Jay Oliva knows his way around the DC Universe. He’s directed a multitude of DC animated films, including Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, and Justice League Dark. He’s also a storyboard artist working for both Marvel and DC, with credits on Wonder Woman, Justice League, and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
And perhaps most intriguing, Oliva was the storyboard artist on the first DCEU solo Batman film, simply titled The Batman, when Ben Affleck was set to write, direct, and star. Now in the hands of Matt Reeves and focusing on a Dark Knight in his younger years (like the 2004 cartoon of the same name), Affleck’s script has gone by the wayside. According to Oliva, though, fans were missing out on something special, as he said that Affleck’s script was “the best Batman script I’ve ever read” after engaging with a fan on Twitter.
Oliva went on to imply that the reason DC didn’t use Affleck’s script was above his pay grade, while mentioning that the Batman/Deathstroke scenes he had drawn were amazing.
Joe Manganiello is still set to play Deathstroke/Slade Wilson in some form or another in the DCEU. What’s uncertain is whether he’ll make an appearance in Reeves’ film. Affleck’s script was to revolve around Deathstroke being paid by Lex Luthor to take Batman out, but the end of Justice League implied bigger plans for the world’s greatest assassin.
The Batman is scheduled to start shooting sometime in 2019. While fans are always excited to see the Caped Crusader on the big screen, Oliva’s enthusiasm over what could have been may have fans wondering “What if?” Are you one of them?