Ben Affleck has had some confusing history as Batman over the past few years. This is in large part due to struggles in his personal life. The upcoming film, The Batman starring Robert Pattinson, was originally supposed to be a project Affleck would star in and direct. Letting that go was a big disappointment for the actor, but ultimately seemed to be the best decision for him. After that loss, it was surprising when the star agreed to appear as Batman for The Flash. While fans have been excited about that, they’ve also wondered what this means for the actor’s future in the DC Extended Universe. Now, we’ve exclusively learned from one of our trusted and proven inside sources that after The Flash, we won’t see Ben Affleck as Batman again.
After The Flash, Michael Keaton (who is also in The Flash as Batman) will be Bruce Wayne in anything related to Batman or the Bat Family for DC. The Flash will be the end of Ben Affleck’s career as Batman, as far as DC is concerned. This news came to us from one of the highest-ranking officials in the DC Universe.
We were unable to learn whether the decision to end Ben Affleck’s run as Batman in The Flash was a decision on the actor’s part or the studio’s. Previously, outlets have often approached the question of the star’s future in the DC Extended Universe with the assumption that the decision may be left up to Ben Affleck. It has seemed like they’ve been working with him in the past as he managed his personal struggles with alcohol addiction and his desire to keep playing the role of Bruce Wayne. It would seem fair enough that at this point, the studio and the actor may have decided to wrap up his run as neatly as possible.
Of course, it’s interesting to know that The Flash will be Ben Affleck’s last run as Batman. Since the studio knows this going into the movie and seems so definite about this future, it sounds like something in The Flash‘s storyline could tie this off for his character. For this movie, it naturally leads one to question whether they’ll kill his character off.
Normally, in a comic book movie, we expect that most deaths could mean a character still comes back to life in a future film. At Marvel, one of our biggest exceptions is Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark in Endgame. His character’s end felt final and fitting after such a long run. Even so, fans still campaign for him to return. Giving Ben Affleck’s Batman an ending that will feel appropriate and real to the audience as an endpoint won’t be easy. That being said, The Flash is a story that may be well set up to make that happen.
The Flash is using the Flashpoint storyline from DC comics. In that story, Barry Allen travels through time attempting to change things. We also know that Michael Keaton will be set up as Batman moving forward in the DC Extended Universe. It would seem like we can expect that through time travel, and possibly character deaths, we will be establishing that Michael Keaton’s Batman is now in the universe for the movies going forward, and whatever establishes Keaton’s character may also see the end for Ben Affleck.