Ever since the announcement of a Batman vs Superman film at Comic-Con, many a point-eared hat has been thrown into the ring as to who would get to wear the cape and cowl in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel. There have been plenty of rumoured choices, and last week an unconfirmed list popped up that also featured a certain actor who was the bomb in Phantoms, yo: Ben Affleck.
At the time, I outright dismissed Affleck, based on the fact that WB has been offering him just about every single superhero gig over the last couple years, with him always responding that he’s not interested in comic book movies. I thought that if they actually did offer it to him (which I highly doubted), it would be par for the course again. Shows what I know.
In the early hours of this morning, Warner Bros. issued a press release that officially confirms that Ben Affleck has been picked to go bat-toe to super-toe with Henry Cavill in the Man of Steel sequel. Cue internet losing their minds. The recently turned 41-year old Batfleck – as he has already been lovingly dubbed – certainly fits the rumoured description that was passed around a while back of WB looking for an older, more mature Batman who has been around the block a few times.
Affleck certainly fits with that, seeing as how this is technically his second go-around in the world of comic books – third, if you count his portrayal of original Superman actor George Reeves in Hollywoodland – as he also played another leather bound vigilante who swoops down from gothic buildings to beat thugs up at night in Daredevil. Having finally watched the much darker and mature director’s cut of that film – which is superior in ever way to the theatrical release – earlier in the year, I can comfortably say that I actually don’t have a problem with Affleck getting the nod. He’s proven his talent in front and behind the camera (WB even offered him the directing reins on Justice League at one point), and while still not my first choice (Yo, Josh Brolin! I got your back, man!) I have zero doubt that he will be able to pull off both the effortless swagger of Bruce Wayne and the gruff, air of mystery of Batman.
Snyder clearly agrees with me, and here’s what he had to say about Affleck landing the gig:
“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.”
Now if you recall, way back in February, before we even knew there would be a Batman vs Superman, Affleck was already rumoured to be the one wearing the mask. Could this casting decision have been in development since then already? We know that WB has had the BatmanVsSupermanMovie.com domain registered since before they went into production on Man of Steel, so they are planning things way in advance.
Whenever the decision was made to cast Affleck, we now finally know exactly when he’ll be making his Dark Knight debut – which will be “an entirely new incarnation” by the way – as the press release also confirms the film’s release date of July 17, 2015 (That’s two months after Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron and just a week after Pirates of the Caribbean 5, for those of you keeping track of 2015’s utterly ridiculous film release landscape).
Here’s the full press release for the casting announcement:
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.
Last Updated: August 23, 2013