Following in the footsteps of his buddy George Clooney (though with any luck in a much better movie), Ben Affleck will don the cape and cowl for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel, Warner Bros. has announced.
The 41-year-old actor, coming off the most celebrated year of his career as star and director of last year’s Oscar-winner, Argo, would seem to be exactly what earlier reports suggested Warner Bros. was looking for: a slightly older Batman, but someone still young enough to handle the physical demands of playing the character both now and a few years down the road for the Justice League movie.
Though Warner isn’t saying much more now than the role is Affleck’s, it does begin to hint at the nature of the forthcoming Batman/Superman movie, which is likely to involve quite a bit of, shall we say, competition between its two protagonists. While Affleck shouldn’t have too much trouble bulking up for the role, he certainly presents a less physically imposing figure than Joe Manganiello, Josh Brolin, or Gerard Butler, all of whom had been linked to the role, would have. Not that Batman could have matched up with Superman physically (especially the version of Superman Snyder established in Man of Steel), but Affleck’s casting would seem to reinforce the notion that this will be a more cerebral take on the character than Christian Bale’s version. It’s also possible that Batman will be seeing some serious high-tech augmentations (well beyond the incredible, but still grounded-in-reality gadgets of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight) a-la-Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, which seems to be a major piece of inspiration for Snyder, who has a history working with Miller properties (300).
Story rumors are certain to come in droves as the project moves closer to production. For now, the movie’s July 17, 2015 release date already seems a lot closer.