Let it be heard that on Thursday, August 22, 2013 Ben Affleck, Daredevil himself, was officially announced to portray Bruce Wayne aka Batman in the upcoming, untitled Man of Steel sequel aka Batman vs. Superman. Slated to open July 17, 2015, Affleck will be joining Henry Cavill as the two actors will square off when Batman meets Superman in the ultimate showdown of DC superheroes. You can find the full press release after the jump.
Again, so this monumental news sinks, Ben Affleck is our next Bruce Wayne. The Dark Knight. The Caped Crusader. It may come as a disappointment to many, but think about all the hate and confusion when Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker – and look how well that turned out to be. I’ll admit that I’m very cautiously optimistic about this casting choice. I am also highly curious as to who else Warner Bros. was looking at to fill this role. Either way, the Internet still would have been disappointed.
To his defense, Affleck has done a lot of great work since Gigli and Daredevil. His film, Argo, won the Oscar for Best Picture last year and The Town proved to be a strong film for his career – Affleck both starred and directed each film. I can’t see why we shouldn’t give him the chance to prove himself. The positive thing here is that we won’t have Christian Bale’s ridiculous Batman voice to deal with anymore.
Read the official statement from Warner Bros. below:
BURBANK, CA, August 22, 2013 – Ending weeks of speculation, Ben Affleck has been set to star as Batman, a.k.a. Bruce Wayne. Affleck and filmmaker Zack Snyder will create an entirely new incarnation of the character in Snyder’s as-yet-untitled project—bringing Batman and Superman together for the first time on the big screen and continuing the director’s vision of their universe, which he established in “Man of Steel.” The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
The studio has slated the film to open worldwide on July 17, 2015.
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.
Snyder successfully re-imagined the origin of Clark Kent/Superman in the worldwide blockbuster “Man of Steel,” which has earned more than $650 million worldwide to date, and climbing. The director will now create an original vision of Batman and his world for the film that brings the two DC Comics icons together.
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.
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. 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.”
Snyder also expressed his excitement about the casting of Affleck, noting, “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.”
Kroll added, “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.”
Affleck recently starred in the Academy Award®-winning Best Picture “Argo,” which he also directed and produced, earning acclaim and a BAFTA Award nomination for his performance in the film, as well as a number of directing honors. In 2010, he starred in and directed the hit crime thriller “The Town.” His recent acting work also includes “The Company Men,” “State of Play,” and “Hollywoodland,” for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. Earlier in his career, Affleck starred in and co-wrote (with Matt Damon) “Good Will Hunting,” for which he won an Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay.
The new Super Hero film is being scripted by David S. Goyer from a story he co-created with Zack Snyder. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan and Wesley Coller serving as executive producers. Production is expected to begin in 2014.
The film is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, and Batman characters created by Bob Kane, published by DC Entertainment.
So there you have it. Ben Affleck is our next Batman whether you like it or not. But as I stated above, we have no room to judge until we see the finished product. For all we know, Affleck could astound us all and quiet all the Gigli haters.
One thing’s for sure, it would appear that David S. Goyer and Zack Snyder may completely revamp the Batman saga and start fresh. In the press release it states that Snyder will create “an original vision of Batman and his world.”
There has been a lot of talk as to where this would fit in the Nolanverse of the Batman saga, but it seems clear they have chosen to wipe the slate clean. Quite an interesting choice, but a bold one nonetheless.
The sad part of that is, in the process we lose all of the world building Nolan created since 2005. That means no more appearances from Anne Hathaway as Catwoman; Cillian Murphy won’t make anymore cameos as Dr. Crane aka Scarecrow; and sadly no more Michael Caine as Alfred. Now the speculation will begin as to who the next Alfred will be.
What do you think of Warner Bros. casting call? Was this the right call or who else might have been a better fit to don the cape and cowl?
Zack Snyder’s untitled Man of Steel 2 aka Batman vs. Superman is set to open in theaters July 17, 2015.