Major spoilers and speculation ahead.
If you care anything at all about DC Comics' cinematic universe, you've probably already heard the news: Batfleck, aka Batman, aka Batfleck, is in David Ayer's Suicide Squad movie.
It hasn't been announced by DC or Warner Bros., and Affleck isn't part of the official cast list.
But he's in the movie.
Spy photos and videos taken on the streets of Toronto, where Suicide Squad is being filmed, have shown both Batman and the Batmobile engaged in a high-octane chase sequence with Jared Leto's Joker, who's driving around "Gotham" in a hot pink sports car.
So what's going on here? We see two possibilities.
The first and most likely is that what's being filmed is a flashback sequence. Rumor has it that the main target the government sends the Squad after is the Joker.
Apparently he possesses insider knowledge of Batman, who's become something of an urban legend. But after the events of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the government has taken a greater interest in him — Amanda Waller in particular.
A video posted by ERNstagram (@ernievicente) on May 25, 2015 at 10:24pm PDT
Another rumor supports this information by explaining that the reason Harley Quinn is on the Squad, working against her "puddin'" is because not too long ago, Joker murdered Jason Todd, aka the second Robin. As psychotic as she is, killing a teenager just didn't sit well with her. Or, it's possible (likely, even) that she's secretly working against the rest of the Squad, planning to bust Joker out of jail.
A video posted by Arthur B (@kingarthur10111) on May 27, 2015 at 9:41am PDT
So the flashback theory suggests that this Toronto filming might be depicting scenes from the long-running Batman/Joker conflict. It could even be the aftermath of Jason Todd's death, with Batman going all-out to bring Joker to justice.
The second possibility is the more outlandish one, but it's also the more interesting and exciting one.
What if Ben Affleck has a major role in Suicide Squad and DC/WB has managed to keep it a (relative) secret? We know that the plot ultimately comes back to Batman anyway, so it makes sense that he could play a significant part in the story. Obviously Suicide Squad is a story being told from the Squad's point of view, but that doesn't mean Batman has to have a cameo.
We'll concede that this is probably not the case. But just for the sake of argument, let's ponder for a moment...
A photo posted by Erich Lehman (@1975ish) on May 27, 2015 at 7:28am PDT
If the Suicide Squad really is going after Batman, hard, then it begs the question: Why? Or more accurately, Why now? Does Batman do something in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice that the government doesn't like? It's very possible that Batman and Superman, after they have their brawl and then join up to fight a common enemy, that they put out the call to other superheroes in order to form the Justice League.
Perhaps the government doesn't like that. Yet these are superheroes; there's really nothing anyone can do about it. Superman's an untouchable god. Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the rest of the Justice League possess superpowers. But Batman? He's a normal human. He's the only one that Amanda Waller might have an actual chance of getting to.
If any part of this is true, then Suicide Squad is going to function as more of a direct sequel to Batman v. Superman than anybody suspected. Wouldn't that be something...