role in The Flash. Although it’s unclear exactly how integral Affleck’s cameo in The Flash will be, especially considering Michael Keaton has already been confirmed to play an older version of his Batman from the 1989 film in what director Andy Muscietti (It, It Chapter Two) describes as a “substantial” role.
“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,” Muschietti told Vanity Fair. “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.”
“His Batman has a dichotomy that is very strong,” Muschietti added, “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, producer of The Flash (and sister to the director) explained that the role of Batman wasn’t necessarily the impediment to Affleck but rather, the time at which the role was presented was. “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 said. “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 said. “Right now he’s in a place where he can actually enjoy being Batman. Plus, he doesn’t have to carry the entire movie. It’s a pivotal role, but at the same time it’s a fun part.”
The Flash is currently slated for a July 1st, 2020 release and will star Ezra Miller in a narrative which will follow the “Flashpoint” storyline, which sees Barry Allen/Flash traveling back in time to stop the murder of his mother; as with all time traveling narratives, traveling back in time to change one thing, of course, causes some complications in other areas, which is where the multiple versions of Batman come in. Flash will encounter different versions of Batman, as well as other DC characters in divergent timelines on his path to set his own timeline back on course.
“This movie is a bit of a hinge in the sense that it presents a story that implies a unified universe where all the cinematic iterations that we’ve seen before are valid,” Muschietti said. “It’s inclusive in the sense that it is saying all that you’ve seen exists, and everything that you will see exists, in the same unified multiverse.”
What do you think of Ben Affleck returning to the Batman role in The Flash? Let us know in the comments.