Ben Affleck might have indicated that he wouldn't be playing Batman or Bruce Wayne again, but now he's set to return to the role for The Flash.
Vanity Fair's Anthony Breznican writes that Batfleck will return in the Ezra Miller-fronted DC film, tentatively scheduled to hit theaters in June 2022. Affleck has reportedly had the script for less than a week and agreed within the last few days to join. The movie will be directed by Andy Muschietti, the filmmaker behind It and It Chapter Two, and promises to see Miller's Flash cross over into parallel dimensions.
"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,” Muschietti told Vanity Fair of Affleck's Batman. “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.”
Teasing what Affleck's appearance will entail, he called his depiction of Batman "a very substantial part of the emotional impact of the movie." He added, "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."
It is expected that more characters from the DC Universe will show up in some capacity, including different versions of the heroes and villains. Michael Keaton, who starred in two Tim Burton-directed Batman movies in 1989 and '91, has also been tapped to appear in The Flash. Muschietti has indicated that Keaton's involvement will be "substantial."
Affleck first made his debut as the Caped Crusader in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but he supposedly retired from the role after 2017's Justice League. He was at one point attached to star and direct The Batman, but the project has since been extensively retooled to star Robert Pattinson in the titular role with Matt Reeves directing. Affleck officially announced he wouldn't play Batman anymore in 2019, simply telling fans, "I guess, uh, I'm not Batman."