Last night Warner Bros. followed their Comic-Con announcement that the sequel to Man of Steel would put Gotham’s finest alongside Superman by announcing that Ben Affleck would be taking on the role of the Caped Crusader.
Crushing the ‘rumours’ that Christian Bale was being asked to reprise his role (for ever increasing amounts of money) WB’s decision to cast the Oscar winner was met with a Twitter wave of surprise, shock and outright snark. News of this kind will always polarise the fans, and each will have their own take on what Affleck will bring to the role, Daredevil is being touted as the precedent here, but perhaps there’s more to this decision that the kudos of having a big name in the role.
It’s worth remembering the reaction to Michael Keaton in Tim Burton’s Batman, likewise Heath Ledger as Nolan’s Batman, likewise Henry Cavill – in short, this announcement has had its effect – everyone is talking about it.
The casting news may also throw some fire on the spent match of speculation that a Justice League movie would be directed by Affleck, something he was rumoured to be involved with in the past. It is certain that Affleck would have signed to play the role for more than just Man of Steel 2, there will certainly be a new Batman film, possibly a trilogy given the current state of hooplah over the herd of Superhero film cash cows, and Justice League is defeinitely on WB’s radar.
Zack Snyder, who will direct Affleck in Man of Steel 2, had this to say,
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
Older and wiser are the key words there. Open minds as always, Affleck is a recognisable face, a seasoned industry face and award winner, there is the feeling that there’s more to this casting than just the right person for the job. On July the 17th 2015 we’ll find out.