(NEW YORK) — Oscar-winner Ben Affleck has been cast as Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman in the sequel to Man of Steel, Warner Brothers has confirmed to ABC News.
Affleck, who recently won a Best Picture Oscar for producing Argo, which he directed and starred in, will join Henry Cavill as Superman in the next installment of the Superman franchise. The yet-to-be officially titled film — so far referred to as Superman Vs. Batman — will be directed by Zack Snyder, who called the shots on Man of Steel, Watchmen, and Sucker Punch.
“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.”
The film will bring Batman and Superman together for the first time on the big screen, and will also bring back Man of Steel stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.
The announcement of Affleck in one of the lead roles followed weeks of speculation about who would play Batman in the hotly anticipated film. After Christian Bale, who starred in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, nixed the idea of returning to the role, a number of actors were rumored to be on board the project, including Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Michael Fassbender.
The announcement was made Thursday by Warner Bros. Pictures representatives Greg Silverman and Sue Kroll.
“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, president of creative development at Warner Bros., said in a statement. “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.”
Man of Steel has grossed more than $289 million in the U.S. alone, according to Box Office Mojo, and $650 million worldwide.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Brett Crandall, BYU-Idaho Communications
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Brandon Griggs, CNN