After months of speculation, it was finally confirmed just in time for last weekend’s DC FanDome event that Ben Affleck would be returning as the DCEU’s Batman, with the 48 year-old signing on to play a major supporting role in The Flash, and he’ll be pivotal to grounding the story as a father figure to Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen before the Scarlet Speedster dives headfirst into the multiverse.
Of course, Affleck isn’t the only actor to be reprising the role of Bruce Wayne in the movie, although his absence pales in comparison to the near-30 years since Michael Keaton last suited up in 1992’s Batman Returns. But even before Ben was officially announced for The Flash, there had been speculation that he could be tempted back into the fold by the opportunity to finally make a standalone Batman adventure, and his impending comeback will now see him set a live-action record for the Caped Crusader.
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You see, The Flash will mark Affleck’s fourth appearance under the cape and cowl, or the fifth if you want to count the Snyder Cut of Justice League as an entirely new movie, making him the actor with the most big screen outings as the Dark Knight. Keaton’s return also shifts him up into joint-second place on the list alongside Christian Bale, but The Flash sees the Armageddon star move firmly out in front.
However, nobody that’s played Batman can come close to matching either Adam West or Kevin Conroy, with the former starring in 120 episodes of the classic TV series and the spinoff movie alongside countless voice cameos over the following decades, while Conroy lent his talents to dozens of animated shows, video games and direct-to-video movies, even though he only got to play Bruce Wayne once in live-action.