Holy casting news, Robin! Ben Affleck will take on the role of Batman in the as-yet-unnamed superhero movie coming from Warner Bros. in the summer of 2015.
"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,'" Warner Bros. said in a statement.
At Comic-Con in July, the studio announced that the two superheroes would battle each other in the upcoming film.
"Let’s face it, it’s beyond mythological to have Superman and our new Batman facing off, since they are the greatest superheroes in the world," Snyder said at the time.
Henry Cavill, who played Superman in "Man of Steel," the reboot of that hero's story, will reprise his role in the new film, but speculation about the Batman casting has kept fan websites busy. Affleck, however, seems to have caught many comic-book fans by surprise. Back in July, bookies made Joseph Gordon-Levitt an early favorite to take the part. Affleck's name wasn't even mentioned on a list of 15 possible Batman contenders reported by the London Guardian.
“Ben provides an interesting counterbalance to Henry’s Superman," Snyder said in the studio statement. " 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.”
“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 for creative development and worldwide production. "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.”
Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane, all stars from "Man of Steel," will return for the sequel, the studio said.
Affleck recently starred in, directed and produced "Argo," which won the Academy Award for best picture. He also stars in October's "Runner Runner" with Justin Timberlake. And he's played a superhero before — though his 2003 stint as the blind hero Daredevil earned only mixed reviews.
Not all fans were thrilled with the casting. The Twitter hashtag #BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck began trending Thursday night after the announcement was made. Wisecracking fans suggested Dame Judi Dench, Norman Reedus from "The Walking Dead," and the leg lamp from "A Christmas Story" could all do a better job with the role of the Caped Crusader.