The Hollywood Reporter has revealed the details behind Ben Affleck's decision to play Batman in Man of Steel 2, news that took the movie-loving world by storm yesterday. According to the excerpt below, Ryan Gosling was the man wanted for the job, but he refused to accept an offer because he dislikes sequels. They next went to Ben Affleck, who was reluctant to take the role. It took a lot of convincing, but here we are with the story of the year. It is also revealed that the actor has signed a multi-picture deal. If Man of Steel 2 (known in some circles as Batman Vs. Superman, though an official title hasn't been announced yet) is a hit, we can expect to see Ben Affleck as Batman in Justice League, which he may also direct. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this whole story is that he turned down 20th Century Fox's planned reboot of Daredevil.

Read what THR had to reveal about the casting coup of the decade.

"Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the process began earlier this year when 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 Zack Snyder reached out to Ben Affleck to check the star's interest.

RELATED: Josh Hartnett Only Turned Down Superman, Never Spider-Man or Batman

It's unclear when these talks began. Multiple sources say the studio approached Josh Brolin, as well as other actors. Ryan Gosling was also a possibility, but the actor dislikes the idea of sequels.

But Ben Affleck was curious, and initial talks focusing on story and character began. Once Ben Affleck was satisfied, WME's Patrick Whitesell and Ziffren Brittenham's Sam Fischer began negotiating his role in the Superman sequel. Sources say that Ben Affleck has been signed for multiple other movies. The talks were so secretive that many Warner execs and most WME agents remained unaware of their existence.

On one level, Ben Affleck's return to superheroes seems bewildering. The Oscar-winning co-writer of Good Will Hunting drew scorn after donning the red suit for Daredevil, and later agreed it wasn't his best work. After he'd recovered and turned in a bravura performance directing and starring in The Town, Fox offered him the chance to direct and star in a Daredevil reboot -- but Ben Affleck turned it down.

More recently, Christopher Nolan offered Ben Affleck the chance to direct Man of Steel. Ben Affleck declined, seemingly because of a desire not to return to the world of capes -- despite being an avowed comic book fan.

Because since it's considered a sequel to Man of Steel and not a Batman movie, any potential underperformance issues won't ultimately land on his shoulders.

The deal also potentially lines Ben Affleck up to star in and direct Warner Bros.' answer to Marvel's The Avengers: The eventual Justice League movie."

As revealed yesterday, Producer Greg Silverman had this to say about the casting choice.

"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 Snyder will bring new dimension to the duality of this character."

Zack Snyder also expressed his excitement about the casting of Ben Affleck, noting,

"Ben Affleck provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry Cavill'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."

As we reported earlier today, the news lead to several angry fans launching online petitions against the casting, along with several memes. Where do you stand on this debate? Yay or nay for Ben Affleck as Batman?