Ben Affleck has been named as the next actor to don Batman's black cape.
Affleck and filmmaker Zack Snyder will create a new incarnation of the character in Snyder's as-yet-untitled project, which will bring Batman and Superman together for the first time on the big screen, it was announced today.
Affleck, 41, will star opposite Man of Steel's Henry Cavill, who will reprise the role of Superman/Clark Kent.
Ben Affleck has been announced as the latest actor to play the caped crusader. Photo: Getty Images
"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," Snyder said.
Last month's surprise announcement of the new movie created a wave of excitement and immediately fuelled debate among fans - as well as in the media - about who would put on the cape and cowl of Bruce Wayne's alter ego.
The film will also reunite Man of Steel stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.
Batman: a film history
Bale pushed the role into darker territory in The Dark Knight Rises (2012), the final instalment in Christopher Nolan's epic Batman trilogy.
Affleck has some previous experience as a superhero - he played Daredevil in the 2003 film of the same name.
The studio has slated the film to open worldwide on July 17, 2015.