Ben Affleck Is Batman

Ben Affleck

He played Marvel's Man Without Fear in the ill-fated Daredevil movie, and now Ben Affleck will return to superhero duty to assume the role of Batman in Warner Bros.' upcoming Man of Steel sequel.

The untitled project, which is being pitched as a major crossover event, was announced at Comic-Con, in a presentation featuring dialogue from The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller's 1986 graphic novel imagining a future in which an older, embittered Batman comes out of retirement, only to face stiff resistance from the Gotham City police, the U.S. government, and Superman himself.

Given Affleck's relative youth, as well as that of his soon-to-be co-star Henry "Superman" Cavill, it seems unlikely that the Man of Steel sequel will pull too heavily from The Dark Knight Returns, but the studio's presentation definitely made it seem as though the two heroes will have an adversarial relationship in the movie -- and given the characters' long, occasionally bumpy history in the comics, screenwriter David S. Goyer and director Zack Snyder have plenty of material to choose from.

"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," enthused Warners exec Greg Silverman in a press release announcing Affleck's casting. "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."

"Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman," added Snyder. "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."

Affleck's decision to return to a medium that led to one of his career's most infamous duds is somewhat curious, especially in the wake of his Oscar-winning work in Argo, but perhaps now that Hollywood is his oyster, he's itching to conquer the superhero genre again -- for real this time. It's certainly an interesting bit of casting, and we'll be extremely curious to see whether it leads to Affleck playing Batman in future films.

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About Jeff Giles

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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