Josh Brolin was in the running to play Batman before Ben Affleck was cast.

The 'True Grit' actor was approached by director Zack Snyder about playing the iconic superhero in the 'Man of Steel' sequel, tentatively titled 'Batman vs Superman'.

When asked if he had talked about the role with Zack, he replied: ''We did. I didn't have conversations about it, but Zack, that was part of his idea. It just didn't turn out. It's OK. It is OK. You know, another scenario might have worked better, but I'm happy for Ben.''

Ben's casting has been controversial - with over 70,000 people signing a petition asking him to step down from the role - and Josh, 45, feels sorry for the 41-year-old actor in the wake of the backlash.

He added to The Huffington Post: ''I've never seen such a global reaction in my life. I feel for him, truly. I would not want to be him right now. The reaction becomes so personal.

''It's like, 'F**k this guy, I wish he was dead'. And you're like, 'What? Dude, seriously? This guy is just working like you are. He's doing the same thing you are. He's trying to make the best choices he can.'

''I just feel for anybody who gets lambasted at that level. I want him to kick ass and I want everyone to love it and kind of eat their words.''