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Warner Bros. has chosen the new Batman, and his name is Ben Affleck. The studio has officially announced that Affleck will join Henry Cavill in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel.

After the failure of Daredevil, it seemed unthinkable that Affleck would ever tackle a major superhero movie again. And yet Warner Bros. not only wanted him to direct Justice League (which, clearly, didn’t happen) but now he will transform into the Dark Knight on the big screen.

Affleck’s involvement in the film was first rumored in February, as word was that Warner Bros. wanted an older actor to play Bruce Wayne in the new series. (Affleck just turned 41 this month.) Its also worth noting that Affleck also played Superman actor George Reeves in the movie Hollywoodland -- that’s the source of the header image.

In the announcement, Snyder said “Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.”

I’m sure there will be a lot of people angry with this casting, but I’m personally excited to see what Affleck will bring to the character — especially if he’s going to play a darker, more flawed and conflicted version Mr. Wayne. I just wish he were directing the film as well.

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Batman’s involvement in the Man of Steel sequel was first announced by Zack Snyder on stage at Comic Con in July. Snyder came on stage and said:

It’s official that we are going to make another Superman movie. And you say, Zack, what is the movie about? But you don’t want me to tell you that. You want to go and see the movie. But I can say that maybe there’s a single element that will be in the film that I could… help you out with. I was thinking about how to do that. I pored through the DC Universe to look for a way to tell this thing. We’re writing the thing now, but I came across a thing I found that’ll help you understand it.

And then Harry Lennix read this line, from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns: “I want you to remember, Clark, in all the years to come, in all your most private moments, I want you to remember your hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you.” That’s Batman speaking to Superman from the end of Miller’s story, and that quote blew the roof off Hall H.

The movie would not be an adaptation of Miller’s story but Snyder explicitly said “we’re not adapting this thing, but it is the thing that will help us tell that story.” The logo showed on screen, pictured above, uses the bat logo design from Miller’s work.

No title has been confirmed but it’s rumored that the movie will be called Batman Vs. Superman.

Snyder is co-writing the story with David S. Goyer, who will then pen the screenplay. Production is expected to begin in 2014, with a scheduled release date of July 17th 2015.

The official press release follows:

BEN AFFLECK REVEALED AS BATMAN
August 22, 2013 at 6:19pm
BEN AFFLECK REVEALED AS BATMAN IN WARNER BROS. PICTURES’ NEW SUPER HERO FEATURE FILM, NOW SLATED TO OPEN JULY 17, 2015

The Oscar®-winning star joins Henry Cavill in the first ever onscreen match-up of DC Comics’ most iconic characters.

BURBANK, CA, August 22, 2013 – Ending weeks of speculation, Ben Affleck has been set to star as Batman, a.k.a. Bruce Wayne. Affleck and filmmaker Zack Snyder will create an entirely new incarnation of the character in Snyder’s as-yet-untitled project—bringing Batman and Superman together for the first time on the big screen and continuing the director’s vision of their universe, which he established in “Man of Steel.” The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The studio has slated the film to open worldwide on July 17, 2015.

Last month’s surprise announcement of the new movie featuring both Superman and Batman created a wave of excitement and immediately fueled discussion and debate—among fans as well as in the media—about who would put on the cape and cowl of Bruce Wayne’s alter ego.

Snyder successfully re-imagined the origin of Clark Kent/Superman in the worldwide blockbuster “Man of Steel,” which has earned more than $650 million worldwide to date, and climbing. The director will now create an original vision of Batman and his world for the film that brings the two DC Comics icons together.

Affleck will star opposite Henry Cavill, who will reprise the role of Superman/Clark Kent. The film will also reunite “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

In the announcement, Silverman stated, “We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular Super Heroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some. His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he and Zack will bring new dimension to the duality of this character.”

Snyder also expressed his excitement about the casting of Affleck, noting, “Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.”

Kroll added, “We are so thrilled that Ben is continuing Warner Bros.’ remarkable legacy with the character of Batman. He is a tremendously gifted actor who will make this role his own in this already much-anticipated pairing of these two beloved heroes.”

Affleck recently starred in the Academy Award®-winning Best Picture “Argo,” which he also directed and produced, earning acclaim and a BAFTA Award nomination for his performance in the film, as well as a number of directing honors. In 2010, he starred in and directed the hit crime thriller “The Town.” His recent acting work also includes “The Company Men,” “State of Play,” and “Hollywoodland,” for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. Earlier in his career, Affleck starred in and co-wrote (with Matt Damon) “Good Will Hunting,” for which he won an Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay.

The new Super Hero film is being scripted by David S. Goyer from a story he co-created with Zack Snyder. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan and Wesley Coller serving as executive producers. Production is expected to begin in 2014.

The film is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, and Batman characters created by Bob Kane, published by DC Entertainment.

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