Ben Affleck has been picked to play Batman opposite Henry Cavill in the Man of Steel sequel, Warner Bros. announced Thursday.
In a statement, director Zack Snyder 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."
Production is expected to begin next year, with a July 17, 2015, release date. The film will also reunite Man of Steel stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.
Affleck also has a history in the superhero genre. He previously starred as the blind Marvel hero Daredevil in the 2003 film.
Word of the union of two of DC Comics' most iconic heroes, Batman and Superman, first surfaced in July at Comic-Con International in San Diego, with Warner Bros. announcing the project during its panel presentation.
Affleck becomes the eighth actor to play the Caped Crusader. Among the others:
Christian Bale — Batman Begins (2005); The Dark Knight (2008); The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
George Clooney — Batman & Robin (1997)
Val Kilmer — Batman Forever (1995)
Michael Keaton —Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992)
Adam West — Batman the Movie (1966) and the TV series
The first actor to portray "Batman" was Lewis Wilson in 1943. The comic hero had been around for just four years. The second to play the masked hero was Robert Lowery in 1949 in The New Adventures of Batman & Robin.