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How Affleck's Movie Would've Been Different From Pattinson's The Batman

How was Ben Affleck's unmade Batman movie different from Matt Reeves' upcoming The Batman? Between the release of Zack Snyder's Justice League earlier this year along with Ben Affleck's return as the Caped Crusader in The Flash (which, through the film's Multiverse-exploring plot, will also feature Michael Keaton's Batman), interest has been rekindled in what Affleck had planned for the film, which runs parallel to the larger ongoing #RestoreTheSnyderVerse campaign. Though Warner Bros. has asserted that they won't be moving forward with Snyder's unmade Justice League sequels, the SnyderVerse push remains as loud and intense as it was for the Snyder Cut. With Affleck's Batman movie having been a part of the SnyderVerse, it's not surprising that interest in it has been significantly revived.

That's not to say that Matt Reeves' The Batman is getting overlooked. Since the movie's trailer debuted at 2020's DC FanDome, anticipation has been high for what Reeves has in store for his younger and more new-to-the-job take on Batman. Though Robert Pattinson's casting has seen its share of skepticism among fans, Affleck himself was on the receiving end of a similar backlash before his debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Reeves and Pattinson are clearly going for a very different Dark Knight from that of Snyder and Affleck, and the reaction to The Batman's trailer demonstrates that its anticipation is very high.

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Still, after Affleck left the role, there was always going to be interest in his Batman movie as one of the big "What if's..." of superhero movies. It's natural that curiosity would percolate when he returned for The Flash and once the Snyder Cut (for which Affleck filmed a handful of new scenes) was released. Here's what we know about Ben Affleck's unmade Batman film, and how it was different from The Batman as it exists now.

After rumors of Affleck's DCEU departure emerged in early 2017, it was over two years before he would officially hang up the cowl in 2019. That was also a year where the DCEU entered a real state of flux when Robert Pattinson was announced for The Batman along with the dam finally breaking on the Snyder Cut on the two-year anniversary of Justice League's theatrical release. In that time and since then, a lot has changed in the state of DC cinematically, with Affleck boarding The Flash and everything under the DC roof becoming a Multiverse. What also became definitive was that Robert Pattinson's Batman was now a different Caped Crusader entirely from Affleck's.

The Batman has been positioned at every turn as centering on a still relatively inexperienced Dark Knight, with a suit that's still a work in progress and a Batmobile that's more or less a car with subtle bat features. Jeffrey Wright's casting as Commissioner James Gordon also solidified that the movie is not a prequel or origin movie for Affleck's Batman, Wright being the first African-American actor cast in the role, while J.K. Simmons had played Commissioner Gordon in Justice League. While it's been clear for a while The Batman is no longer the movie it was conceived under Affleck, a fair amount has been revealed about what Affleck's story entailed and how it contrasts with the film directed by Reeves.

Affleck's Batman movie was to serve as an interquel between Justice League and Justice League 2. In contrast to the Legion of Doom end credits scene in the theatrical cut of Justice League, the Snyder Cut sees Lex Luthor hire Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke to assassinate Batman, revealing his identity of Bruce Wayne and with Slade describing a "personal" vendetta between the two. Much of the information now known about Affleck's Batman film has come from Deathstroke actor Joe Manganiello, who revealed a considerable amount in the lead-up to the Snyder Cut's HBO Max debut.

Per Manganiello, the story of Affleck's film was akin to a superhero version of the Michael Douglas thriller The Game, with Slade systematically dismantling Bruce Wayne's life and killing those dearest to him. Given the small social circle Affleck's Bruce Wayne was shown to have outside of the Justice League, this makes it likely that Slade would have killed Gordon, Jeremy Irons' Alfred Pennyworth, or both. Manganiello has also said the film would've taken inspiration from the Arkham Asylum games in designing its action scenes, with the movie to have featured Arkham Asylum prominently. Manganiello has also shared details about the unrealized Deathstroke origin movie, and considering that Gareth Evans, director of The Raid movies, was to be in the director's chair, it's not surprising that Affleck would have gone for action scenes of a similar power.

The biggest bomb revealed by Manganiello was the presence of Batgirl in the film, who was to come to Batman's aide against the extremely formidable Deathstroke. With Dick Grayson now known to have been the SnyderVerse's dead Robin - as opposed to Jason Todd - Batgirl appearing as an ally to Batman would have been quite the surprise in Affleck's movie (which even Zack Snyder has expressed interest in seeing happen), and theoretically, may have been related to the hypothetical death of Barbara Gordon's father, Commissioner Gordon. Though other details about Affleck's script remain unknown, aside from the film's role as a bridge between the first and second Justice League movies, it wouldn't be surprising if Jared Leto's Joker or other Batman villains made appearances, too.

RELATED: Why Ben Affleck Is Returning As DCEU Batman In The Flash Movie

With Matt Reeves at the helm and Robert Pattinson under the cowl, audiences are in for a completely different story in The Batman. Reeves' movie is reportedly set during Bruce Wayne's second year as Batman, with the billionaire crime fighter facing something of an existential crisis in contemplating just how effective he's really being as a masked vigilante. The movie will feature The Riddler as its main villain, played by Paul Dano, while Colin Ferrell and John Turturro will also appear as The Penguin and Carmine Falcone. Zoe Kravitz will also appear as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, with the trailer seemingly positioning her as a cat burglar occupying the space between ally and enemy of Batman, not unlike their comic book romance.

While Affleck's Batman movie was The Game in superhero movie form, The Batman under Reeves has been likened by some to Se7enwith The Riddler being a bit of a John Doe-like antagonist. That said, with The Riddler as the main villain, Reeves' film could play as a cat-and-mouse game as Affleck's was meant to, albeit in a different way. Furthermore, judging from the smackdown the Caped Crusader unleashes on a gang member in the trailer, the action scenes of The Batman certainly won't be lacking.

With the push for the SnyderVerse's restoration already having reached the mainstream, Affleck's Batman movie remains one of its major relics, and Joe Manganiello revealing as much as he has about it would heavily imply he'd be onboard if Warner Bros. were to give it the greenlight. With that being said, it would also be contingent on Affleck himself deciding to bring the project back to life after his appearance in The Flash. In any case, with interest in Ben Affleck's unrealized Batman film having reached new heights, a considerable amount is known about what kind of movie it was meant to be, while DC fans will also have the debut of Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne in The Batman to look forward to in 2022.

NEXT: Why Affleck's Restored Batman Movie Wouldn't Ruin Robert Pattinson's Reboot

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