Warner Brothers' announced Thursday night that the 41-year-old actor -- who's experienced a career resurgence after several well-received directorial efforts -- will replace Christian Bale in the studio's upcoming Batman-Superman flick.
Fresh off the heels of "Argo's" successful award season, Affleck will star as an "older" and "wiser" foil to Henry Cavill's Superman in the as-yet-untitled project, slated for release July 2015.
“Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman," director Zack Snyder said of the casting surprise. "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."
“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," studio exec Greg Silverman said in a statement. "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.”
Affleck joins seven other actors who've played the DC Comics hero -- including Bale, George Clooney and Michael Keaton.
This isn't Affleck's only superhero role. He played Marvel's Daredevil in the 2003 adaptation, which disappointed critics.
As is often the case with casting announcements for established characters, social media reaction wavered between surprise and outrage. Many called for Matt Damon's participation.
I will only accept Ben Affleck as Batman if we get Matt Damon as Robin for the matched set.— Xero Reynolds (@xerjester) August 23, 2013
Ben Affleck as Batman, Matt Damon as Robin and Jimmy Kimmel as Joker?— Dmitry Chesnokov (@dchesnokov) August 23, 2013
I'm being pranked, right? I just logged on and everyone is making Ben Affleck as Batman jokes. THEY ARE JUST JOKES, RIGHT?!— Heather Hansma (@Hansma) August 23, 2013
Ben Affleck as Batman? TONIGHT WE DINE ON NERDRAGE.— Popehat (@Popehat) August 23, 2013
No. Just no. This Ben Affleck as Batman thing just cannot be true. NO. I will never see that movie. It is dead to me.— kristi carlson (@kristimcarlson) August 23, 2013