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Ben AffleckThis Just In!  

Ben Affleck is going to play Batman in the planned “Man of Steel” sequel, Warner Bros. announced Thursday.

From thinking-person’s movies like “Argo,” “The Town” and The Company Men” to … Batman. Ok, we’ll go with that.

Zack Snyder is returning to direct the follow-up to his first Superman flick, starring Henry Cavill as the buff superhero, which has earned more than $649 million worldwide. Yes, $649 million. That’s a lot of blue kryptonite.

The movie doesn’t have a title yet, but it’s scheduled to kick off next year with a theatrical release on July 17, 2015. Writing that release date suddenly makes me feel like I’m in a sci-fi movie.

This isn’t Affleck’s first comic book character – he starred in “Daredevil” in 2003. He also had a brush with the Superman mythos when he landed a Golden Globe nom for playing George Reeves — who starred in the 1950s-era “Adventures of Superman” TV series — in “Hollywoodland.” That movie explored the whole murder vs. suicide question of the famed star.

As for playing Batman, Snyder had this to say: “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.”

Amy Adams and Laurence Fishburne are also expected to return for the sequel as Lois Lane and Perry White.

Before the “Argo” madness that swept last year’s awards season, Affleck was rumored to be in the running to direct a “Justice League” movie also being developed by Warner Bros.

At this point, they seem to be unfounded, but Affleck is by no means unemployed. Look for him to play Nick, the husband whose wife goes missing under twisted circumstances, in David Fincher’s much anticipated adaptation of the Gillian Flynn best seller “Gone Girl,” also starring Rosamund Pike.

Remember when Ben Affleck was so campy he made it into a Weird Al song (“I’ll Sue Ya”)? We can kiss those days buh-bye!

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