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While early rumors suggested that Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Joe Manganiello, Richard Armitage, Max Martini or Matthew Goode could have ended up being the next actor to play Batman, it turns out that the real answer is "none of the above." Instead, The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Warner Bros. has hired Ben Affleck as the next actor to play the Caped Crusader in Zack Snyder's upcoming untitled Man of Steel sequel, which is expected to pit Superman against Batman.

What's interesting about this story is that this is not the first time that Affleck's name has been linked to playing Batman this year. After rumors circulated last year that WB wanted Affleck to direct their in-development Justice League movie (a project that has been put on the backburner for now), a story came out in February saying that the studio not only wanted the Oscar winning filmmaker to direct the film but star in it as The Dark Knight as well. It's possible that whatever conversations the actor/filmmaker was having with the studio back then were on-going and led to today's big news.

But while Affleck has certainly completely reinvented his career in the last few years, directing fantastic films like Gone Baby Gone, The Town and Argo, we won't soon forget the last time that he put on a superhero uniform. Back in 2003 the comic book loving actor signed on to star as the title character in Mark Steven Johnson's Daredevil - and the results were absolutely horrendous.

While we don't know much about the plot of the new film, which was announced during San Diego Comic-Con, we do know that David Goyer - who wrote Man of Steel - is handling the screenplay and that Affleck will be joining a cast that already includes Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White and Diane Lane as Martha Kent. The THR story says that the film has been given a July 17, 2015 release date, meaning that cameras will likely start rolling early next year.

But what do you think of this news? Do you think that Affleck is a good choice to play Batman? How do you think he will mesh with Henry Cavill as Superman? Let us know what you're thinking in the comments below!