While Ben Affleck had us all convinced that he’d hung up his cape and cowl for good following the release of the marathon that was Zack Snyder’s Justice League, it turns out you can’t keep a good bat down. Apparently not only will Affleck now be returning to the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in next year’s The Flash, it appears he’ll also be suiting up for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
The surprising news was revealed last week via a picture of Affleck decked out in a slick Bruce Wayne-style suit alongside Jason Mamoa (Aquaman) posted on the latter’s Instagram. Accompanying the picture was the caption: “REUNITED bruce and arthur. love u and miss u Ben WB studio tours just explored the backlot alright. busted on set all great things coming AQUAMAN 2.”
It’s unclear as to why Affleck would be returning after previously saying a fairly definitive goodbye to the role, but we speculate it has something to do with a considerable amount of turmoil that’s surrounded The Flash of late. In that film, both Affleck and Michael Keaton are lined up to reprise their incarnations of the Dark Knight in a story introducing multiple universes, but perhaps changing timelines behind the scenes have made it necessary for Keaton’s Batman to be swapped out in favour of Affleck’s for Aquaman 2.
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Part of our surprise at Affleck’s return is fuelled by the rocky relationship he’s had with the role since first appearing in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. At one point Affleck was set to write, direct and star in a solo Batman flick, but he ultimately had to step down, first from directing duties and then from the movie as a whole. That project was then reworked and went on to become The Batman starring Robert Pattinson.
Whatever the reason behind Affleck’s return, it’s a welcome development as his portrayal of ol’ pointy ears has always been a highlight of DC’s otherwise patchy cinematic universe. Even if the films he’s appeared in haven’t been uniformly great, Affleck’s always on point as everyone’s favourite unhinged vigilante.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is currently scheduled to land in cinemas on 17 March 2023 with The Flash following shortly after on June 23. While we wait, check out how we ranked The Best Batman Movies.