Ben Affleck will play Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, in director Zack Snyder’s as-yet untitled sequel to “Man of Steel.” The announcement came Thursday from Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution of Warner Bros. Pictures, the studio which distributed both “Man of Steel” and director Christopher Nolan’s hit “Dark Knight” Batman trilogy. 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.
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. Affleck’s name did not surface as one of the prime contenders, and his casting also came as a surprise for a number of reasons, not the least of which is Affleck’s fast-rising status as a major director, after the increasing successes of his first three directorial outings, “Gone Baby Gone,” “The Town” and “Argo.”
Affleck also is one of a very small number of actors to have had major roles, particularly title roles, in both Marvel and DC comic book adaptations. Affleck played Marvel’s Daredevil in the 2003 movie of the same name. Ryan Reynolds played Marvel’s Deadpool in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” and if you’re keeping accurate score, James Marsden played Cyclops in “X-Men,” “X2” and “X-Men: The Last Stand,” as well as playing editor Perry White’s nephew Richard, an original character, in Bryan Singer’s 2006 “Superman Returns.”
Affleck also briefly donned the Superman tights in the movie “Hollywoodland,” a fictionalized account of the life and death of actor George Reeves, who played Clark Kent/Superman on TV’s “The Adventures of Superman” in the fifties.
“Man of Steel” has grossed over $650 million worldwide to date. The sequel is being scripted by David S. Goyer from a story he co-created with Zack Snyder. The studio has slated the film to open worldwide on July 17, 2015.