Robert Pattinson may be the star of The Batman now, but not too long ago, Ben Affleck was set to direct his own Batman movie with Joe Manganiello set to play main villain Deathstroke. The movie isn’t happening anymore, but Manganiello does drop a few more details about the would-have-been film—including the debut of Batgirl.
Talking to ComicBook Nation, Manganiello explains:
There was a big huge showdown between Batgirl—Batgirl jumps in to try and help Bruce because Deathstroke is so fast that he can anticipate Bruce’s movements; and there was this huge fight in Gotham City where Batman is completely afraid because he realizes he’s met someone who can take him; and that leads into this big climactic battle through the streets of Gotham City—it’s a real life psychological thriller where Deathstroke is like a horror movie villain… like Jaws.
By the sound of it, it feels like the story is influenced by the Knightfall storyline in where Batman is pitted against all of his villains and in the end has his back broken by Bane. I guess you could say that there’s also influence from Daredevil’s Born Again arc where the Kingpin learns about Matt Murdock’s alter ego and proceeds to destroy his personal life as well.
If anything, Affleck’s Batman sounded like a full-on comic take on the character, and it would have been great to see him take on multiple villains. After seeing that warehouse fight in Batman v Superman, it would have been fantastic to see Batfleck go all-out in his own movie.
As for Batgirl, Joss Whedon was originally set to do something with the character, but after what happened with Justice League, it looks like WB wanted to go in another direction. We don’t know where/when Barbara Gordon could pop-up, but fans are hoping that this hype from the Snyder Cut will manage to get WB to revisit some dropped projects.
For now, it looks like WB is focused on bringing ‘Battinson’ to the big screen, and while I think he has a unique take on the character, I stand with a lot of fans who were excited to see what Affleck could have brought to the table if he was allowed to. We won’t be getting that anymore, but if #ReleaseTheSnyderCut could happen, fans are hoping that they could pull off a #RestoreTheSnyderVerse.
Catch The Batman when it hits theaters March 4, 2022.