DC fans are still reeling from the big announcement we got this week that Ben Affleck will be returning as Batman for The Flash movie. We thought we’d seen the last of Batfleck, what with the actor having officially hung up his cape last year and Robert Pattinson being cast in The Batman. But now we know he’s coming back for a supporting role in the Scarlet Speedster’s solo film, starring Ezra Miller.
The news was revealed in a Vanity Fair interview with director Andy Muschietti and producer Barbara Muschietti. The latter explained that Affleck’s shock return is related to the much-publicized better place that he’s in with his private life these days. While he was known to be going through some things during his previous tenure with the role, he’s now in “a very different time in his life,” according to Muschietti, and so was “very open” to the concept of being Batman again.
“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 explained. “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 continued. “Right now he’s in a place where he can actually enjoy being Batman… It’s a pivotal role, but at the same time it’s a fun part.”
Elsewhere in the same interview, Andy Muschietti gave an interesting take on why Affleck makes such a compelling Bruce Wayne, believing that it comes from the contrast of his physicality and the vulnerability he brings to the character.
“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,” the director said. “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.”
Affleck is said to have a “substantial” role in The Flash, acting as something of a mentor to Barry Allen. In particular, the pair will bond over the fact they both lost their mothers at a young age. As fans will know, the movie will be taking inspiration from Flashpoint, so clearly Barry’s conversations with Bruce will lead him to go back and change the past, creating the alternate Flashpoint timeline.
We don’t know exactly when it’s due to start production, but The Flash is set to sprint into cinemas on June 3rd, 2022.