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Ben Affleck shrugs off Batman casting criticism

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Story by Jack Foley

BEN Affleck has shrugged off criticism of his casting as Batman in a new Batman versus Superman movie.

Speaking on Jimmy Fallon’s US talk show this week, the Oscar-winner said he had anticipated some kind of reaction from certain sections of the fanbase and had even been warned by the studio, Warner Bros, to expect a backlash.

Affleck will play Batman in the Man of Steel sequel, bringing together the superheroes on film for the first time. But his casting prompted some fans to start a petition calling for him to be replaced that has so far generated more than 93,000 signatures.

And when asked how he felt about that, Affleck joked: “I’m a big boy. If I can handle an Emmy snub, I can handle anything.”

The actor went on to tell Fallon: “The people from the studio said, ‘We want to talk to you because people go through this process and it can be a little trying’. They said, ‘We want to show you some of the reactions that past cast members have got on the Internet’.”

“I saw the announcement, I look at the first comment and it’s like, ‘Ben Affleck is going to be Batman’ and the first one goes, ‘Noooooooo!’”

The actor also confessed to having his own doubts about stepping into the role of an ageing superhero, adding: “I thought, ‘I’m not 25 man and are you sure about this?’ And they said, ‘Come down we want to show you what we’re doing,’ and it was incredible.

“Zack [Snyder] had this incredible take on it. Obviously, you can’t do what Christian [Bale] did. Those movies are awesome, amazing, so he [Snyder] wants to do something different but still in keeping with [previous films] so I thought, ‘This is a brilliant way to do this, I really know how to hook into this’.”

The film is expected to be released in the summer of 2015.

Affleck will next be seen in Runner Runner alongside Justin Timberlake and has just announced that he is to direct and produce new TV pilot The Middle Man.

Next story: Leonardo DiCaprio to play US President Woodrow Wilson