THE BATMAN: Ben Affleck's Movie Was Going To See The Dark Knight And Batgirl Battling Deathstroke Together

THE BATMAN: Ben Affleck's Movie Was Going To See The Dark Knight And Batgirl Battling Deathstroke Together

As excited as we are to see Matt Reeves' The Batman, expect to be even more disappointed that Ben Affleck's version didn't happen when you read these new details about his take on Batgirl and Deathstroke.

By JoshWilding - Mar 24, 2021 01:03 PM EST
Filed Under: The Batman
Source: Phase Zero

A few years ago, Ben Affleck made the decision to walk away from directing The Batman. Later, he also chose not to star in it, which is why Matt Reeves is now developing a standalone trilogy starring Robert Pattinson.

Affleck planned to pit his Caped Crusader against Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke, and we got our first tease of that conflict in Zack Snyder's Justice League

Talking on the Phase Zero podcast, Manganiello revealed that the script (which Affleck penned with comic book writer Geoff Johns) included Batgirl. 

"There was like a big huge showdown, I think between Batgirl...Batgirl jumps in to try and help Bruce because Deathstroke is so fast," the actor reveals. "He can anticipate Bruce's movements." That sounds seriously awesome, and Manganiello went on to explain that the hero is "completely afraid" of Slade Wilson because "he met someone who can take him." 

"That leads to this big climactic battle through the streets of Gotham in the end," he continued. "It's like a real-life psychological thriller with Deathstroke. He was like a horror movie, like a shark, kind of like Jaws."

This sounds like the perfect approach to this face-off, and a great choice of villain after the Dark Knight successfully managed to go toe-to-toe with Superman. 

Unfortunately, we probably won't ever get to see this version of The Batman (which was once supposed to be released in 2018). Fingers crossed those HBO Max rumours become a reality, eh?


Click on the "Next" button below to check out 10 reveals from
the set photos and videos for The Batman movie we are getting!

10. Selina Kyle And Carmine Falcone

Selina-Kyle

Catwoman clearly won't be wearing her classic comic book costume in The Batman (at least not at first), but despite what we saw in the trailer, her funeral attire grabbed everyone's attention and really made her stand out from the crowd. 

In some iterations of Selina Kyle's origin story, she's rumored to be Carmine Falcone's illegitimate daughter. If Matt Reeves is taking cues from Batman: Dark Victory, then we can expect to see that play out in this world too. 

Selina and Falcone left the funeral service we've seen in set photos together, and exploring that relationship might help freshen Catwoman up on screen. Should she eventually turn on him to help Batman - and that's looking likely - then it seems Reeves will explore Selina in greater depth than past films.

Interestingly, there's a hint Falcone has already crossed paths with Catwoman, so perhaps Selina is just playing along?
 

9. The Death of Gotham City's Mayor

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The Batman trailer showed a costumed man most assumed to be The Riddler murdering someone by covering their face in masking tape. Thanks to the set photos we've seen, it seems the villain's victim could be Gotham City's mayor. 

Spooks actor Rupert Penry-Jones is taking on that role, and with plenty of criminals in attendance for the funeral (like Oswald Cobblepot and Carmine Falcone), that doesn't exactly point to him being an honest man. 

Bruce being there is likely because he wants to keep an eye on them, something that becomes evident from other shots which we'll get to in the next few slides.

Perhaps Riddler believes he's fighting back against the corruption which is taking over his home, making him a twisted version of Batman with his own "code."
 

8. Where Did You Get Those Scars?

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John Turturro will play Carmine Falcone in The Batman, and given comments from Matt Reeves at DC FanDome last summer, chances are much of the Dark Knight's mission will revolve around trying to take the criminal down. 

Set photos have also revealed some familiar scars on the criminal's face. 

In Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli's Batman: Year One, Catwoman attacked Falcone in an attempt to build her reputation after her robberies were mistakenly credited to Batman. That left him with three hard-to-miss scratches on his face, and though his comic book counterpart set out on a mission of revenge, perhaps this one will take Selina under his wing? 

