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Batfleck casting for Batman V Superman almost went to Ryan Gosling or Josh Brolin

The decision to cast Ben Affleck as Batman in director Zack Snyder’s upcoming Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice has prompted no shortage of debate both online and offline, and producer Charles Roven recently addressed some of the thinking behind the casting and what to expect from Affleck’s iteration of The Dark Knight.

“He was the first guy we went to. That’s who we wanted,” Roven told The Hollywood Reporter of casting Affleck. “We knew that we wanted a very mature Batman, because we wanted to juxtapose him with this very young Superman. So we wanted a guy who was tougher, rugged, who had signs of life, who had lived a hard life, and we wanted the guy to have chops, for sure. So when we went down that list, there just weren’t a tremendous number of guys who could carry that.”

The producer of all three films in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman films, Roven indicated that Nolan — who serves as an executive producer on Batman V. Superman — played a significant role in casting Affleck as the new, live-action Dark Knight.

Related: Take a peek at the new Batmobile in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

“We also wanted a guy with big stature,” added Roven. “Ben is 6′ 4″. Henry [Cavill] is 6’1″. We wanted Batman to tower over Superman. Not hugely, not like a basketball player. Superman needed to ‘look up’ to Batman. We wanted that dynamic, and Ben could do that, easily.”

Among the other actors that were considered for the role were Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin, revealed Roven. While Gosling turned it down, Brolin decided it wasn’t in his best interests after discussing the project a bit more with Snyder and the film’s producers.

As for how this iteration of Batman will differ from previous incarnations of the character, Roven described the characterization of Batman’s playboy alter ego Bruce Wayne in this film as “much more of a social animal” while his costumed persona is “an extremely rough guy in the Batman incarnation – very, very, very rough.”

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice is scheduled to hit theaters March 25, 2016. Along with Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill reprising his role as Superman, the film also stars Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, and Scoot McNairy.