The Greatest Movie Never Made- Ben Affleck’s Batman Vs Deathstroke
Hollywood’s history is full of movies and shows which were cancelled due to various reasons. But there hasn’t been a more high profile high budget and highly demanded cancelled project than Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie. So let’s dive deep into what was the movie supposed to be. Zack Snyder envisioned the DCEU in which Justice League would have led into the said movie with Batman’s arc continuing in several other projects. This is the final part of the four-part Batfleck series. You can read about Batman’s complete character arc, his death in JL 2, and the standalone movie now helmed by Robert Pattinson.
Batfleck vs Deathstroke Fight | Batman: Arkham Origins
The Batman Vs Deathstroke
A plot very famous from the Arkham Knight games, Ben Affleck’s movie was supposed to be a battle of wits and strength against Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke. The movie would be about Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke, taking revenge on Batman after he learns that an event caused by the Dark Knight escalates to the point of Wilson’s son getting killed in the process. He becomes Deathstroke and takes an oath to seek revenge for his son.
Deathstroke then teams up with Jared Leto’s joker and destroys Bruce Wayne’s personal life bit by bit causing him to go insane. It is even believed that there was a draft in which Deathstroke kills Batman’s loyal butler Alfred in his thirst for vengeance. The movie would have featured an epic fight sequence which would culminate the ending.
Ben Affleck calls Matt Reeves
Matt Reeves, basking in the success of his Planet of the Apes films was approached by Ben Affleck to handle the directing duties for Batman. While the script, the screenplay was already written by Ben Affleck and produced by Zack Snyder, Affleck felt that he probably couldn’t give an excellent Batman performance while also directing. Thus, Matt Reeves was brought on to direct the Batman Vs Deathstroke movie.
The original dark and brutal script
In the original pitch for The Batman, Deathstroke performed a demolition job on Bruce Wayne’s life, systematically destroying his public status as Gotham City’s leading citizen and his private existence as its Caped Crusader. Joe Manganiello says, “It was a really dark story in which Deathstroke was like a shark or a horror movie villain that was dismantling Bruce’s life from the inside out.” Deathstroke kills everyone close to Bruce and destroys his life to try and make him suffer. Because he felt that Bruce was responsible for his suffering.
Further, the epilogue of Zack Snyder’s Justice League shows that Lex Luthor gave Deathstroke crucial information about Batman, revealing his real identity. This was supposed to be the starting of Ben Affleck’s Batman showing the past of Slade Wilson and his motives. This movie would also explore the death of Dick Grayson (Robin), after which Batman had turned into an unhinged version of himself in Batman Vs Superman.
Why was the Batman project canceled?
After the troubled production of Justice League, Ben Affleck was very sceptical of making his Batman movie with the insane amount of studio interference. While Ben Affleck has a great history with Warner Bros studios, the Dc films division has been notorious for interfering with the superhero projects. Ben Affleck, an Oscar-winning director, actor and writer didn’t like this. He felt it was better to not make this movie rather than make a compromised version of his perfect Batman movie.