Cheers erupted and Bat-signals were lit in celebration yesterday, thanks to the surprise announcement that Ben Affleck will be returning to the DC universe and reprising the Batman role for The Flash movie. However, while many are no doubt hoping that this will mark the beginning of Affleck donning the cape and cowl for other projects as well, sadly this is not the case, with insider sources stating that The Flash will be the last time we see Affleck as the superhero icon.
"There will be no other films with Affleck's Batman or an HBO MAX show as has been rumored online amongst many fanboy outlets," said insiders. "Matt Reeves' upcoming The Batman film will not be affected and Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne is still viewed as the future of the franchise."
This is bound to be disappointing to hear for those who want to see more of Ben Affleck's world-weary version of the Dark Knight, but at least his version of the character will get one more shot at the silver screen. The news that he will be returning at all came as a surprise to many, with the actor reportedly having been in conversation to join The Flash for several months, with the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice star even providing some changes to the script before signing on.
"According to an insider with knowledge of the project, conversations with Affleck started in the last couple of months to pique his interest in joining The Flash. Before committing, Affleck had notes on the script which were addressed in the draft given to him last week, and he finally agreed to join the project in the last couple of days."
Affleck's Batman will join a growing list of batmen, including Michael Keaton's Caped Crusader, with the latter's involvement also being confirmed yesterday. The Flash movie is said to be based on the comic arc The Flashpoint Paradox, which saw the fastest man alive travel back in time in order to save his mother. However, things go wrong, as time travel shenanigans so often do, with the Flash emerging in a bleaker universe in which the Amazons and Atlanteans are at war.
This alternate version of the DC universe finds Bruce Wayne dead, killed at the hands of the same criminal who murders his parents in the original timeline. This leads to Thomas Wayne taking up the mantle of Batman, and applying his own, much more violent tactics. Flash's time-meddling will likely lead to Keaton's involvement, with Affleck's Bruce Wayne potentially only included at the beginning and end of the movie.
For fans of Affleck's Batman, this will not be the only time that we revisit his version of the character, with the upcoming Snyder Cut also set to give audiences a lot of new material when it's released onto HBO Max next year. The theatrical version of 2017's Justice League begins with the villainous Steppenwolf and his Parademons setting out to take over the Earth. However, Batman seeks the help of Wonder Woman to assemble and recruit Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman to thwart this powerful new enemy. It is likely that, while The Snyder Cut will follow this general outline, though his vision of the movie will involve a lot of changes, including Superman's iconic black suit.
Before the Justice League's famously problematic production, the plan was to have Affleck helm a solo Batman adventure. Unfortunately, the actor ultimately decided to step away from the role for both personal reasons, and his struggle with making such big blockbuster movies. "You know big blockbusters are cool and they're great. But they're not that fun to make, just on a very practical level, because they're very long, they're very compartmentalized, you're doing one tiny piece at a time," Affleck said back in February. "Often times, you're just feeling like you're moving your foot a quarter of an inch. They're hard to continue to motivate yourself, and find your passion. I stepped away from The Batman movie, because I felt like it should be made by someone whose lifelong passion it was, you know what I mean? And if that wasn't me, then I wasn't the right guy."
Along with the casting announcements, The Flash director Andy Muschietti has also confirmed that the movie will be leaning into the idea of a DC multiverse saying, "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. 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." So, if you wanna get nuts, it sounds like Muschietti is ready to get nuts.
The Flash has had more than its fair share of backstage trouble, with several script rewrites, directorial shifts and production halts. But, with both Affleck and Keaton on board, it finally sounds like the movie is coming together, and should prove to be a very exciting experience for DC fans.
As for the separate adventures of Gotham's shadowy hero, anticipation for director Matt Reeves' The Batman is heating up, with Reeves recently revealing the movie's logo and a stunning piece of artwork by artist Jim Lee depicting Robert Pattinson's Dark Knight. Though there are currently very few specific details regarding the plot of The Batman, Reeves did reveal some time ago that the movie will be a noir-driven story that highlights Bruce Wayne's detective skills, which have rarely been featured in past movies. The Batman will take place around two years into the eponymous protagonist's crime-fighting career, with Reeves' co-writer Mattson Tomlin divulging some information regarding the focal emotional point of the movie saying, "I think that Matt Reeves as a filmmaker, if you look at any of his work, whether or not it's Let Me In or Cloverfield or the Planet of the Apes movies, he's always coming from a point of emotion, it's never the big action thing. It's always, what is this character's soul?"
The Batman is schedule to open in theaters on June 25, 2021, with The Flash due to hit theaters on June 3, 2022. This comes to us from The Wrap.