Deathstroke Was ‘Jaws’ To Affleck’s “Batman”

Originally published on Dark Horizons by Garth Franklin

Had “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” been released in 2017 as planned and proven a hit, it’s likely others films it setup would have gone forward.

The one that came the closest was a new “Batman” film that was to not only star but be written and directed by Ben Affleck, with Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke serving as the villain.

That film of course didn’t happen, but Manganiello spoke with Phase Zero podcast (via about what we missed out on and he explains that with Deathstroke now knowing Batman’s secret identity, the project would’ve had more of a horror thriller vibe and would see the arrival of 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. He can anticipate Bruce’s movements. [Batman has] met someone who can take him. That leads to this big climactic battle through the streets of Gotham in the end. It’s like a real-life psychological thriller with Deathstroke. He was like a horror movie, like a shark, kind of like ‘Jaws.’”

Manganiello had previously compared the film to David Fincher’s “The Game,” while it sounds like the film followed a similar pattern that the second (and best) season of “Arrow” did – Deathstroke knowing the secret hero’s true identity and systematically dismantling his good works and killing those he cares about.

Warner Bros. Pictures has moved on with Matt Reeves now directing a new “Batman” film with Robert Pattinson starring that takes on a very different story, though will also be adopting a dark psychological thriller approach. It arrives in cinemas on March 4th 2022.

The fallout from the release of “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” last week continue with Snyder talking more about the aborted sequels to that – one of them would’ve had Joker confessing his story of killing Robin.

He also revealed that the Martian Manhunter scene at the end was originally going to be the John Stewart version of Green Lantern and they shot it with “an amazing actor” but Warners made him cut it – they eventually all agreed on Harry Lennix’s Martian Manhunter doing the scene.

Check out a featurette for that below. Snyder’s black-and-white version of his cut also went live on HBO Max this morning.

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