Ben Affleck cast as Batman in ‘Man of Steel’ sequel

Ben Affleck has been cast as Batman/Bruce Wayne in Warner Bros.’ “Man of Steel” sequel, the studio announced on Thursday. The “Argo” star joins Henry Cavill in the highly-anticipated Zack Snyder follow-up, which will see Batman and Superman teaming up together on the big-screen for the first time.

“Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry”s Superman,” said Snyder 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.”

The as-yet-untitled project was first announced at last month’s San Diego Comic-Con to waves of excitement from fans, and speculation has been rampant (including here at HitFix) as to which actor might potentially score the Caped Crusader role. Production on the sequel, which will also star returning cast members Amy Adams, Diane Lane and Laurence Fishburne, is set to begin next year. The film is slated for release on July 17, 2015.

“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,” added Warner Bros. president Greg Silverman. “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.”

2013 has been a big year for Affleck; the actor/director’s “Argo” took home three Oscars at this year’s ceremony, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.

“Man of Steel” has grossed more than $650 million worldwide to date.

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