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Ben Affleck may have stepped back from starring in Batman solo films a few years ago, but that hasn't stopped him from appearing as the Caped Crusader in a more limited capacity. We already knew he'd be back for The Flash, and now Aquaman himself has apparently revealed that Affleck will be returning for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
In a post on his Instagram late Thursday, Jason Momoa posted two photos of himself and Affleck sitting together, with Affleck wearing what appears to be the kind of dark suit he usually donned when playing Bruce Wayne in the DC Extended Universe. The caption read:
"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 all my aloha j"
To make it a little clearer what that means, Momoa also posted a video from the Warner Bros. backlot, where a group of fans in a tour trolley had stopped outside a soundstage. Laughing and exclaiming, "Well, it's not a f---ing secret anymore!," Momoa then walked over to a trailer with a door labeled "B.A.," opened the door, and said "Sorry, bro" while briefly revealing Affleck in the same dark suit. The implication is clear: Affleck had secretly turned up for what would seem to be Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom additional photography, and at least a few lucky fans spotted him on his way from the soundstage to his trailer.
That means Affleck's return to the DCEU has been bumped up by at least a few months. We already knew the actor was meant to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne in next year's The Flash, but returning however briefly for the Aquaman sequel means we'll see him pop up again before that, still working as an ally of some kind of Arthur Curry and Barry Allen even if his days of full-on blockbuster crimefighting are behind him.
Affleck made his debut as a new version of The Dark Knight back in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, then returned for Justice League as one of the title team's de facto leaders. He was then set to write, direct, and star in his own Batman solo film, but stepped away from the project in 2019, leaving director Matt Reeves to revamp the idea with Robert Pattinson in the leading role.
Despite his apparent departure, Affleck did agree to return for additional photography on Zack Snyder's Justice League, and will show up as one of at least two Batmen in The Flash, alongside original big-screen Caped Crusader Michael Keaton. Sadly, it seems that despite these cameos, The Flash might be the end of the line for Affleck, as he explained in an interview that the film puts a "nice finish" on his time with a character. Still, he said that before these Aquaman reshoots, so who knows?
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is in theaters March 17, 2023.
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