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Ben Affleck as Batman: Zack Snyder reveals photo of Affleck next to Batmobile

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"Batman vs. Superman" director Zack Snyder has revealed the first photo of Ben Affleck in costume as Batman. On May 13, 2014, Snyder tweeted a black-and-white photo of Affleck standing next to the Batmobile. Synder's accompanying message was: "I shot this with my @Leica_Camera M Monochrom. #Batman #Batmobile #Gotham."

In November 2013, filmmaker/actor Kevin Smith revealed some details about the Batman suit that Ben Affleck will wear in "Batman vs. Superman," the first sequel to 2013's "Man of Steel."

Smith and Affleck have been friends for several years. They have worked together on multiple films, including 1997's "Chasing Amy," 1999's "Dogma" and 2004's "Jersey Girl."

In his Hollywood Babble-On podcast on Nov. 12, 2013, Smith commented: "I saw the Batman costume. More than that I saw a picture of him [Affleck] in the costume ... You have not seen this costume in film before. Because every other movie has done this 'Matrix'/'X-Men' black armor thing. There wasn't a single nipple on this fricking suit. For a comic-book fan it was mind-bending. I'm already a flag waver for this movie, but the costume, it blew my mind."

George Clooney, who played Batman in 1997's critically panned "Batman & Robin," often joked in interviews about the nipples on the Batman suit he had to wear for the movie.

Affleck was controversially cast as Batman in "Batman vs. Superman." The movie was scheduled for release on July 17, 2015, but was postponed to the summer of 2016. (The new release date is to be announced.) According to CNN, Warner Bros. said the delay was to give the "filmmakers time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story."

Warner Bros. Pictures president of international distribution Veronika Kwan Vandenberg commented in January 2014, "We know that there is already great anticipation building for the next super hero film from Zack Snyder, and we are equally eager to see what he has in store for Superman and Batman as they share the big screen for the first time ever."

"Batman vs. Superman" will have many of the same filmmakers (including Snyder) and stars (including Henry Cavill as Superman and Amy Adams as Lois Lane) who were part of the "Man of Steel" team.

When the casting of Affleck as Batman was announced on Aug. 22, 2013, there were immediate and massive protests from movie fans. Many people even signed an online petition to have Affleck removed from the role. (It's a futile cause, since Affleck is not going to be fired from the movie.) There were some fans who were pleased with the decision to cast Affleck as Batman, but they seemed to be outnumbered on the Internet by those who expressed anger and disappointment about Affleck being Batman.

Affleck's wife, Jennifer Garner, spoke out in defense of him being cast as Batman. On Sept. 8, 2013, I caught up with Garner for an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, where Garner was promoting "Dallas Buyers Club."

In the interview, when Garner was asked about the backlash against her husband being cast as Batman, she replied: "Of course, he's a great choice. Believe me, you can't expect anything else [with the backlash]. He's a grown-up. It's this [controversy], then it's something else, then it's the VMAs, then it's something else. That is just what [judgment] you're getting into, but he's going to be fantastic."

I asked Garner how long she had to keep it a secret that her husband had the role of Batman. She smiled and said, "Oh, months! Months and months!"

Garner and Affleck have been married since 2005. They co-starred in the 2003 superhero movie "Daredevil," in which Affleck played Daredevil (also known as Matt Murdock), and Garner played Daredevil's superhero ally/love interest Elektra.

Affleck appeared on NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" to promote his movie "Runner Runner" on Sept. 16, 2013. During the interview, Affleck talked about the backlash over him being cast as Batman: "They said, 'Just don’t use the Internet for a couple of days.' I handle sh*t! I'm tough! I saw the announcement, I look down the thing. 'Ben Affleck is going to be Batman.' The first comment? 'No!'"

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