By Julie Catherine
Ben Affleck returns as Batman (again). Aquaman himself Jason Momoa recently confirmed on Instagram that Affleck will reprise his role as Bruce Wayne / Batman in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
After asking for a “graceful exit” from the role during the press tour for 2017’s Justice League, more Batfleck appearances seemed virtually impossible. This was compounded by Robert Pattinson’s casting as the Caped Crusader for a new, separate series of films helmed by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves.
Nonetheless, Batfleck somehow persevered. Affleck was cast alongside Michael Keaton in The Flash, together playing two multiversal versions of the character. Affleck returned to the fold yet again in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the fabled product of the #ReleasetheSnyderCut movement. Affleck filmed two new scenes as Batman for Snyder’s true cut of the film, and the epic 4 hour adventure featured Affleck as Batman in various scenes not previously seen.
Rumors circulated that The Flash would serve as the “graceful exit” from the role Affleck has long desired. The Flash will dive head first into the multiverse, featuring different iterations of Barry Allen and Bruce Wayne. With the casting of Michael Keaton, who will also play Batman in Batgirl, some have speculated Keaton would take over the cape and cowl from Affleck, using the events of The Flash to explain the multiversal swap. However, news of Affleck’s casting in the Aquaman sequel casts doubt on this.
At this point, the seemingly impossible seems more probable than ever – are we in store for a full-fledged return of Ben Affleck as Batman in the DCEU? Matt Reeves’ The Batman was released to critical acclaim and box office success, but is also so isolated that it’s conceivable DC is fine with having two big-screen Batmen concurrently.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is in theaters March 17, 2023.