It would simplify her origin story, and might justify Catwoman's eventual decision to team with Batman.
 

7. Wait, THAT'S The Penguin?!

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When the news broke that Colin Farrell would play Penguin, most of us guessed he might be a mix of Oswald Cobbepot and Emperor Penguin. Early set photos even teased that might be the case.

Instead, he's totally unrecognizable, and covered in prosthetics which are said to have fooled even his castmates. 

In set photos taken in Liverpool, England, Farrell was spotted wielding an umbrella, a possible nod to his comic book counterpart. However, it was raining, and that might be a little too obvious. 

Either way, Matt Reeves has strongly hinted that this is every bit the origin story for Oswald too, and the images we've seen show Farrell really committing to playing this shady crook.
 

6. The Riddler's Goons

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The Riddler is thought to be this film's "big bad," but if that was him in the trailers, we know he won't be walking around Gotham City in bright green with a cane (and a costume covered in question marks). 

He will, however, have some loyal followers as goons who clearly report to The Riddler have been spotted on set. 

Wearing balaclavas and jackets with question mark logos spray-painted on them, it appears they're involved in the attack on the mayor's funeral, and it's looking a lot like there are people in Gotham City who agree with Edward Nash's way of doing things. This feels a lot like the "Zero Year" story from the comics. 

As for the logo we've seen, it makes us think of the Zodiac killer, a hint perhaps at how Matt Reeves plans to portray this baddie.
 

5. Bruce Wayne Confronts Oswald Cobblepot

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Among the most intriguing photos taken in Liverpool were ones showing Bruce Wayne conversing with Oswald Cobblepot in what looks like a very tense moment.

A set video would follow, and it didn't look like Bruce had any time for him.

If Oswald is viewed as a respectable businessman by the public (or there's not enough proof to confirm he's crooked), perhaps the future Penguin feels he deserves to rub shoulders with Gotham City's resident billionaire playboy. These scenes also indicated that there could be a shared history between them. 

Given his age, don't be too shocked if Oswald knew Thomas and Martha Wayne prior to their murder.
 

4. Meet Stanley Merkel

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Eternals star Barry Keoghan has also been spotted on set, confirming rumors that he's part of The Batman's already impressive cast. 

We've since learned that he's playing Officer Stanley Merkel, a character who, in the comics, was James Gordon's partner when he first arrived in Gotham City. A rare honest cop, he found himself caught in the crossfire of the gang war that played out between Carmine Falcone and The Penguin, and we're betting that happens here too.

Merkel was actually one of the Hang Man's victims, but The Riddler can easily fill that spot. 

This is another nod to Batman: Dark Victory it seems, but what grabbed our notice on set was Bruce Wayne handing Merkel some cash. What's that about? 
 

3. Another Villain?

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We've seen most of Batman's greatest foes on screen by now, with Scarecrow a baddie who made his silver screen debut in Batman Begins. Now, there are plans for him in Titans on HBO Max.

However, a sign has been spotted on the set of this film showing someone who looks an awful lot like the Scarecrow with the words "Fear City" written around it. Should that be taken as a, well, sign (no pun intended) that the Caped Crusader has already crossed paths with Scarecrow?

This might serve as an effective way to give Batman some history in his home, and may well factor into the planned TV series which will be set during his first year on the job. 

Fingers crossed for a visit to Arkham Asylum, eh? 
 

2. Batman/Catwoman Team-Up

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Shooting was halted in Edinburgh, Scotland thanks to COVID, but before that happened, we got to see Batman racing into action on his motorbike with a woman clad in black leather - obviously Selina Kyle - not too far behind. 

Both vehicles have since popped back up, and look likely to be this pairing's primary mode of transport. 

Batman Returns and The Dark Knight Rises both delved into Bruce Wayne/Batman's budding romance with Selina Kyle/Catwoman, and it looks like Matt Reeves plans to explore that in depth.

The costume she wears in the trailer looks homemade, so if Selina does align herself with the Caped Crusader, perhaps he makes her a superhero costume of her own? 
 

1. The Batmobile

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Matt Reeves revealed the Batmobile what feels like a lifetime ago, but we've also seen it in action. 

