Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the process began earlier this year, after director Zack Snyder had finished working on Man of Steel with producer Christopher Nolan. Snyder and the studio already had ideas for a follow-up, and Snyder reached out to Affleck to check the star's interest.
It's unclear when exactly these talks began. Multiple sources say the studio approached other actors as well, including Josh Brolin. Ryan Gosling was also a possibility, but the actor dislikes the idea of sequels.
But Affleck was curious, and initial talks focusing on story and character began. Once Affleck was satisfied, WME's Patrick Whitesell and Ziffren Brittenham's Sam Fischer began negotiating his role in the Superman sequel. Sources say that Affleck has been signed for multiple movies, should sequels continue to proliferate. The talks were so secretive that many Warners execs and most WME agents remained unaware of their existence."Superman Vs. Batman" is scheduled to hit theaters on 17 July 2015.