LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Ben Affleck will don Batman’s cape and cowl.
Warner Bros. announced Thursday that the 41-year-old actor-director will star as a new incarnation of the Dark Knight in a film bringing Batman and Superman together.
The studio said Affleck will star opposite 30-year-old Henry Cavill, who will reprise his role as Superman from “Man of Steel.” The movie will also feature “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White and Diane Lane as Martha Kent.
The big-screen DC Comics superhero mash-up was first revealed by director Zack Snyder at last month’s Comic-Con International in San Diego.
US Weekly’s film critic Mara Reinstein told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO Affleck’s track record as a blockbuster draw is spotty.
“He did ‘Daredevil’, it didn’t go well, he played Jack Ryan in ‘Sum Of All Fears’, it didn’t really go well, he’s not really known for being an action star these days,” Reinstein said. “We’ll see, maybe he’ll surprise us all.”
Snyder, who will direct the sequel written by “Man of Steel” screenwriter David S. Goyer, said in a statement that Affleck will provide an “interesting counter-balance” to Cavill’s Clark Kent.
“(Affleck) 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,” said Snyder. “I can’t wait to work with him.”
Over 30 petitions were launched on Change.org requesting to remove Affleck from the role.
“His acting skill is not even close to being believable as Bruce Wayne and he won’t do the role justice,” said a petition that drew more than 8,700 supporters. “He’s not built, nor is he intimidating enough for the role of Batman. His portrayal of Daredevil was atrocious and he’s not remotely close to an action star. Please find someone else.”
Reaction on Twitter and other social media was mixed, with some critics invoking Affleck’s 2003 box office flop “Gigli” with Jennifer Lopez.
Production on the as-yet-untitled film is expected to begin in 2014 for release July 17, 2015.
It won’t be Affleck’s first time in superhero garb. He played a blind Marvel crime fighter in 2003’s “Daredevil” and portrayed 1950s Superman actor George Reeves in 2006’s “Hollywoodland.”
Affleck’s “Argo,” which he starred in and directed, won the Academy Award for best picture earlier this year.
Christian Bale most recently played Batman in director Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy.
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