Ben Affleck had plans to establish a complex version of Deathstroke for his DC Extended Universe Batman movie.
Per The Direct, Affleck shared his original vision for his unproduced Batman standalone project at Zack Snyder's Full Circle Justice League charity event. Arguably the most significant detail was the intended inclusion of a fully fleshed-out version of Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke which the actor/filmmaker elaborated on when asked about his initial role in the film. "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," Affleck said.
He continued, "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 believes his handling of Deathstroke would have made a lasting impression among DC fans. "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," Affleck said. "That's the only detail I have for you."
Created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, Slade Wilson/Deathstroke made his DC Comics debut in the pages of The New Teen Titans #2 in December 1980. Starting as a soldier during the Korean War, Wilson was taken under the wing of Captain Adeline Kane to train in specialized combat for the Vietnam War. Mastering all fighting forms, Wilson was chosen for a government experiment that enhanced his senses and healing power to become a metahuman soldier. Eventually going rogue, he became a high-priced assassin-for-hire and usually served as an antagonist for the Teen Titans as well as Batman and Green Arrow.
Manganiello was cast as Deathstroke specifically for Affleck's Batman film in 2016 while Justice League was in production. He would debut in the post-credits of 2017's Justice Leaguewhere Deathstroke was recruited by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) to join the Legion of Doom and learns of Batman's true identity as Bruce Wayne. When Affleck's Batman project was sidelined in favor of Matt Reeves' The Batman, Manganiello was expecting to get a Deathstroke solo film which never got off the ground.
Affleck will reprise his role as Batman one last time when The Flash opens in theaters on June 16.
Source: The Direct