Batman-Superman feature to hit theaters July 17, 2015

Ben Affleck is Batman.

The actor will replace Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne in the upcoming untitled Batman-Superman feature for Warner Bros., the studio announced Thursday.

Affleck becomes the eighth actor to play the Caped Crusader, following Bale, George Clooney and Michael Keaton.

“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,” WB president Greg Silverman said in a statement.

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Directed by “Man of Steel” filmmaker Zack Snyder, the Batman-Superman feature will open worldwide on July 17, 2015, with Henry Cavill, Amy Adams and Diane Lane reprising their roles.

“Man of Steel,” released this past June, has earned over $650 million at the global box office.

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“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,” Snyder said in a statement. “I can’t wait to work with him.”

The announcement of a Batman-Superman film was revealed last month at Comic-Con to much excitement of fanboys, who will surely be watching as the studio begins to assemble its Justice League.

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The irony of Thursday’s news is that at one point Warner Bros. was interested in having Affleck direct the “Justice League” movie and his participation in this film will now spur interest if whether his casting means a possibility of directing that film.

The Boston native recently upped his Hollywood power when he won the Best Picture Oscar for “Argo.”

Affleck, repped by WME, can be seen next in Fox and New Regency’s thriller “Runner Runner.”

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