Not long after his exciting appearance in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Deathstroke himself Joe Manganiello continues to reveal details about the Ben Affleck-led Batman film, dropping the news via ComicBook‘s Twitch stream that Batgirl had been intended to appear in a very exciting way. The fan-favorite superhero is currently set to receive her own standalone film, but it seems the canceled Batman project would’ve been her first appearance in the DC Extended Universe.
During his chat with ComicBook, Manganiello talked about how his Deathstroke was going to terrorize Batman like nobody else could:
“There was like a big, huge showdown … Batgirl jumps in to try to help Bruce because Deathstroke is so fast that he can anticipate Bruce’s movements … Batman is completely afraid because he realizes he’s met someone who can take him, and then that leads to this big climactic battle through the streets of Gotham City. But yeah, it was like a real psychological thriller where Deathstroke was kind of like a … horror movie villain, like a shark, kind of like Jaws.”
Manganiello doesn’t expand further than that in regards to Batgirl’s role in the film during the stream (although he does remind us that the movie was going to be like David Fincher‘s The Game), but he also mentions how Slade Wilson tears apart Bruce’s entire life, including killing those he loves around him.
It’s been known for years that the Affleck-led flick would have featured Manganiello’s Deathstroke as the main antagonist, but the inclusion of Batgirl, presumably Barbara Gordon, is a significant development and speaks how interconnected the films were meant to be. Her appearance would have likely led to her solo film, and it also begs the question if other Batman proteges could have appeared. Nevertheless, Christina Hodson, the screenwriter behind Birds of Prey and the upcoming Flash movie, is behind the script for Batgirl, which remains in development since its announcement in 2018.
No matter how you slice it, it’s a shame Ben Affleck’s film never got off the ground, leaving Manganiello’s Deathstroke stuck in limbo indefinitely. Despite an attempt to get The Raid’s Gareth Evans to develop a solo Deathstroke project, he never officially signed on and nothing came to fruition. Manganiello’s small role in Zack Snyder’s Justice League reunited him with the character five years after his initial appearance, which could spark conversation in regards to a possible return down the line.
While Manganiello’s future as Deathstroke remains uncertain, you can watch his cameo in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, streaming on HBO Max right now. Here’s the clip in which he speaks about Batgirl’s role in the canceled Batman project: