Well this is something of a surprise: Ben Affleck, former-heartthrob-turned-legitimate-film-director, will once again don a tight, restrictive outfit as Batman in Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" sequel. The new, currently untitled movie, is scheduled for release by Warner Bros in the jam-packed summer of 2015, will pit the Man of Tomorrow (played once again by Henry Cavill) against the Dark Knight. Affleck previously saved a crime-plagued city as the Man Without Fear in 2003's underwhelming "Daredevil" and played George Reeves, who starred in the fifties TV show "Adventures of Superman," in "Hollywoodland." We wonder if he's already started working on his gravely Batman voice already (probably, yes).
In a statement, Warner Bros' Greg Silverman said: "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." Silverman went on: "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."
According to director Zack Snyder: “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."
There are a couple of things that are really interesting about this: first off, are we to believe that Affleck will be the new Batman for a number of new movies? It seemed like the studio and DC Comics were introducing a new Batman so that he could then be spun off into his own, post-Christopher Nolan movies. Does it really seem like Affleck would be up to do this? It seems unlikely, but then again we don't know the make and model of the dump truck full of money they drove up to Affleck's house (it was probably so large Jennifer Garner thought it was some kind of hover craft), so he just might. Affleck will star alongside original "Man of Steel" players Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.
More importantly, we wonder where this leaves Affleck's next directorial project, an adaptation of Dennis Lehane's sprawling historical thriller "Live By Night" (think "L.A. Confidential" but in Boston). Production on that film was supposed to start in early 2014, right after Affleck wrapped his role as the tortured husband in David Fincher's "Gone Girl" (another adaptation of a best-selling literary smash, this one by Gillian Flynn). The "Man of Steel" sequel, however, would shoot in roughly the same time frame.
Both "Live by Night" and "Man of Steel" are Warner Bros movies so maybe his role in the super-sequel is so minor that he can do his time on that in a very covert way while still starring in and directing "Live by Night," but that seems like a stretch even for the Academy Award-winning multi-hyphenate.
The "Man of Steel" sequel enters the summer of 2015 gladiatorial games on July 17th.