While currently filming Justice League in London with Zack Snyder, Ben Affleck revealed a very interesting video of a previously unannounced character. The video revealed an unknown actor wearing the distinctive costume of Deathstroke, albeit a little more armored than fans are used to seeing the character. While the video doesn’t reveal too much besides the look of the character, it did ignite some discussion about what it could mean for the developing DC Extended Universe. But first, who is Deathstroke?
Slade Wilson AKA Deathstroke the Terminator is a master assassin in the DC universe who has faced off against the strongest characters DC has to offer, though usually he deals with the Teen Titans, where he first appeared back in 1980. Created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, he is one of the few characters in comics to actually take down the Batman on more than one occasion, and has even faced off successfully against the entirety of the Justice League. Wilson’s origins parallel Batman’s in a way, having honed his body to physical perfection and mastered the skills of warfare and combat over his lifetime. As if that wasn’t enough to make him a threat, he was then injected with an experimental serum in an attempt to create a metahuman weapon for the military. The serum worked, allowing Wilson to use 90% of his available brain power – where it is assumed us non-meta’s use only 10% – along with his increased strength speed and reflexes. Check out our first look at the character below:
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) August 29, 2016
The footage seems to be more of a costume test than anything actually set to film, though there really isn’t too much to go on. While it seemed an odd way to reveal a potentially large part of an upcoming movie, Warner Bros. is no stranger to building the hype, which this teaser certainly did. Of course with filming currently underway the initial thoughts were that Deathstroke could appear in Justice League, it was also just as likely that the character could be appearing in the upcoming solo Batman film. Ben Affleck is slated to direct, working off a script he co-wrote with Geoff Johns, newly minted president of DC Films.
Confirmation came that not only was Deathstroke set to appear in Affleck’s solo Batman film, but the man behind the mask was also revealed as Joe Manganiello (True Blood, Sabotage). Manganiello had been rumored for the role a few times over the years, most recently when the character was thought to have been a part of Suicide Squad. Buzz started very quickly after the Deathstroke teaser was released when fans discovered Manganiello’s social media was littered with pictures from his recent time in London, noting the actor had also recently followed both the Justice League and Zack Snyder’s twitter page.
Manganiello is not the first to play the role in live-action, following the very successful version that was played by Manu Bennett on the CW’s Arrow during its second season. Arrow has provided something of a proving ground for Warner Bros. before, with the CW’s version of the Suicide Squad appearing and then disappearing just as quickly following the announcement of the film. Before that, the character of Slade Wilson appeared on the CW’s Smallville played by Michael Hogan, though he never quite matched with his comic counterpart. Deathstroke has also featured as a villain on a few animated series like Teen Titans and Young Justice, as well as in video games like Arkham Knight.
The only question remaining now is will Deathstroke also appear in Justice League? While the footage looks to have been filmed on the set of JL, it could still be used for Batman, though Affleck has stated that filming wouldn’t start until the script was completely finished. We’ll have to wait and see how the character fits into the larger DC Extended Universe, but Manganiello certainly seems to fit the role so far.
Do you think they cast the right person for Deathstroke? Are you excited to see him as a villain in Batman or were you hoping to see Leto’s Joker take on a more central role in the film? Let us know in the comments section below or join the discussion on the Geek Facebook page!
Images: DC Comics, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures