LOS ANGELES — Ben Affleck will 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. I can’t wait to work with him.”
Snyder, who directed “Man of Steel,” is set to co-write the story with David S. Goyer, who will pen the screenplay.
Production is expected to begin next year, with a July 17, 2015, release date.
Affleck, of course, has a history in the superhero genre. He previously starred as the blind Marvel hero Daredevil in writer-director Mark Steven Johnson’s 2003 film.
Word of the union of two of DC Comics’ most iconic heroes first surfaced in July at Comic-Con International in San Diego, with Warner Bros. announcing the project during its panel presentation.
During that session, Snyder said that the film will not be adapted from “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.”
“Zack Snyder is an incredibly talented filmmaker, but beyond that, he’s a fan first, and he utterly gets this genre,” Greg Silverman, president of Warner Bros. creative development, said in a news release about the Superman/Batman project. “We could not think of anyone better suited to the task of bringing these iconic superheroes to the screen in his own way.”
“Man of Steel” producers Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are returning as producers, and Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas are serving as executive producers on the upcoming film, along with Benjamin Melniker and Michael E. Uslan.
Returning “Man of Steel” cast members include Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White.
Diane Lane also will reprise her role as Martha Kent.
– Gina McIntyre and Noelene Clark, Los Angeles Times