EDITORIAL: What Happens To Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke Now?

WB's Flash movie is undergoing a page one rewrite and given Ben Affleck's struggles with the Batman script could that film be headed for the same fate? If so, what happens to Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke?

In the wake of Ben Affleck's struggles on hammering out a script for his standalone Batman movieis it possible that the current treatment/outline could be completely thrown out? If that does occur, could that lead to a reduced role for Deathstroke or might the mercenary be removed from the film altogether?  The DCEU is currently navigating its way through choppy waters and while they certainly have a big enough vessel to cut through some sizable waves, it's not out of the realm of possibility that the ship capsizes.  In looking over how the Batman drama has unfolded over the last few weeks, combined with what's happening on The Flash, Warner Bros. just might be willing to throw Affleck's script out the window and start from scratch as they search for the right tone for their cinematic universe.
 
Perhaps the biggest factor in deciding what happens to Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke is whether or not the character appears in Justice League.  When the footage of Slade Wilson first appeared on Affleck's Twitter account fans assumed the longtime Teen Titans villain would be appearing in Zack Snyder's Justice League as various outlets confirmed that the assassin was filmed aboard the Caped Crusader's new aerial Justice League base, The Flying Fox.  However, in the last few days, Manganiello has revealed that the footage was actually just an armor test and not footage of an actual scene in Justice League.  Was this actually a calculated move on Manganiello's part that softens a later announcement that Deathstroke doesn't factor into WB's plans for the DCEU after all?
 
The other DCEU news emerging over the last few days is that The Flash is undergoing a page one rewrite.  This decision comes after nearly three years of development, with scripts written by the duo of Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, Seth Grahame-Smith and  Rick Famuyiwa - with the latter two also slated to direct but ultimately departing over creative differences with Warner Bros. execs.  It's been reported that Affleck has been feeling the pressure to nail down his script for The Batman after these same WB execs have been (per The Hollywood Reporter's sources), "unhappy regarding the script for weeks."  The studio has previously shown that they're not afraid to make wholesale creative changes as Wonder Woman also made a director change at the project's outset. In regards to The Flash and Ezra Miller in particular, he's firmly entrenched in his role as Barry Allen after having cameos in Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad and co-starring in Justice League .  However, Billy Crudup's recent casting as Henry Allen might not stick if a new director comes aboard with a new vision for the role. This is the same precarious position that Joe Manganiello now finds himself in. A radically different script and a new director, combined with mounting pressure from Warner Bros. could lead to the studio opting for a safer play for the Batman movie, perhaps a bigger household name like Gotham's Clown Prince of Crime...   
 
Though the film isn't scheduled to start shooting until Spring/Summer 2017, WB has to be just a little concerned with their Batman film after previously deciding to prioritize it over a Justice League sequel.  And while the three DCEU films released thus far have all tripled their respective production budgets (at the very least), they've yet to produce a film that's resonated with both the audience and critics.  The studio likely (hopefully) recognizes that continuing down this path will inevitably lead to a box office flop as audiences will eventually get over the novelty and spectacle of seeing their favorite DC character come to life if they're repeatedly distorted and misconstrued. It appears they're realizing their mistakes as WB is no longer moving forward with films just to meet release dates, but the fallout from mounting pressure could see Deathstroke eschewed for a more well-known villain.
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