In a week with lots of comics-to-movies news, there’s more announcements coming out of Warners/DC ahead of their massive online fan convention ‘Fandome‘ this weekend.
We already knew that Michael Keaton was going to appear in a ‘substantial’ supporting role in The Flash film (currently due for release in July 2022) in which he’ll appear alongside Ezra Miller in the speedster title role. Keaton, of course, played Bruce Wayne / Batman in Tim Burton’s seminal 80s version. We now know, due to a reveal in Vanity Fair magazine – that Ben Affleck has agreed to appear as Bruce/Batman in the same film.
While this might lead to some scratching of heads among the general film-going populace, it does seem that the film will deal with a plot similar to the ‘Flashpoint’ story-arc in the comics which involves the multiverse and the possible rewriting of history. In the same way that we saw multiple versions of Marvel‘s Spider-man in the Oscar-winning Into the Spiderverse and various incarnations of other DC heroes in the recent CW ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths‘ event, we seem likely to find more different incarnations of DC heroes in The Flash story. (In fact, as viewers know, Miller made a sneaky cameo in that tv event as well, which may end up tying into the film).
Director Andy Muschietti (who also helmed the recent IT movies) said that he felt it was important to have Affleck’s version of the character because that’s the one that Ezra Miller has already interacted with and that that relationship was a key part of the movie’s story. Affleck infamously had a troubled time playing the role – he appeared in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League with a cameo in Suicide Squad, though it appears enough time has passed for him to feel better about playing the part in a supporting capacity one more time. Technically, Affleck will also be seen in the Zack Snyder recut of the Justice League film due early next year on HBO Max.
This film and versions of Batman will not impact – or appear connected to – director Matt Reeves’ The Batman film, starring Robert Pattinson, which just restarted filming after halting work in March due to COVID restrictions. It had shot for about seven weeks and has three months left in front of the cameras. That film is still due in October 2021.