AffbatWell, either George Clooney has upped his well-documented pranking game to a whole new (and considerable) level, or Ben Affleck will be your new, older, angsty and very probably monochromatic Batman opposite Henry Cavill’s Superman in the sequel to Man of Steel.

Says Zack Snyder via an announcement from Warner Brothers:

“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 crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.”

This is an inspired choice that is going to be hated by many (a.k.a. the internet entire) for all the wrong reasons and/or Daredevil. Affleck does not need to get wrapped up as the star of a franchise, and is currently enjoying some major Oscar afterglow, so one presumes this is not merely a paycheck (hehe) job he intends to phone in. A cynic could look at this move by Affleck as a way for him to earn just a little more leverage when it comes to his own directorial aspirations (hey, guess who produced The Town and Argo!), but it’s hard to remain cynical for long at the prospect of more Ben Affleck-directed movies.

Warner Brothers also confirmed that Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane will resprise their roles. The sequel to Man of Steel, currently titled Holy Crap I Can’t Believe Ben Affleck is in This (title likely to change) is slated for release on July 17, 2015.