Ben Affleck To Play Batman in 'Man of Steel' Sequel; Opens July 17th 2015

It may seem like a lifetime ago, back when Ben Affleck was just another heartthrob actor and long before he became one of today's top directors, but he starred in one of the early new wave superhero films. He played Daredevil in Marvel's film based on the blind hero. It didn't exactly work wonders for his career, and didn't inspire any sequels like most films in the genre do, and for the most part it seemed that Affleck was done with playing guys in spandex. Turns out that's not the case, and he's jumping ship to Warner Bros. to play Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel.

According to a Warner Bros. press release, Affleck will star alongside the returning Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, and Diane Lane, with the film now confirmed to open on July 17th 2015. That puts it after The Avengers: Age of Ultron in the crowded summer season, but before the likes of Marvel's Ant-Man which arrives later. Of note in the release is this line: "The director will now create an original vision of Batman and his world for the film that brings the two DC Comics icons together.". Zack Snyder would also affirm previous rumors that this Batman will be an older version of the character...

Snyder: “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.”

Affleck has had a close-knit relationship with Warner Bros. for some time, as they've been the home of his last two directorial projects, as well as his upcoming ones, including an adaptation of Dennis Lehane's Live By Night. He was courted openly for the job of directing their brewing Justice League film but had turned it out, but it looks like he may be involved with in a totally different capacity. Or perhaps not? There's no comment on how many films Affleck is signed on for, and it's hard to believe that they've got him locked in for multiple Batman projects, whether that be Justice League or a solo spinoff. Live By Night was due to begin filming next year, right around the same time as Man of Steel 2, but since it's also a WB production they may have figured out a way shuffle things around. It's clear that they are willing to do pretty much anything to keep Affleck under their umbrella. Ironically, Affleck played the George Reeves Superman in the underrated drama, Hollywoodland.

So there we have it. Superman vs. Batman, Cavill vs. Affleck. What do you think?