Ahead of this weekend's mass celebration of all things Detective Comics, Warner Bros. dropped a massive bomb on fans for DC FanDome with the reveal that Ben Affleck would reprise his role as Batman for The Flash. Director Andy Muschietti confirmed the news in an interview, explaining that both Affleck's version of the Caped Crusader AND Michael Keaton's original portrayal are vital to the upcoming storyline. In fact, it looks like Affleck's version of the character that last appeared in Justice League — alongside Ezra Miller's Flash — is the perfect catalyst for Keaton's return as Batman.
Muschietti revealed in an interview with Vanity Fair, where the news of Affleck and Keaton's returns were confirmed, that Affleck's version will serve as "the original Batman" due to Barry Allen's experience in Justice League. The filmmaker explained that it wouldn't make sense for Miller's version of The Flash to work with another Batman in the beginning.
"He's the baseline," said Muschietti. "He's part of that unaltered state before we jump into Barry's adventure. There's a familiarity there."
The filmmaker confirmed that all previous on-screen interpretations of the DC Universe are on the table as the Flash explores the multiverse and how his actions have ramifications that affect everything across the board.
"This movie is a bit of a hinge in the sense that it 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."
There were questions about Affleck's possible return as Batman, especially when it came during a tumultuous time in the actor's life in the midst of a very rocky production with two different directors on Justice League. But producer Barbara Muschietti confirmed that they collaborated with Affleck before he agreed to return.
"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," Barbara Muschietti said. "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."
She added, "We are all human and go through great times in our lives and terrible times in our lives. Right now he's in a place where he can actually enjoy being Batman." Barbara said that Affleck won't be carrying the movie so that his role will be pivotal, but fun.
The Flash is currently scheduled to premiere in theaters on June 2, 2022.