Ben Affleck was announced as Christian Bale's successor to the famed black cowl of Gotham City's caped crusader Batman last week, a move that outraged a huge number of fans of the superhero franchise. Thursday's (22 August) announcement that Affleck has been picked by Warner Bros. as the next Bruce Wayne/Batman has since been followed up with further news that will no doubt shock and reduce many fans to tears, and that is that Affleck will not only play the Bat in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel, but will also take on the role for multiple films.

Ben Affleck Oscars
Affleck has the chin, but does he have the chops to play Batman?

An analysis on his appointment by the Hollywood Reporter has revealed that, should his appearance in the Man of Steel sequel be a success, then Affleck will be given the green light to portray the Dark Knight for "multiples movies" and may even be given the chance to step behind the camera and direct one of the upcoming films. In particular, the studio's answer to The Avengers; The Justice League, will be Affleck's directing job of choice, with the actor also expected to star as Batman should the JL film come to fruition.

Apparently, Affleck had been lined-up to play the Bat long before the announcement was made last week, and was in the frame to star as the Caped Crusader even when Warner Bros. were trying to lure Christian Bale back to his most famous role. The studio also apparently spoke to Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin - arguably the best choice to play a middle-aged Bruce Wayne/Batman - before finally settling on Affleck, who needed some enticing in order to return to the world of masked men and capes following his disastrous turn as Daredevil. The opportunity to star in further films and to directed may very well have been that extra bit of enticement that he needed.

Zack Snyder
Zack Snyder will return to direct the Man of Steel 2

As already mentioned, the decision to appoint Affleck has been a mostly unpopular one, with fans taking to social media sites to air their aggravation towards the decision. Some particularly disgruntled fans have even gone as far as to set up an online petition at, urging Warner Bros. to "remove Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne in the Superman/Batman movie."

Still, remember when Heath Ledger was announced as the Joker for The Dark Knight? Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man? Or how about the pre-internet appointment of Michael Keaton in Tim Burton's Batman movies? These were all casting decisions that were met with scorn and had people ruing the decision in their droves, yet they all turned out to be inspired choices and choices that only made the movies better as a result. Now we just have to play the waiting game and see whether the appointment was worthy of the backlash or whether a heap of online commentators will be eating their own words.

Filming is due to begin on the still-untitled Man of Steel sequel in 2014, with Warner Bors. announcing a July 17, 2015 release date.

Ben Affleck
Will Affleck be more Bale or more like his pal George Clooney when he dons the black cape?