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DC Comics news extra: first look at Ben Affleck as Batman for 2016!

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Warner Brother and DC Entertainment naturally have a problem in terms of having their superhero films compete against those either director produced by Disney/Marvel Studios or rival studios using Marvel licenses (such as Sony and Fox). Although the trilogy of films by Chris Nolan cemented Batman's status as lead of the pack, any attempt to bolster any secondary DC superhero film franchise has met with either middling success or flat out bombs. Faced with a modest success in "Man of Steel" from last year, Warner Brothers has moved forward on a sequel as directed by Zack Snyder, but are in a mad dash to use it to link towards their own "universe" of superhero films. To this end, an untitled "Batman vs. Superman" project has been slated as a sequel to "Man of Steel" which was first pitched for summer 2015 before being pushed into 2016 (in which it is slated to compete against "Captain America 3"), and additional superheroes have been added to the film. These include Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and most infamously, Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman.

In order to drum up interest in a film which is still two years away and lacks a title in a news cycle dominated by Marvel, Snyder has taken to posting pictures on Twitter. Yesterday's tease has led to today's story - a first image of Ben Affleck in the new Batman costume designed for the film. As many learned fans can see, it seems to draw inspiration not only from Jim Lee's design of the suit for the 2011 "Justice League" comic, but from Frank Miller's art from the 1986 classic, "The Dark Knight Returns". The very angle of pitting Superman and Batman against each other in a murky setting is lifted right from that work in modern comic. Having directed both "300" and "Watchmen", Snyder is both a fan of grim 1980's comics as well as Frank Miller's work in general.

Expect more leaks and teases in the coming months. When an official title or clear direction will be known is still a mystery not even Batman may be able to solve.

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