Ben Affleck explains choice of Deathstroke as villain for The Batman

Contributed by
Oct 6, 2016, 5:52 PM EDT (Updated)

With Ben Affleck's solo Batman film confirmed, the actor-director has explained why he picked Deathstroke as his chief adversary.

Ever since he landed the role of Batman in Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it's been rumored that Affleck -- an accomplished director himself with three acclaimed and award-winning films under his belt -- might work both in front of and behind the camera for a new solo Batman effort.

That was made official not too long ago, and while there is still a lot about the film we don't know, we have been told that Joe Manganiello is playing the Dark Knight' nemesis, Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke. 

Speaking with Collider while doing the publicity rounds for his latest starring vehicle, The Accountant, Affleck explained why Deathstroke was the right villain for his version of the Caped Crusader to face:

“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.”

Before some of you have a coronary at the mention of DC Comics' ill-received New 52 reboot from a few years ago, what Affleck says about Deathstroke may actually make sense in the context of this screen iteration of Batman. Affleck's Bruce Wayne is older, more grizzled and certainly on the downslope of his days as Batman. The Deathstroke introduced in the New 52 was an older version as well, forced to work with a younger group of mercenaries and prove himself all over again. The potential parallels there combined with both men's physical prowess and/or shortcomings could make for some thrilling dramatic fireworks.

Of course we'll have to wait a while to see how this plays out, since Affleck has only just completed work on Justice League and is also finishing post-production on his latest film as a director, the crime drama Live by Night. He has been working on the Batman script with DC bigwig Geoff Johns, but the film has not started production yet, nor does it have a release date. We will probably be getting a glimpse of Deathstroke in Justice League however. (UPDATE: Affleck did tell the Associated Press that the movie will be called The Batman, as widely speculated, although he also noted that the title could change.)

Deathstroke is not one of Batman's better-known villains to the public in general, but it's certainly an interesting choice to go outside the obvious suspects like Penguin, Riddler, etc. Do you agree with Affleck that Deathstroke will be a formidable opponent for the Bat?

Make Your Inbox Important

Like Comic-Con. Except every week in your inbox.

Sign-up breaker