While the upcoming DC Comics movie ‘Suicide Squad’ may have lost a Tom Hardy, it may be gaining a Ben Affleck. A new report suggests that Ben Affleck's Batman, will make an appearance in the film, introducing him to the new Joker (Jared Leto) and setting up his future standalone movies.

Possible spoilers ahead...

Recently, we heard rumors that, while he's a main character in ‘Suicide Squad’, Leto's Joker would mostly serve as a Hannibal Lecter type presence. He's incarcerated for the majority of the film, advising members of the team on their mission. It's only later in the film, during a massive prison jailbreak, that the inmates escape, flooding the streets of Gotham. This would directly set up future Batman movies, as now some of his more familiar foes are on the loose. And, Forbes says Batfleck will come face-to-face with the Clown Prince of Crime:

I’ve heard for weeks that Batman will appear in ‘Suicide Squad’, supposedly in an in-story scene, likely at the end of the film and focused on certain circumstances involving the Joker.

Their report claims that the planned 'Batman' solo film would continue to draw inspiration from Frank Miller's ‘The Dark Knight Returns’, specifically the third issue of that four-issue limited series. In that story, the Joker is freed from Arkham and lures Batman into a fatal confrontation (including a showdown at the County Fair). We already know that ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is serving as a major launching point for ‘Batman vs. Superman’, so it makes sense that future Batman movies will follow this storyline, or at least stay in this canon.

Forget if for a second, when this will actually happen, remains to be seen. While we know ‘Suicide Squad’ begins filming this April in Toronto, the Batman solo movie hasn't even been given an official release date by Warner Bros., though it's been rumored for 2019. On the one hand, it's smart to plan ahead, but on the other, four years is a long ways off and a lot can change by then (what if ‘Suicide Squad’ bombs?).

At the very least, it's a smart move by Warner Bros. and director David Ayer to get Batman and Lex Luthor in ‘Suicide Squad’. The film is mostly light on recognizable superhero characters and could use a little extra star power from the ‘Batman vs. Superman’ cast.

'Suicide Squad', which in addition to Leto stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney and  opens in theaters on August 5.

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