Holy Multiverse, Batman! Ben Affleck Returning as Batman in ‘The Flash’ Movie

Warner Bros.

It’s not the last we’ve seen of Batfleck!

That’s right, Ben Affleck will once again don the cowl in a DC film – one that will also be featuring Michael Keaton’s return as the Dark Knight. The long-awaited The Flash movie, which will have Ezra Miller playing the DC speedster in his own film, has officially added Affleck as Batman to its line-up.

In case you’re wondering how it’s possible that we’ll be getting Affleck’s Batman and Keaton’s Batman in the same movie: The Flash will be adapting the character’s pivotal 2011 Flashpoint crossovers in the comics, where Barry Allen seems to be the only one aware of an altered DC Universe timeline – a multiverse plot that includes various timelines and dimensions.

“He’s a very substantial part of the emotional impact of the movie,” The Flash director Andy Muschietti (It, It: Chapter Two) told Vanity Fair, the outlet that broke the news. “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.”

Muschietti also added that Affleck’s return as the Caped Crusader was important for the film, as Ezra Miller’s Flash considers this version of Batman to be “the original Batman.”

“He’s the baseline,” Muschietti said. “He’s part of that unaltered state before we jump into Barry’s adventure.”

As has become clear, in particular with Joker and the upcoming Robert Pattinson-starring The Batman, the DC film universe that’s been unfolding doesn’t have the type of connective narrative thread that, say, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has. And it’s why this multi-verse angle is ultra important as the studio’s ‘get out of jail free’ card when it comes to possible connections between past and future movies.

“[The Flash] presents a story that implies a unified universe where all the cinematic iterations that we’ve seen before are valid,” Muschietti said. “It’s inclusive in the sense that it is saying all that you’ve seen exists, and everything that you will see exists, in the same unified multiverse.”

So, theoretically of course, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker could pop up in Aquaman 2… and can we assume the studio is looking at how to bring back George Clooney, Val Kilmer and Christian Bale as Batmen, too?

The Flash currently has a U.S. release date of June 3rd, 2022.

Image credit: Warner Bros.