Ben Affleck is Batman. The news broke Thursday night as Warner Bros. officially announced the Academy Award winner for Best Picture Argo director would don the cape and cowl in the sequel to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel.
The news seemingly came out of nowhere and beat the usual troupe of online scoopers and the agents and other industry contacts they rely on for inside information. It was assumed Warner Bros. would have to make a Batman announcement within the next couple months, but not on a random Thursday night in mid-August.
Warner’s timing could have been intentional for two reasons. First, Marvel movie news had been flowing fast and furiously over the past couple of months with Bradley Cooper in discussions with Marvel to voice Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as Elizabeth Olsen talking to Marvel and Joss Whedon about the role of Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
With Warner and DC’s big Batman announcement, they have stolen Marvel’s thunder and instantly dominated the headlines and social media.
Warner Bros. is thrilled with Snyder’s choice and has nothing but praise for Affleck, not surprisingly considering his work on Argo. “We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular superheroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some,” said Greg Silverman, Warner Bros.’ president of creative development and worldwide production in a statement from the studio. “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.”
Zack Synder has this to say about Affleck, “Ben provides an interesting counterbalance to Henry’s (Cavill) 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.”
The Internet wasn’t too thrilled with the announcement as there was still a sliver of hope that Christian Bale would reprise the role and connect Christopher Nolan’s universe to Zack Snyder’s. That’s now completely off the table, and fans erupted on Twitter in protest as memories of Affleck in Daredevil rushed to the forefront of everyone’s mind. Some even likened the casting to that of George Clooney in the role, a role that Clooney himself uses to his day as a reminder to never chase cash.
Affleck’s clout all but guarantees there’s a Man of Steel 2 script in place and he’s read it before accepting the part. Before you trash the casting or film that will pit Batman against Superman, keep in mind it won’t be ready to see for nearly two years on the now confirmed July 17, 2015 release date. In addition to starring Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman, the sequel will see Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane return from Man of Steel.