Ben Affleck Explains His Cancelled Batman Movie's Villain Plan

By Savannah Sanders Posted:
Batman Ben Affleck movie

At Zack Snyder's Full Circle Justice League event, Ben Affleck opened up about his scrapped Batman solo film and the plans he had for its villain. 

Before Robert Pattinson's The Batman, there was Ben Affleck's The Batman where the actor was set to both direct and star in his own DCEU solo film. 

Those abandoned plans included actor Joe Manganiello portraying the comic book villain, Deathstroke

While audiences never got to see Affleck's vision for his Batman baddie, he did just offer fans another idea of what could've been. 

Ben Affleck Talks Scrapped Batman Villain Plan

Ben Affleck, Deathstroke, Batman

During Zack Snyder's Justice League panel at the Full Circle event, Ben Affleck was asked about his vision for Deathstroke, leading the actor to share his own thinking behind big screen baddies. 

According to Affleck, the plans for his Batman movie "were to make interesting, nuanced, complex characters," and "in particular to" 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. 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."

Affleck's intentions for Deathstroke were public knowledge back in 2016 and before the release of 2017's Justice League which is when studio plans began to change. 

The character did, however, appear in Justice League's post-credits scene and in Zack Snyder's Justice League

In the comics, Deathstroke was a talented soldier named Slade Wilson who was chosen for secret experimentation. After gaining enhanced supersoldier-esque abilities, Wilson became a deadly mercenary with a signature suit and a reputation for employing strategy and even psychological warfare against his enemies. 

In regard to Affleck's own strategy for Deathstroke, the Justice League star shared how he wanted to make the villain "seem as impressive as I felt there was the opportunity to do:"

"So I was at the time really trying to hone in and focus on that character 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."

A DC Future for Deathstroke?

Back when his Batman movie was still a reality, Ben Affleck told Collider why he wanted Deathstroke for his film, saying, "I just had an instinctive feeling that he would match up with him well:"

“He’s a great villain because—I just had an instinctive feeling that he would match up with him well. You know, I’m a big admirer of that character as well, especially in the New 52 the way that they did Deathstroke, and I thought that it could work.”

Having two tacticians on two opposing sides was something prior Batman films hadn't fully explored at that time. 

However, it somewhat echoes what DC fans saw in Matt Reeves' The Batman where Pattinson's Dark Knight doesn't just battle his antagonist physically, but also mentally via detective work. 

With so many Batman projects on the horizon, the character of Deathstroke may still have a future in the new DCU

As for Ben Affleck, his Caped Crusader days aren't over just yet as he's set to reprise his DCEU role in The Flash in June. 

The Flash arrives in theaters on Friday, June 16. 

- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.