Exactly what Ben Affleck will do with the DC Extended Universe is yet to be seen. Though the franchise’s proverbial ringleader Zack Snyder, whose Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice represented a singularly serious vision, will return to helm Justice League, DC has already taken efforts to diversify its vision. David Ayer’s Suicide Squad was a bit more stylish, albeit a good deal more scattered, than Snyder’s titles. Our first look at Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman bred optimism over an earthy and earnest character. The Flash director Rick Famuyiwa’s past efforts, notably 2015’s Dope, suggests an energy befitting of the meta-human speedster. But of course, the director we’ve all got our eyes and minds on is Ben Affleck, who may have garnered a great deal of good will with his revelation that Deathstroke is coming to the DCEU.
Just this morning, Affleck tweeted some sub-screen caliber footage of a metal-suited character than fans immediately recognized as Deathstroke, the DC Universe’s master assassin and meanest mercenary:
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) August 29, 2016
It stands to reason that the video come from the set of Justice League (as such is the only DC film currently in production), though The Wrap followed the tweet with a report that Deathstroke would serve as the main villain of Affleck’s Batman movie. If that is, in fact, the case, then it may follow the lines of the characters initial 1991 encounter in the “City of Assassins” storyline from Marv Wolfman and Steve Erwin’s Deathstroke: The Terminator series. The storyline saw Deathstroke trying to hunt down another assassin who was knocking off Gotham’s mob bosses, and Batman not taking too kindly to wanted murderers running around his city. Spoiler alert: it didn’t go particularly well for Batman.
Deathstroke was created in 1980 by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, first appearing in New Teen Titans #2 as a character simply named The Terminator who had taken a contract the murder the Teen Titans. The advent of James Cameron’s mega-popular movie of the same name prompted DC to retitle their masked mercenary to avoid any confusion between the two characters. Over the years, Deathstroke would be a constant antagonist to the Teen Titans and Green Arrow, in particular, although he has battled the likes of the Justice League and Batman too. The subject of covert military experiments, Deathstroke has superhuman reflexes, strength, endurance, speed, as well as mastery of all manner of weaponry, martial arts, and military tactics. In short, he’s someone who could definitely give The Dark Knight a run for his money.
But even if this glance at Deathstroke is one from the set of the next Snyder-helmed picture, its delivery by Affleck is significant enough to communicate his relationship with DC and its fans. We know Affleck can direct a good picture; what’s more pertinent here is the fact that he can connect with an audience. Hiccups and backlash aside, Affleck has maintained a profound direct connection to the viewing public throughout his years as a star. It’s the sort of connection that many DC fans are wishing their movies would strive harder to foster. If a move like this suggests anything, it’s that Affleck is already taking those steps.
Are you looking forward to Affleck’s Batman film? Let us know!
Image: DC Comics