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Warner Bros. has finally confirmed who will play Batman in the 2015 sequel to Man of Steel, just weeks after the project was announced. We now know that the studio’s darling - Ben Affleck - will don the cape and cowl instead of Christian Bale. Considering that Warner and Affleck have had such a close relationship in the past few years, it should not be too surprising that the studio finally found a place for him in a franchise.
While Affleck was linked to a Batman project back in 2000 and 2001, I don’t think that’s why Warner went to him for the Man of Steel sequel. (I’m also sure that 2003’s Daredevil probably wasn’t something executives were thinking about either.) Instead, more recent history shows that Affleck’s current relationship with the studio began with The Town’s huge success in 2010. Since Argo was a major hit as well - even winning Best Picture at the Oscars - Warner knows that they’ve got a filmmaker who can produce crowd-pleasers and critical favorites.
Of course, Affleck directed those hits, too. Warner will also be working on his next directorial effort, an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Live By Night. The studio also acquired Nathaniel Philbrick’s Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution in the hopes that Affleck will direct that as well.
Those are both good signs, at least for me, since it proves that Warner does realize that it’s important for Affleck to continue directing. Hopefully Batman won’t keep him from directing in 2015 and beyond. With Affleck on set, I hope he gives director Zack Snyder some tips because he could use them.
Another reason why Affleck signing on for this is good for Warner is because it shows that he’ll still work with the studio even after Jeff Robinov left as the top film executive in June.
It could also bolster the chances for Man of Steel 2 to be a bigger box office hit than the first one. Sure the fanboys were going to see it anyway, but Warner needs a franchise that earns widespread appeal, especially since it’s not working with Legendary anymore. The DC universe films going forward should do that, especially with plans for Flash and Justice League in the future. And now you've got the general public interested in seeing how Affleck will do as Batman.
So keep all that in mind as we get closer to 2015. Affleck is going to be Batman and Warner Bros. probably couldn’t be happier that it also keeps him in the fold. The studio said that Man of Steel 2 will be out on July 17, 2015, so we won’t know how Affleck will be as Batman until then. It will be exciting to see how he fares with Henry Cavill, who is Superman again.
Now, our attention turns to the rest of the cast. Let’s get Bryan Cranston on as Lex Luthor ASAP. Maybe Affleck can find a role for his best bud Matt Damon. (Damon as Robin? Anyone up for that?)