Ben Affleck is a superhero once more.
Warner Bros. announced late Thursday that the director and star of the Oscar-winning Argo will play Batman (and his alter ego Bruce Wayne) in the upcoming sequel to this summer’s Man of Steel, to be directed by Zack Snyder. He will star opposite Henry Cavill’s Superman/Clark Kent, as well as Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Lawrence Fishburne (Perry White), and Diane Lane (Martha Kent).
The movie does not yet have an official title, but has been informally referred to as Batman vs. Superman ever since Snyder announced the movie at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con in July. It did, however, land an official release date: July 17, 2015.
While the movie made $179 million worldwide, it was seen as a disappointment. (In a superhero-adjacent outing for Affleck, in the 2006 movie Hollywoodland, he played the actor George Reeves of the ’50s TV series Adventures of Superman. So, yes, technically, Affleck has also played Superman.)
In truth, Affleck suiting up in Batman’s cape and cowl isn’t that big of a surprise. His career resurrection as an acclaimed filmmaker was largely made possible thanks to his cozy relationship with Warner Bros., which produced and released both The Town and Argo. At one point, Affleck was rumored to direct Warner Bros.’ long-in-the-works Justice League movie — a rumor that is likely to be kicked back up again with this news.
Affleck will next star opposite Justin Timberlake in the October financial thriller Runner Runner (he’s the bad guy), and he’s set to take on the lead male role in the highly anticipated adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel Gone Girl, which will likely shoot this fall.
The internet’s verdict was swift — a lot of people were NOT HAPPY about it:
Ben Affleck as #Batman is the worst thing to happen to the franchise since George Clooney’s bat nipples…#WTF
YOU’VE GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME WARNER BROS. BEN AFFLECK AS BATMAN? Just stop. STOP. Stop./ Via
“Hey guys, you know how we have one and a half viable franchises? LET’S FUCK THEM BOTH UP REAL QUICK.” -DC executives #batfleck/ Via
We really need to keep dipping into actors that have already played a hero? Seriously? Its annoying. Let someone else have a turn./ Via
Respect @BenAffleck as a Director but the idea of him as Batman just killed the excitement for the film. @ZackSnyder @wbpictures/ Via
Jesus. I leave Twitter for, like, a minute, and you guys let Ben Affleck get cast as Batman? YOU HAD ONE JOB!/ Via
ÈcBen Affleck as Batman isnâ€™t a bad idea. He was great in DareDevil!Èd - No one./ Via
This is worse than when they picked Ryan Reynolds to play Green Lantern. Ben Affleck, really? #Batman/ Via
I’ve no doubt Affleck will be good as Batman, I’d just be more interested to see him doing anything else./ Via
But some felt differently, and came to Affleck’s defense:
Affleck is the fucking man. At this point I say good for him getting to play Batman. I hope it works out. Snotty little fanboy weiners./ Via
I’m sorry but Ben Affleck as #Batman makes sense to me. I had him in my top 3./ Via
I’m actually OK with Ben Affleck cast as the new Batman… I’m OK with this./ Via
So I really like Ben Affleck…I’m actually pretty pumped. #batman/ Via
I hope Ben Affleck turns out to be the best damned #Batman yet Just to piss off you insufferable #NERDS. Yeah, I said it./ Via
Jennifer X. Williams
I think Ben Affleck will make a pretty good #Batman… #JudgeMe/ Via
WTF! Ben Affleck is Batman?! That’s genius./ Via
Some didn’t know WHAT to think:
Ben Affleck as #Batman? He has bought some credit lately, but he also starred in one of the worst modern superhero movies. #JurysStillOut/ Via
I CAN’T BELIEVE BEN AFFLECK IS PLAYING BATMAN AND I DON’T HAVE A STRONG OPINION ABOUT IT EITHER WAY./ Via
While there is a loooong way to go before the final verdict on Affleck’s casting can be rendered, at least one thing is for certain:
Today I learned Ben Affleck is really divisive #Batman/ Via
UPDATE: It appears Affleck’s biggest booster is Newark, New Jersey, mayor and current U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker:
Senate or not this comic book fan is very excited. Remember what Picaso said “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life” @sdshields/ Via
Sorry I’m pro-Ben RT @tylerkingkade if elected, will you stop Ben Affleck from playing Batman?/ Via
LOL, I’d rather be true to myself & lose than pander 2 Ben-haters & win MT @Frances_Locke Put an end to #BenAffleckAsBatman I’ll vote 4 you/ Via
Ben Affleck is the new Batman (EW)
Ben Affleck is the new Batman (USA Today)
Ben Affleck Cast As Batman In ‘Man Of Steel’ Sequel (CNN)
Ben Affleck As Batman: Hollywood’s Best Reactions (Hollywood Reporter)
Ben Affleck to play Batman in “Man of Steel” sequel (CBS News)
Ben Affleck to Play Batman in Man of Steel Sequel (IGN)
Ben Affleck Cast As Batman In ‘Man Of Steel’ Sequel (Huffington Post)