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Ben Affleck is replacing Christan Bale as Batman, Warner Brothers announced on Thursday. Not Ryan Gosling, or John Hamm, or Josh Brolin or Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Ben Affleck.

He'll be the caped crusader in the upcoming Batman-Superman crossover film, with Henry Cavill, Amy Adams and Diane Lane already set to reprise their roles. Here's what WB president Greg Silverman said in a statement about the casting choice, quoted by Variety:

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.

Affleck, of course, has already had a chance to play a superhero, and it didn't go so well.

(20th Century Fox)

But the director of the 2015 film, “Man of Steel” filmmaker Zack Snyder, is excited: 

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.

As was inevitable with more or less any announcement that an actor is going to play Batman, fans are clearly getting a bit morose at the news: 

There is now a protest hashtag: 

Some have entered the bargaining stage of mourning: 

Even Twitter Batman is unhappy: 

Meanwhile, Patton Oswalt is leading the charge among those ready and willing to undertake the duty of writing Batman lines in a Boston accent:

And it looks like Kevin Smith, who goes way back with the actor, found a reason to be excited:

Obviously, not everyone is upset about the casting choice. Newsarama published a piece, "Why Ben Affleck is Brilliant Casting as Batman," just hours after the news broke: 

It also just so happens that Ben Affleck loves and respects comic books as a storytelling medium. He talked about his love of comics in the past, when making other movies near and dear to our preferred format. Whether he’s playing a comic book fan inChasing Amy or the titular character in Daredevil, Affleck knows what these characters and stories mean to the fans – he is one himself – and he wants to do them right.Daredevil did many things wrong, and a few important things right – and the right things were very much in Affleck’s range.

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