He’s previously played a blind do-gooder in the 2003 Marvel/Fox production of Daredevil, but it looks as if Ben Affleck will be switching comic book allegiances and cowl colors to play Bruce Wayne/Batman in the untitled Man of Steel sequel. Henry Cavill will return to lead the film, which brings Superman and Batman together for the first time on screen, and is set to open July 17, 2015. Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane will also reprise their roles. Hit the jump for all the details.
Affleck now has played Matt Murdock/Daredevil as well as George Reeves playing Superman in Hollywoodland (image below). Now he’ll follow in the footsteps of Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney and Christian Bale to don the cape and cowl. A promising quote from the following press release paints this version of Batman as “a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter”. In other words, we likely won’t be seeing another origin story for Bats, thankfully. Another possibility to keep an eye on in the future is that Affleck would likely become folded into the franchise, opening up an opportunity for him to star and direct the eventual Justice League film. Lots of folks will immediately point to his performance in Daredevil and raise an eyebrow at this casting, but it’s been 10 years (and another Oscar win) since that picture. Affleck has weathered criticism in the past and come out the better for it. I, for one, will wait to see his actual performance before making a judgment call one way or the other.
Read the full press release from Warner Bros. below:
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.