Ben Affleck's named first popped up in association with Batman nearly 14 years ago when he was first rumored to be up for the part. Last summer, rumors sparked again that the Oscar winner was in talks with Warner Bros., whom he had directed critically acclaimed The Town and Argo for, to direct their superhero answer to The Avengers - Justice League. Such a project would allow him to also play Batman in it, taking over the role from Christian Bale.
In an interesting, but very understandable twist, Affleck did end up landing the iconic role of The Dark Knight, but in the unnamed sequel to Zack Snyder's Man of Steel. Stepping out of the director's chair and into the cape and cowl, Affleck will be going toe-to-toe with Henry Cavill's Superman in summer 2015. Batman vs. Superman (Man of Steel 2) aims to blow open the DC Entertainment film franchise, opening the door to spinoffs and the long-awaited Justice League team-up.
With Affleck now a part of the franchise - and likely locked in long-term - there's a good chance he and Warner Bros. may still be planning to have him direct Justice League down the road, or at the very least, his own Batman solo film. He's a fan of the books and the character, and his award-winning directorial style is a natural fit for the character and franchise.
Affleck spoke about being cast as Batman for the first time while appearing on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon back in October where he described the job as a dream role, one he was reluctant to take at first, and joked about the online community reactions. Now we have Man of Steel star Henry Cavill's thoughts on Affleck joining the franchise thanks to an interview with Total Film.
"I'm sure he'll be fantastic above all else. And as a filmmaker, he's got his own style, you know. He's not copying anyone else. And he's also sort of being tenacious in his career. He's had ups followed by downs and now he's very up again, and I think that requires and shows a very special strength of character. And it's something which I enjoy working with because jobs like this require strength of character, they require a dedication to the work and belief in oneself. And Ben has that, clearly."
The highlight here is Cavill's note of strength of character and dedication to work. If Warner Bros. and director Zack Snyder managed to get Affleck psyched about suiting up as Bruce Wayne's alter ego, they did so with a long-term contract to secure his future in the franchise. Rumor has it, Affleck signed a multi-picture deal and has some say over the Batman vs. Superman script so we can only hope that Affleck's creative side is now a part of the Zack Snyder and writer David Goyer family, the latter of whom is described as an architect of the DC Cinematic Universe's future.
Man of Steel is the beginning of something that fans have been waiting for a very long time. Its sequel, which has quite a few interesting potential titles, will lay the foundation for several other key characters in the DC Comics library and hopefully serve as a launchpad for other star members of Justice League who we hope to see get spinoff films of their own. Excited to see Cavill and Affleck potentially work together for years to come?
Man of Steel is currently available on home video. Batman vs. Superman/Man of Steel 2 open in theaters on July 17, 2015.
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Batman vs. Superman art by J-K-K-S