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Ben Affleck to play Batman in 'Man of Steel' sequel

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Oscar winner Ben Affleck will play Batman/Bruce Wayne opposite Henry Cavill's Superman in the follow-up to the hit "Man of Steel," Warner Bros. announced Thursday.

The film, directed by Zak Snyder, will feature a story that will be a departure from the Chris Nolan-directed "Dark Knight" trilogy starring Christian Bale as Batman that concluded last summer.

"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."

"Man of Steel" cast members Amy Adams (Lois Lane) and Lawrence Fishburne (Perry White) are expected to reprise their roles.

Affleck will be the latest in the line of leading men to play the tortured crime fighter. Previous inhabitants of the cowl on the big screen include Michael Keaton, Affleck's close friend George Clooney, and Val Kilmer. Adam West played Batman in the campy 1960s TV show.

This will be Affleck's second turn playing a masked hero from a comic book. He starred as the title character in 2003's poorly received "Daredevil," based on the Marvel comic.

Affleck won an Oscar for co-writing the screenplay for "Good Will Hunting." In recent years, he has also earned acclaim as the director of the dramas "Gone Baby Gone," "The Town," and Best Picture Oscar winner "Argo."

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