Huge news for superhero fans in Fresno today as academy award nominated actor and filmmaker Ben Affleck has officially been cast as Batman in the upcoming sequel to this summer's blockbuster film Man of Steel.
As reported by such sources as SuperHeroHype.Com, this announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures. The film is currently slated the film to open worldwide on July 17, 2015.
Ever since the Batman and Superman's meeting was confirmed at this year's Comic-Con, fans have been speculating endlessly about the film and it's possible story line, as well as, of course, what actor would take on the daunting task of putting on the cape and cowl and picking up where Christian Bale left off. Well, we now have our answer.
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 as Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, and Diane Lane as Martha Kent.
Silverman stated in the announcement, "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."
Kroll added to Silverman's comments by saying, "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."
Zach Snyder, director of both Man of Steel and the upcoming sequel, also expressed his excitement about the casting: "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 himself, of course, needs no introduction. He recently starred and directed the Academy Award-winning Best Picture Argo, , earning acclaim and a BAFTA Award nomination for his performance in the film, as well as a number of directing honors. He has also gained immense fame in the Hollywood circle for his roles in films such as Good Will Hunting, Shakespeare in Love, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Armageddon, Dogma, Pearl Harbor, Reindeer Games, Jersey Girl, Smokin' Aces, and The Town.
Incidentally, this marks the second time Affleck has been cast as a major comic book superhero, having played the title role in Daredevil to mixed critical and fans reception. He has also, ironically, appeared in a Superman-related film before in Hollywoodland, in which he played struggling actor George Reeves, who is best remembered for playing the Man of Steel in the classic 50s television series.
It remains to be seen how well Affleck will be able to fill Bruce Wayne's shoes or how well the chemistry will work between him and Henry Cavill. However, one thing that is certain is that this news will be a major discussion point in fan circles and forums for some time, with production expected to begin in 2014.
The currently untitled Man of Steel sequel will mark the first time Warner Bros. has paired both of DC's two most famous heroes on screen together, and is expected to serve as a building block to get us to an eventual DC Cinematic Universe and a Justice League of America film, similar to Marvel and Disney's success with The Avengers and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What do you all think about this news? Is Affleck truly the right man to carry on the legacy of the Dark Knight? Please leave a comment below.