On closer inspection, the vehicle seems to be a 1963 Corvette Stingray. Likely Matt Reeves' way of paying homage to the classic Batman TV series starring Adam West (which has even seemingly influenced the cowl Robert Pattinson dons), it's a cool idea, and one that looks undeniably badass in action.

We don't know what weaponry - if any - it contains, but this is another indication of a grounded story. 

Oh, and we can confirm it sounds like a f***ing beast tearing through the "Gotham City" streets! 
 

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Goldboink
Goldboink - 3/24/2021, 1:32 PM
Let's spend some more time talking about movies that didn't get made. Totally productive.
Odin
Odin - 3/24/2021, 2:04 PM
@Goldboink - Yeah. Because being productive, that's the reason why we nerds come to this site.
Nightwing1015
Nightwing1015 - 3/24/2021, 2:32 PM
@Goldboink - People find that stuff really interesting though. That's why there's a full documentary about Cage's Superman film and a whole bunch of articles about Justice League Mortal, and Batman Year One.
Poopmaster89
Poopmaster89 - 3/24/2021, 3:58 PM
@Goldboink - honestly it all sounded lame to me, personally didn't sound that good to me. Manganiello is like a B-list actor, sure the action could of been cool but the story sounded pretty lame. Really excited for Matt Reeves rendition.
Poopmaster89
Poopmaster89 - 3/24/2021, 3:59 PM
@Nightwing1015 - ok, the nice cage superman seemed really interesting to me.
Matador
Matador - 3/24/2021, 4:41 PM
@Odin - LMAO A long time ago I think I spent more time here than doing real work thanks @Gusto
Goldboink
Goldboink - 3/24/2021, 6:45 PM
@Poopmaster89 -
Hoping my boss doesn’t put two and two together
Goldboink
Goldboink - 3/24/2021, 6:50 PM
@Nightwing1015 - I saw the documentary e Burton Superman as well as the jodorovsky Dune. S is a different thing entirely. Story after story about things people talked about and it’s the scrubs who are doing the most talking
BigMikeReviews
BigMikeReviews - 3/24/2021, 1:34 PM
This can always be repackaged as a Pattinson Bat-flick one day.
Turtlestrong
Turtlestrong - 3/24/2021, 1:34 PM
I'm sure it was going to be the Cassandra Cain from the Birds of Prey movie, right?
Turtlestrong
Turtlestrong - 3/24/2021, 3:07 PM
@Waddles - I hope so. Worried the BoP version was going to last. No offense against the actress or anything, but just feels like the Bat Family hasn't gotten much development. Really looking forward to a solid interpretation at some point.
Origame
Origame - 3/24/2021, 3:12 PM
@Waddles - don't forget the subplot where they fight a gangster named Paris Franz. It ends with batman and Batgirl doing it (naturally).
L0RDbuckethead
L0RDbuckethead - 3/24/2021, 3:27 PM
@Waddles - this
santoanderson
santoanderson - 3/24/2021, 1:34 PM
Joe seems pretty passionate about the character. It’d be nice is WB could find a way to bring him back. Man, the executives at Warner Bros really [frick]ed up this franchise.
MasterMix
MasterMix - 3/24/2021, 1:34 PM
As long as this didn't happen
MyCoolYoung
MyCoolYoung - 3/24/2021, 1:35 PM
Batman to superman: you're not brave, men are brave

Batman to death stroke: man, you're brave

Crazy how the mighty have fallen
Tasmaniac
Tasmaniac - 3/24/2021, 1:36 PM
And the best part is Ben would have been able to trade in his real life partner for his new younger co-star again 👍🏻 THAT’S forward planning 🤔
Doomsday8888
Doomsday8888 - 3/24/2021, 1:38 PM
GhostDog
GhostDog - 3/24/2021, 1:39 PM
"that the hero is "completely afraid" of Slade Wilson because "he met someone who can take him."

inkniron
inkniron - 3/24/2021, 1:39 PM
So, a rehash theme of the BvS final fight. How original.
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