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(USA TODAY) -- Ben Affleck will replace Christian Bale in the highly anticipated Zack Snyder-directed Batman-Superman movie that's scheduled to be released in July 2015.

Warner Bros. made the announcement on Thursday.

From the press release announcing the casting:

"Ending weeks of speculation, Ben Affleck has been set to star as Batman, a.k.a. Bruce Wayne. Affleck and filmmaker Zack Snyder will create an entirely new incarnation of the character in Snyder's as-yet-untitled project-bringing Batman and Superman together for the first time on the big screen and continuing the director's vision of their universe, which he established in Man of Steel. The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

"Affleck will star opposite Henry Cavill, who will reprise the role of Superman/Clark Kent. The film will also reunite "Man of Steel" stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

"In the announcement, Silverman stated, '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. His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he and Zack will bring new dimension to the duality of this character.'

"Snyder also expressed his excitement about the casting of Affleck, noting, '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.'

"Kroll added, 'We are so thrilled that Ben is continuing Warner Bros.' remarkable legacy with the character of Batman. He is a tremendously gifted actor who will make this role his own in this already much-anticipated pairing of these two beloved heroes.'

Affleck has previous experience as a superhero -- he played Daredevil in the 2003 film of the same name.

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