It isn't often that you hear the names Batman and Hamlet in the same sentence, but Ben Affleck has gone where no man has before and compared the two in a recent interview.
The Oscar-winning actor, writer and director was discussing upcoming blockbuster Batman v Superhero: Dawn of Justice when he took the bold decision to declare his superhero character "the American version of Hamlet".
But before Shakespeare fans unleash their rage at this seemingly bizarre connection between the Caped Crusader and the tragically complex Prince of Denmark, Affleck quickly clarified what he meant.
"We accept that [Batman] is played by actors with different interpretations," he said, as we do with Hamlet.
More than two dozen actors have played the famous role including Christian Bale, George Clooney and Michael Keaton while hundreds have taken on Hamlet since his creation around 1600.
Affleck went on to tease what we can expect from his Batman. "He's at the end of his run and maybe the end of his life," he told Entertainment Weekly. "There's this sort of world weariness to it."
The 42-year-old, who announced his pending divorce from actress Jennifer Garner after ten years of marriage this week, also frankly admitted his previous failings in the superhero genre.
Some Batman fans were outraged by Affleck's casting after his lead turn in 2003 flop Daredevil, with more than 50,000 signing an online petition begging Warner Bros to drop him.
"Daredevil didn't work, at all," he said. "If I wanted to go viral I would be less polite. That was before people realised you could make these movies and make them well. There was a cynical sense of 'Put a red leather outfit on a guy, have him run around, hunt some bad guys, and cash the cheque."
Affleck will be appearing at Comic-Con in San Diego next week as part of Batman v Superman's promo circuit, nine months before it is due in cinemas on 25 March 2016.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies