THE BATMAN: Ben Affleck Reveals New Details About His Plans For Deathstroke In Scrapped DCEU Movie

THE BATMAN: Ben Affleck Reveals New Details About His Plans For Deathstroke In Scrapped DCEU Movie

Original director and star of The Batman, Ben Affleck, has shared new details about what he had planned for Joe Manganiello's Slade Wilson/Deathstroke in his version of the DC Extended Universe movie.

By JoshWilding - May 02, 2023 07:05 AM EST
Filed Under: The Batman
Source: The Direct

There was a time when Ben Affleck planned to direct and star in The Batman. Unfortunately, the actor had such a rotten time working on Justice League's reshoots under Joss Whedon's supervision, he wiped his hand with the role and this project. 

Zack Snyder managed to convince the actor to play Bruce Wayne again for the "Snyder Cut," of course, and Affleck has since lent his talents to The Flash for what sounds like a glorified cameo (in an earlier cut, he'd have appeared in a post-credits scene setting up Crisis on Infinite Earths). 

Talking at Snyder's "Full Circle" event this weekend (via The Direct), Affleck talked about his plans for The Batman's planned lead villain Deathstroke. 

"There were a number of them that I was kind of exploring. And, the plans were to make interesting, nuanced, complex characters, in particular to the character you mentioned," he said, referencing Joe Manganiello's Slade Wilson. "I kind of feel like either you do - I'm just going to get into my own preference here - but either you do a kind of massive one villain that is so formidable you just can't imagine how your protagonist is going to be able to overcome it."

"Or you have to really sort of populate kind of, you know, Injustice - these big group villains - where you have to get all these different characters."

Very little has been revealed about Affleck's vision for The Batman, though we know original plans called for Deathstroke to learn the Dark Knight's secret identity from Lex Luthor. From there, the assassin would have set about dismantling Bruce's life, with Nightwing possibly getting in on the action as well. 

Affleck added, "I was at the time really trying to hone in and focus on [Deathstroke] and get into depth and detail about it to make him seem as impressive as I felt there was the opportunity to do. That's the only detail I have for you."

Despite comments from DC Studios boss James Gunn to the contrary, Affleck has said outright he's not interested in being part of the DCU and is unlikely to ever return as Batman. There have been rumblings about the actor joining the MCU, but those have so far come to nothing.

Matt Reeves' The Batman II is set to be released in theaters on October 3, 2025.

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Repian - 5/2/2023, 7:36 AM
Surely Deathstroke would have killed Alfred before a final battle between Batman and Deathstroke in the Bat-Cave. finally, Batman dynamits the Bat-Cave, burying Deathstroke in rubble. Batman transforms the cave into a death trap.
ShimmyShimmyYA - 5/2/2023, 8:48 AM
@Repian - this sounds like an end to a Batman series, problem is this would’ve been only our 3rd time seeing him the first in his own movie
Repian - 5/2/2023, 9:04 AM
@ShimmyShimmyYA - Affleck's Batman is a veteran who has lived a long time surrounded by typical Batman elements. Alfred, the Batcave, etc.

The interesting and new thing would be to destroy it and bring in Red Hood, Batgirl and maybe Damian Wayne from that point.
Spawnnn - 5/2/2023, 7:38 AM
Probably the only panned movie from the old DCEU I am crying about. Would love to see this giant Batman going against Deathstroke in a grounded action movie. This shit would rock so hard.

DCfan84 - 5/2/2023, 7:44 AM
@Spawnnn - I Agree!

DarthOmega - 5/2/2023, 7:48 AM
@Spawnnn - BvS had way more great parts than not. The further I get away from that film the more I appreciate it given what we have witnessed these past few years. Of course it wasn't perfect. But it seems like the stink of the "Josstice" League film unfairly rubs off on its predecessor
mountainman - 5/2/2023, 9:43 AM
@DarthOmega - I don’t appreciate BvS as much as you do, but I actually wish that Warners wouldn’t have reacted the way that they did to it.
Termin8r - 5/2/2023, 1:13 PM
@mountainman - there was no other way for them to react though. some people like it, but it's not a great movie, barely was profitable, and didn't move the needle. a batman vs superman movie should've been a runaway hit, an all timer. not something that people still debate the relative quality of 7 years later. MoS didn't really move the needle either.
Twenty23Three - 5/2/2023, 7:42 AM
Didn’t really want to see Batman taking on Deathstroke but would have loved to see a world where Affleck stayed on for The Batman that we got
DarthOmega - 5/2/2023, 7:42 AM
I was really looking forward to that film. I was skeptical of Ben playing Bruce. But he did an awesome job. He looked great in the role. He had the best Batman voice since Keaton and Kilmer. And Ben had a real love for the character. So I know he would have done him justice.

In a way... It kinda worked out for the best. We got a whole new version of Batman that many liked. But I would love to see a Batman film where he is truly challenged by someone that's his physical equal like Deathstroke.
TheVengeance - 5/2/2023, 9:07 AM
@DarthOmega - no he didn’t have love for the character if he so easily quit. And he didn’t have the love for the character that Pattinson had, he’s the only actor in the series who shot out the role. At that level, he quit. His performance was average at best in BvS. His voice wasn’t even his in the suit. Pattinson gave the best Batman performance ever. Then Keaton. Then Bale. Affleck and Kilmer tied for fourth (average)
CorndogBurglar - 5/2/2023, 10:08 AM
@TheVengeance - I don't necessarily agree with that take. Affleck had a LOT going on in his personal life at the time. He didn't leave the role because he doesn't like Batman.

