While Ben Affleck's last few movies—Suicide Squad, The Accountant and more—were being released, he was quietly going through what would turn out to be the biggest change in his personal life to date. His legions of fans were hardly the wiser about all the ways in which his private world was evolving while they were watching him take his turn as Batman.
And now, after a very long year that has seen the actor finalize his divorce from Jennifer Garner and go public with his new relationship with SNL producer Lindsay Shookus, he'll also be returning to that iconic role in November's Justice League.
The movie is hitting theaters after a long public period for the world of DC Comics. The somewhat lukewarm responses from critics in reaction to both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad are no secret—it didn't stop either flick from raking it in at the box office, but it's something that has to be on the hearts and minds of everyone involved with the next installment.
The sequel picks up right where the original movie left off: Superman is dead (at least for now) and the fate of the citizens of Metropolis and Gotham City is so dire that its protectors have called in all sorts of reinforcement, from The Flash to Aquaman and everyone in between. The result is basically their answer to The Avengers.
Justice League's plot has been kept tightly under wraps, but we do know that Affleck's Batman is down in the dumps after being inadvertently party to the demise of Clark Kent and is looking for a way to honor him. By all accounts, that means teaming up with Wonder Woman (a.k.a. Gal Gadot) to, well, do what all superheros try to do: Save humanity.
There have been rumors aplenty about the movie, from the extensive reshoots that were done to whether the stepping down of director Zack Snyderin the wake of a family tragedy is going to affect the final product. And of course, the gossip mill was churning about Affleck himself, too.
Many fans and industry insiders had been speculating about whether the actor would continue with the franchise, and there were reports that Warner Brothers was planning to phase Batman out of the ensuing movies. Those were put to rest fiercely by Affleck himself at Comic Con, as he told the audience that he was fully committed to sticking with the occasionally troubled movies.
"Let me be very clear," he told the fans in Hall H. "I am the luckiest guy in the world. Batman is the coolest f--king part in any universe it's just incredible. I am so thrilled to do it. It's f--king amazing and I still can't believe it after two films."
It's clear that as one decade-long chapter of his life closes, he's not interested to doing the same anywhere else. There will be renewed scrutiny towards the actor as he embarks on what is surely going to be a very long and very intense press tour later this fall, which could be why he chose to go public with his relationship when he did.
Fans will have to wait until November 17 to get all the Batman-related answers they've been looking for, but we can all rest easy knowing that it's in Affleck's good hands. Oh, and let's not forget about Gal Gadot. Given the success of Wonder Woman and the fact that she's set to be a huge part of this next installment, we have several things to look forward to.