WELL, he’s played Superman.
And he’s played a comic-book creator who draws a superhero.
Now, will you more than sort-of buy Ben Affleck as the new Batman?
Warner Bros. has just announced that the Oscar winner will be the next man to wear the Caped Crusader’s cowl — in WB/DC’s much-discussed “Man of Steel” sequel scheduled for the summer of 2015.
“Affleck and filmmaker Zack Snyder will create an entirely new incarnation of the character in Snyder’s as-yet-untitled project — bringing Batman and Superman together for the first time on the big screen,” Warner Bros. trumpets in its release, “and continuing the director’s vision of their universe.”
Affleck, of course, inherits the role after Christian Bale’s highly successful three-picture run as Bruce Wayne.
As for Snyder, he says Affeck should be a good fit opposite Henry Cavill, who of course debuted this summer as Superman.
“Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’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 crimefighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne,” Snyder said in a statement.
In the immediate news, Comic Riffs muses on the superficials of the pick:
1. Affleck won good notices — and scored a Golden Globe nomination — for his portrayal of “TV’s Superman,” George Reeves, in 2006’s “Hollywoodland.” (Then-Post critic Stephen Hunter was among those who applauded.)
3. If anyone knows the ropes with winning over Con crowds, it’s the charismatic geek director/comic-shop owner/Friend of Ben, Mr. Smith himself. Ben, take notes.
(Update: Smith has tweeted his reaction to the news.)
4. Unlike, say, Iron Man or Hawkeye, studios and fans seem to favor their post-Keaton Batmen taller — at least as big as the 6-foot Christian Bale. So he at least measures up to the suit.
5. Affleck — the revivified-career director of “The Town,” “Gone Baby Gone” and the Oscar-winning “Argo” — has been good business (and acclaim) recently for Warner Bros. (Who knows? He may yet direct a DC-superhero film, to boot.)
6. “Bat-fleck” figures to be stronger opposite Cavill’s Superman than he was a decade ago while suiting up as Daredevil — in which Colin Farrell and future wife Jennifer Garner seemed to burn brighter.
Now, as long as Joel Schumacher doesn’t get to pick his costume...