Ben Affleck’s growing distaste for playing Batman after Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Justice League was one of the worst-kept secrets in show business, to the point where nobody was surprised whatsoever when he was finally able to hand off the role to someone else—Robert Pattinson in director Matt Reeves’ The Batman. After finally taking off the cape and the humorously ill-fitting Bruce Wayne suits that didn’t have room for his massive bat-muscles, Affleck even dished a very small amount of dirt about why he had grown tired of playing the Caped Crusader. Then, with Affleck out, we even heard that Warner Bros. was going to bring back Michael Keaton’s Batman from the 1989 Tim Burton movie as a “Nick Fury-like” character who would mentor future DC heroes—starting with an appearance in the Flash movie, assuming it ever actually gets made.
But now, according to Vanity Fair, Ben Affleck’s Batman will also be in that Flash movie, which is going to deal with some alternate timelines and multiverse madness. (Sorry, did we say multiverse madness? We definitely didn’t mean to reference any other superhero movies.) The movie, directed by Andy Muschietti, is reportedly going to be an adaptation of the Flashpoint storyline in the comics, which was about The Flash accidentally changing history and dealing with the dark repercussions of his behavior. That’s probably how Keaton’s Batman will get involved, but at this point we don’t know if any other Batmen will appear. It seems unlikely, given how much George Clooney regrets the role, Val Klmer’s health problems, and the fact that Kevin Conroy already did this exact thing for The CW’s Crisis On Infinite Earths, but stranger things have happened. You know, like Ben Affleck deciding to play Batman again.
The Vanity Fair story actually digs into why Affleck is coming back and why his Batman in particular is important to this story, with Muschietti noting that both Bruce Wayne and Barry Allen (the Flash, spoiler alert) lost their mothers when they were young, which is “one of the emotional vessels of the movie.” Now we just sit back and wait for the Flash movie to get made someday.