Though Ben Affleck will once again be seen donning the cape and cowl in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the possibility of his Batman facing off against Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke as originally planned in The Batman movie, is rather bleak. But the real news is that, not only was Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke not included in Matt Reeves’ revised The Batman script, and his solo film was scrapped, but he was also supposed to be a part of the cancelled Suicide Squad 2 as well.
As we already know, it was Ben Affleck who was initially on board as the writer, director, and star of the DCEU’s upcoming The Batman. When he was involved, Manganiello’s Deathstroke was also in the movie. But when Warner Bros set out to tweak the setup of the DCEU, Affleck was edged out and so was Deathstroke when Reeves was assigned to direct the film instead. And with Ben Affleck’s exit, the solo film based on Deathstroke was also dead on arrival.
“When the dust settled, it was not seen as a priority to make a $40 million movie about a villain origin story in which you show the backstory,” Joe Manganiello explained. But The Batman and the canceled Deathstroke mstandalone aren’t the only movies that the actor didn’t get to star in. The sequel to David Ayer’s 2016 released Suicide Squad was going to mark the character’s second appearance in the DCEU.
“There were four or five different versions of Suicide Squad 2 that I was put on hold for, for dates, waiting for one actor to free up and we were going to go.”
After Reeves came onboard to helm The Batman and Robert Pattinson replaced Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader, the sequel of Suicide Squad was also scrapped and an upcoming reboot of the film was planned with James Gunn, who didn’t include the character of Deathstroke.
But now, his character is returning to the big screen with Zack Snyder’s Justice League who has included Deathstroke via new sequences just like he has done with Jared Leto’s Joker, allowing Manganiello to realize some of his many ideas about Deathstroke.
“In the end of the film I always envisioned him shaving his head into some kind of warlike, borderline suicide mission, ‘This is it, I’m going to die like a warrior.’ I explained that to Zack, and he said, ‘Great, let’s do it’,” he shared. Last year, Manganiello had shared how disappointed he was after every project that was supposed to include Deathstroke was cancelled. So, when Zack Snyder called him with the offer of starring in the Justice League reshoots, he was more than excited to play the character again.
“There’ve been so much disappointment over the past four years. There were probably seven different Deathstroke projects that were all cancelled. So, when you keep getting that phone call over and over again, you have to let it go for your own sanity. So, getting that call from Zack to put the suit back on, it was fun.
It was weird, because it’s four years later. Four years later. But I had had a lot of thoughts after all those false starts about the character and what I wanted to do with the character. So, when Zack called me up, I got to really put my stink on him in a few different ways that were very satisfying,” he had shared. The news comes to us via Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast.