No Batman fans, it's not the Joker's latest gag.
Ben Affleck, 41, will replace Christian Bale as the dark knight in its Man of Steel sequel, Warner Bros Pictures announced Thursday.
The news ended weeks of speculation about who would follow Bale after Christopher Nolan's hugely-popular Dark Knight trilogy, which grossed more than $2 billion worldwide.
And before you could exclaim "Holy backlash!" the Internet erupted with the hashtag #BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck trending on Twitter.
Among the people suggested as more suitable for the role than Affleck? Vanilla Ice, Betty White, Carrot Top and Oprah Winfrey.
Tweets hurled Hollywood's way included:
- "Ben Affleck as Batman? ... Wow Hollywood, you idiots."
- "Ben Affleck as the new Batman...no just no."
- "Ben Affleck as batman?! Just when you thought that film wasnt going to be a big enough disaster..."
Actor Wil Wheaton of Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Big Bang Theory entered the fray, tweeting: "Really looking forward to seeing Affleck bring the depth and gravitas to Batman that he brought to Daredevil and Gigli."
There's even a petition on Charge.org asking the studio to "remove Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne in the Superman/Batman movie ... He's not built, nor is he intimidating enough for the role of Batman ... He's not remotely close to an action star."
Still, the backlash is unlikely to convince the studio or director Zack Snyder to change their minds.
"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," Greg Silverman, president of creative development at Warner Bros Pictures said.
The Man of Steel sequel, which will star Henry Cavill as Superman, is set to open in July 2015. Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane will also return for the follow-up.
Man of Steel earned $650 million worldwide.