Who saw that coming?
So there you have it. A month on from the surprise announcement that the sequel to Man of Steel would be a Batman vs Superman film, speculation over Christian Bale’s replacement is at an end.
Ben Affleck has been revealed as the next man who will don the bat-cowl.
In an official statement, Warner Bros executive Greg Silverman said:
"We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics' most enduringly popular Superheroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some.
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."
Zack Snyder, who will be both co-writing and directing the film added:
"Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry [Cavill]'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."
The obvious question from Affleck’s point of view is…why?
After a long and very public career dip, he re-emerged as a director with a series of increasingly acclaimed films, culminating in a Best Picture Oscar for Argo earlier this year. Isn’t playing Batman a step backwards?
"By playing a superhero in Daredevil, I have inoculated myself from ever playing another superhero... Wearing a costume was a source of humiliation for me and something I wouldn't want to do again soon." – Ben Affleck in 2006.
Could this be a directorial plan in the long term perhaps? After the success of Argo, Affleck’s name was mentioned as a potential director of a Justice League movie. Is this his and Warner Bros’ long term plan?
Firstly, Affleck and Snyder have to negotiate a Batman vs Superman film - which will be no easy task. Superman is essentially a God, while Batman is only an extremely hard, very rich ninja in expensive body armour. What will the story be?
If the movie is handled badly, we may not even get to a Justice League movie. These are interesting times for Warner Bros and the two most iconic superheroes ever created.