Giving Batfleck a hero’s death makes little sense from a purely narrative standpoint, sources close to Geekosity suggest. As befitting as it sounds for a Zack Snyder creation fans have come to love and respect, granting the character a Tony Stark sendoff would only make The Flash less about speedsters and time travel, and more about the real hero behind the scenes, willing to make difficult choices to secure the win for the good guys. As Geekosity editor-in-chief Edwin Francisco and owner Mikey Sutton recalls insiders saying: “Killing off Ben Affleck in The Flash takes the focus away from Ezra Miller and Michael Keaton’s Batman. This isn’t Endgame. It’s not Affleck’s story. His death would need to be the heart of the movie.”
The crossover story arc Ezra Miller’s solo superhero debut is based on Flashpoint by Geoff Johns and Andy Kuber and is about the rise and fall of Barry Allen — a redemptive tale about making meaningful sacrifices meant to elevate the Silver Age Scarlet Speedster to a standing beyond even Superman. Here’s a guy who uses his powers to save those he loves dearest, suddenly forced to choose between personal indulgence and social responsibility in his quest to safeguard the multiverse and become the hero he was destined to sink his soles into from the start. And in this temporal cornucopia of character development, Ben Affleck’s Batman plays second fiddle to the more pressing demands of Allen finally becoming The Flash.
Thomas Wayne’s alternate-reality Batman plays a pivotal role in supporting Allen and eliminating his last remaining obstacles, but the comic book still revolves around the Crimson Comet’s choices and his learning to come to terms with being the only one capable of righting the timeline and keeping the multiverse from imploding. Andy Muschietti’s The Flash isn’t Ben Affleck’s rodeo either; it’s Miller’s movie, plain and simple, and to honor Barry Allen and recognize him as his own hero, his choices must remain at the forefront of the story.
Though Ben Affleck’s Batman deserves a swan song worth bawling over decades later, his arc had already concluded and his star continues to gleam brighter than a morning sun. Turning him into the film’s sacrificial lamb would only eclipse Barry Allen’s character trajectory to the point of erasing his significance completely. In Avengers: Endgame, though it served as an ensemble feature, it was Iron Man’s victory at the end of the day, having had to risk his life and lose the battle to win the war. Elevating Batfleck to the same level would make him the central hero of The Flash, which shouldn’t be the case.
Using this very logic, Geekosity purports Batfleck will not perish during the events of Ezra Miller’s solo movie and will either live on in a different universe and simply forgotten, or remain the only working Batman in the new, rebooted Prime DCEU. Some insiders claim Michael Keaton will not be wearing the cowl for most of The Flash and after, which leaves Ben Affleck with the opportunity to continue being the big, bad Bat in action.
Geekosity’s sources also believe killing off Batfleck in The Flash would only contradict the studio’s new vision for the DC Extended Universe going forward and in turn, enrage Zack Snyder’s outspoken fans. WarnerMedia, the parent company behind Warner Bros., HBO, and DC Films, is merging with Discovery mid-2022 and word goes, executives at Discovery want the Snyderverse reinstated and are willing to do whatever it takes to keep Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and the rest of Snyder’s original cast from losing their place in the Prime timeline. The top guys reportedly acknowledge the lingering success of the Snyder cut and reckon it a sign to keep the Army of the Dead director close, and are generally unwilling to shed ties.
A tricky consideration given Warner Bros. in its current iteration has already green-lit the post-Flashpoint era and canceled the great majority of Snyder’s pending features. His vision for the DC Extended Universe (including Ben Affleck’s) has been thrown out the window, replaced by a more accessible and pleasant exterior, and his ideas have ceased being relevant. It’s a comprehensive divorce and the studio is moving on. The continued existence of The Flash (and its upcoming trilogy) more than testifies to that.
Rebooting the DCEU only to revert to its original state, and perhaps back again, would only muddle DC Films’ franchise further and alienate a sizeable chunk of its audience — the ones hoping to start over and see a wildly different take on their favorite superheroes. Still, Geekosity insists The Flash is only a temporary setback and future versions of the Justice League will still be played by Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, and co. — just with more studio backing and sufficient funding. A second source had this to say about losing the Snyderverse: “It would create the worst PR backlash in DC Films’ history after the success of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.”
Unfortunately, everything is speculation until the film opens next year. The Flash stars Ezra Miller as Barry Allen, Ben Affleck as Snyder Batman, and Michael Keaton as Burton Batman. It hits theaters on November 4, 2022.