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Ben Affleck to play Batman in next ‘Man of Steel’ movie

TORONTO — Ben Affleck has been picked to play Batman (aka Bruce Wayne) in the sequel to Man of Steel, Warner Bros. announced Thursday.

Henry Cavill will reprise his role as Superman (aka Clark Kent) in the follow-up, which will also see the return of director Zack Snyder.

“Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman,” Snyder said, in a press release. “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.”

It will be the first time Superman and Batman have appeared together on the big screen.

“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,” said Greg Silverman of Warner Bros., in a press release. “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.”

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The film is due in theatres in July 2015.

Affleck, 41, played the title role in 2003’s Daredevil and portrayed George Reeves — the actor who played Superman on TV in the ’50s — in the 2006 made-in-Toronto movie Hollywoodland.

Christian Bale portrayed Batman/Bruce Wayne in the three most recent Batman movies. The character was previously portrayed on the big screen by George Clooney, Michael Keaton and Val Kilmer.

Man of Steel, released in July, has grossed $650 million worldwide.