The Only Actor To Play Both Superman And Batman May Surprise You

Batman and Superman, two of the biggest DC Comics superheroes, were created to inspire readers with their strong sense of justice and morality. Their missions are similar — to protect the ones they love, keep their cities safe, and lead two different lives while doing so.

Superman was created in 1938, and the Caped Crusader a year later. They were the first commercially-popular comic book heroes. For over 80 years, Superman has represented hope, while Batman has conveyed a sense of justice — they're go about it in different ways but stand for the same ideals. Today, there have been multiple adaptations of the two heroes. 

Most recently, Henry Cavill portrayed the Man of Steel, while Christian Bale and Ben Affleck took on the mantle of the Caped Crusader. But only one actor has played them both — and you'll be surprised to know who.

Ben Affleck Played Superman Once

That's right! Batman wasn't the first superhero Ben Affleck portrayed on the silver screen. Before the actor donned a cape and spoke with a gravel voice, Affleck had already embodied two superheroes — Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil/The Man Without Fear and Superman! 

Three years after the actor debuted as Murdock, Affleck played the Man of Steel in Allen Coulter's biographical murder mystery, "Hollywoodland." It was initially called "Truth, Justice, and the American Way," in a nod to the iconic Superman catchphrase.

Here's a synopsis for the film:

When Hollywood superstar George Reeves dies in his home, private detective Louis Simo is hired to investigate his death and gets caught in a web of lies involving a big studio executive's wife.

In the film, Affleck portrayed George Reeves, the actor who originally played Superman in the television series "The Adventures Of Superman." Other cast members include Adrien Brody, starring as private detective Louis Simo who investigates Toni Mannix (Diane Lane), with whom Reeves was in a long romantic relationship. Mannix is also the wife of MGM studio executive Eddie Mannix (played by Bob Hoskins).

The movie explored several theories behind Reeves' mysterious passing — the actor died aged 45 from a gunshot. While his death was ruled out as suicide, many believe he was the victim of an accidental shooting or was murdered.

Affleck wore the Kryptonian's superhero costume while filming "Hollywoodland," pretending to be Reeves as he filmed his own show. Several scenes see the actor donning the classic costume, the bright red cape, the blue suit with the Superman logo embellished on the chest. 

The Focus Features film had to get clearance from Warner Bros. to showcase scenes from the television series because the studio owned its rights. Eventually, all was well, and Affleck's role earned him a Golden Globe nomination, and he also won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival.

Here's a fun fact: Toni Mannix, the love interest of Ben Affleck's character in "Hollywoodland," was portrayed by actress Diane Lane. She now plays Martha Kent (Superman's adoptive mother) in the DC Extended Universe!