Last year, Ben Affleck made a departure from the DCEU, ultimately leaving the Batman role behind. Since then, the Caped Crusader's future in the franchise became wide open, presenting a lot of possibilities for the character moving forward.
A new Dark Knight in the form of Robert Pattinson's The Batman will take center stage next year, embracing a whole new wave of stories and characters. Not only that, Batman and Batman: Returns actor Michael Keaton has officially been confirmed to be part of Ezra Miller's The Flash, but information about how it will all play out is being kept under wraps.
However, the shocking news of Affleck returning to the DCEU to don the cape and cowl made headlines earlier, but it still remains to be seen if this will indeed be the final time that the actor will reprise the role. Now, a new rumor suggests that there might still be plans for Affleck to return to Gotham down the line.
Forbes' Mark Hughes has shared an interesting tidbit about Affleck's return to the DCEU. Hughes suggest that "plenty of folks at HBO Max" is keen on having a "Batman mini-series or film project with Affleck:"
Let me make a full mea culpa on disbelieving the earlier rumors, and for doubting the chances of Affleck’s return once Keaton was involved. Two great Batmen in one movie? Didn’t seem possible. But here we are, and now the rumors of a possible Affleck HBO Max series are more believable too — not just more so, but I hear new rumors today that plenty of folks at HBO Max would like to have a Batman miniseries or film project with Affleck.
Interestingly, The Wrap's insider Umberto Gonzalez revealed a contradicting statement to Hughes' claim by pointing out that "there will be no other films with Affleck's Batman or an HBO Max show" that will happen sometime soon. Gonzalez also shared that Matt Reeves' The Batman "will not be affected:"
There will be no other films with Affleck’s Batman or an HBO MAX show as has been rumored online amongst fanboy outlets. Matt Reeves upcoming “The Batman” will not be affected and Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne is still viewed as the future of the franchise.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Before anything else, it is important to note that fans should take this with a grain of salt. On the surface, the idea of Affleck's Batman starring in a HBO Max mini-series or a feature film will definitely entice fans, but the chances of it happening could depend on the actor himself. As reported earlier, Affleck only returned due to The Flash's compelling script. If an HBO Max series or film will happen in the future, a good script should be in the cards in order to convince the actor to return.
Gonzalez' comments make sense since Pattinson's Dark Knight is primed to take over the DCEU moving forward. However, there is one caveat. The looming presence of the multiverse is still in play, and The Flash has the potential to expand the franchise in more ways than one. If DC is indeed banking towards the multiverse model while shying away from the interconnected narrative that was earlier established, future stories about Affleck's Batman could still move forward.
All things considered, Affleck's return to the DCEU is a welcome sight. Thankfully, The Flash has an exciting panel during DC FanDome, and there's a good chance that more concrete clarification will be provided then.