We’ve known since last summer that Ben Affleck’s Batman was set to suit up and return in The Flash, but nobody can seem to agree on how big his role in the movie is, or whether or not he’ll survive to the end credits.
Just as many rumors have claimed he’s getting killed off as he is living to fight another day, while reports his contributions were minimal were swiftly followed by tales that the studio ordered his screentime be expanded. A new theory from ScreenRant puts all the pieces together, and comes to the conclusion that Affleck’s Dark Knight is not long for this world.
The Flash will continue Bruce Wayne’s mentorship of Barry Allen that was established in Justice League, but not for long according to the theory. Michael Keaton has been confirmed as the canonical Caped Crusader moving forward, while Robert Pattinson has his own franchise, Affleck has signaled his intentions to retire already and Titans also has its own Bruce Wayne, so there’s at least one too many cooks in the Batman broth.
The future lies with Pattinson, and Keaton can provide the veteran presence who operates in the background, so the theory goes on to say there’s no justifiable reason for all three to co-exist, especially when Affleck’s solo film doesn’t look like it’ll ever happen. The Flash sizzle reel also showed a deserted Wayne Manor with a ruined cowl on the ground, which could indicate that one version meets an early demise in the multiversal narrative.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League additionally capped off his three-film arc in much more fitting fashion, so if there’s no DCEU future for Affleck, then sending him out on his sword in The Flash might be the way to go, when the Keaton teases have made it fairly clear he won’t be hanging up the cape and cowl come November 2022.