Christian Bale will not return as Batman. Through a press release, Warner Bros. has officially introduced Ben Affleck as the new Bruce Wayne depicter and set the Oscar-winning actor to star opposite Henry Cavill in the "Man of Steel" follow-up, which will be directed by Zack Snyder and written by David S. Goyer.
"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," Greg Silverman, president of creative development and worldwide production, says in a statement. Sue Kroll, president of worldwide marketing, adds, "He is a tremendously gifted actor who will make this role his own in this already much-anticipated pairing of these two beloved heroes."
Snyder himself is also pleased with Affleck's inclusion in his next film and admits he "can't wait to work with him." He says, "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."
The announcement, therefore, ends weeks of speculation that has swirled around the project. Affleck is already familiar with a superhero universe, having starred as Daredevil in the past. In the upcoming film, he will also team up with "Man of Steel" stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.
Set to kick off production in 2014, the crossover movie will open on July 17, 2015.