Ben Affleck has two Oscars; now he’s getting a cape. Hot off a Best Picture win for his period thriller Argo, Affleck is stepping back in front of the camera to play Batman in Warner Bros‘ untitled sequel to Man Of Steel, which will bring the crimefighter together with Superman in a feature for the first time. The casting further solidifies Affleck’s relationship with Warners, which released Argo and is behind his next directorial effort Live By Night. Affleck’s July casting in David Fincher’s Gone Girl for Fox meant that Warners was allowing him to push back Live By Night, which he also stars in and is continuing to prep. The actor-filmmaker had been tight with Jeff Robinov, who left his post as Warner Brothers Pictures Group President in June after Kevin Tsujihara got the studio’s top job. When rumors of Robinov’s departure first surfaced, Affleck told Deadline’s Nikki Finke: “On the record, I don’t know what I would do if Jeff weren’t there. I don’t know from my view anyone else there who knows how to make movies. I would like to support him.”
Man Of Steel director Zack Snyder is expected to reimagine the Batman character, whose pairing with Superman he announced at Comic-Con last month. Snyder said he won’t be drawing from the Dark Knight series. “I’ve pored through the DC universe for a way to tell this thing,” he said. 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. David S. Goyer, who scripted the first film and worked on the Dark Knight trilogy, will pen the sequel. Warner Bros has set the film to open worldwide on July 17, 2015.“Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman,” Snyder said in a statement. “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.”
It won’t be Affleck’s first time playing a superhero: He was the blind crimefighter in Daredevil a decade ago. He’ll don the Batsuit in the wakes of Michael Keaton (Batman, Batman Returns), Val Kilmer (Batman Forever), George Clooney (Batman & Robin) and Christian Bale (the Dark Knight trilogy). Affleck next stars in Brad Furman’s thriller Runner Runner.
In the announcement, Silverman stated, “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,” Greg Silverman, Warner Bros’ President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production, said in announcing the project. “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.”