Having love for a character doesn't mean you stick with a project when you know you aren't going to be able put your all into it. In fact I would say that's the opposite.

Between having a bad experience with the Justice League movie and his alcoholism, his head wasn't in the game. Knowing when to step away instead of stumbling headfirst into something half-assed is a real sign of love for the character and not wanting to put out a bad product.
TheHumanSpider2 - 5/2/2023, 7:57 AM
Why is Ben acting like he wasnt the one who QUIT?
Origame - 5/2/2023, 8:26 AM
@TheHumanSpider2 - why are you acting like it wasn't the troubled production that led to him quitting?
TheHumanSpider2 - 5/2/2023, 8:40 AM
@Origame - Because it wasnt? he quit because it was to much presion, and he was going through a bad time in his personal life.
Nobody fired him, and the production never even started.
Origame - 5/2/2023, 9:00 AM
@TheHumanSpider2 - dude, it already started preproduction. And him quitting was only to the extent of no longer directing or writing new drafts. He was still gonna star and it was still gonna be his premise until reeves decided to do his own thing.
TheVengeance - 5/2/2023, 9:06 AM
@TheHumanSpider2 - this too. He quit on the character visibly following BvS press junkets
TheHumanSpider2 - 5/2/2023, 9:47 AM
@Origame - Production never started, Joe only did a camera test, and one could arguee it was for his Justice League cameo.
The idea was scrapped even before Justice League was released, reason why they changed that very scene, removing Lex telling Slade Batman's secret identity.
Ben's brother told the press he was out of the movie even before Comic Con 2017.
Origame - 5/2/2023, 9:53 AM
@TheHumanSpider2 - what part of "preproduction" do you not understand?
TheHumanSpider2 - 5/2/2023, 10:08 AM
@Origame - What part of "production" you dont understand?
Origame - 5/2/2023, 10:11 AM
@TheHumanSpider2 - dude, preproduction is a substantial part of the process. Basically the movie is made there and production is going through the motions of what was planned during preproduction. You're acting like preproduction is completely meaningless in terms of the production process.
Battabingg - 5/2/2023, 8:46 PM
@Origame - No. Affleck has said again and again that he couldn't crack his and Johns' Batman script. He loved it, but he couldn't crack it, and that has everything to do with his personal demons.
I certainly hope Affleck isn't trying to lay his demons on Whedon because we could see he was having problems during press for BvS.
Origame - 5/2/2023, 9:43 PM
@Battabingg - dude, Affleck is a professional. He's not gonna directly say it's the production process being the reason he left.

Or do you think it's a coincidence he left after finishing work on justice league, a movie he referred to as the most challenging production he's ever worked on?
Battabingg - 5/3/2023, 4:43 PM
@Origame - He left The Batman because he's an alcoholic who kept falling off the wagon. When he was supposed to be working on The Batman, he was in rehab. JL had nothing to do with what happened with The Batman.
And Affleck was having issues with alcohol before JL or JL reshoots with Whedon. You could see he was struggling during press for BvS, and that was in 2016.
Origame - 5/3/2023, 5:05 PM
@Battabingg - dude, he was already off the wagon by the time he signed on to batman. And when that happens you don't just get back on. You need some stress. An infamously troubled production will do it.
Battabingg - 5/4/2023, 4:27 PM
@Origame - Yeah, I already said Affleck was having trouble way back during BvS, which was also a troubled production, by the way.
Origame - 5/4/2023, 4:34 PM
@Battabingg - yeah. Two troubled productions. The second of which was described by him as the worst of his career.
bkmeijer1 - 5/2/2023, 8:02 AM
Think Batman vs Deathstroke would've been so much better than a collective of small villains. On a tactical and fighting level it would've indeed been a question for how Batman was gonna beat him
TheHumanSpider2 - 5/2/2023, 8:41 AM
@bkmeijer1 - From what we heard, it wasnt only crazy action, Slade was going after Bruce because he killed his son, it was personal.
bkmeijer1 - 5/2/2023, 9:03 AM
@TheHumanSpider2 - with Batman being a killer in the DCEU, I think it would've actually been pretty interesting to see Bruce Wayne face the consequences of that
mountainman - 5/2/2023, 9:44 AM
@bkmeijer1 - 100% agree. I am no fan of the Snyderverse, but this movie concept sounded really cool.
TheHumanSpider2 - 5/2/2023, 9:48 AM
@TheHumanSpider2 - It was a pretty good concept, and people who read the script said it was excellent (and considering how good of a writter Affleck is, it was expected), it is a shame they are likely never going to use it.
bkmeijer1 - 5/2/2023, 9:57 AM
@TheHumanSpider2 @mountainman - this kinda sounds like the one thing from the Snyderverse I actually would like to see in animated form now
TheHumanSpider2 - 5/2/2023, 10:09 AM
@bkmeijer1 - I actually think it should be adapted to an HBO Max mini series (with a different actor as Bruce, and Joe is still interested in playing Slade), but clearly, Affleck has no interest in directing something Batman related, and his script should be directed by him.
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