Ben Affleck is currently in London reprising his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman for Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder’s next DC Extended Universe film, Justice League. The Oscar-winning actor/filmmaker Affleck has now sent the comic book-loving masses into a frenzy by, without warning, releasing a video of the DC Comics villain Deathstroke on the Justice League movie set. However, the identity of the actor playing Slade Wilson/Deathstroke in the movie and his role in the Justice League narrative, remains a mystery for the time being.

Many fans were quick to speculate that this Deathstroke video is actually test footage for the Batman solo movie that Affleck is slated to direct, based on a script that he is currently developing with newly-appointed DC Entertainment President and acclaimed comic book writer, Geoff Johns. While that isn’t the case, there’s a good reason why Affleck was the one to unveil the DCEU version of Deathstroke.

The Wrap is reporting that Deathstroke will serve as the main villain in Affleck’s solo Batman movie. The DCEU has thus far embraced the idea of interconnectivity between its movies, be it by using Batman V Superman to introduce Justice League members Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg or having Affleck’s Caped Crusader appear in David Ayer’s own DEU feature, Suicide Squad. Deathstroke making his DCEU debut with an appearance in Justice League prior to him serving as the main antagonist in the Batman solo film is in keeping with that approach.

There were signs that Deathstroke would soon be making his DCEU debut in the early goings of 2016. Back in February, Marc Guggenheim – co-creator/showrunner of The CW’s Arrow/The Flash TV show universe – revealed that the Slade Wilson character “is currently tied up in another DC project” and thus, would probably not be re-appearing on Arrow (where he’s played by Manu Bennett) anytime soon. Even before then, rumor had it that Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike) was going to play the grizzled killer-for-hire Slade Wilson in the DC super-villain romp that is Suicide Squad.

Currently, the identity of the actor wearing the Deathstroke costume in the video that Affleck shared remains unknown (though, for the record, Manganiello is in London right now). Nevertheless, having the character show up in Justice League ought to serve as a nice teaser and additional hype-building for Affleck’s already-anticipated Caped Crusader movie. Not to mention, this opens the floodgates for fresh speculation about the storyline for the DCEU solo Batman movie (with everything from the Under the Red Hood comics/animated movie narrative to an adventure set in Arkham Asylum having been rumored in the past).

Deathstroke, a dangerous and hard-edged mercenary, certainly reads as being a nice match for Affleck’s older and more hardened iteration of the Caped Crusader, in his solo movie. Affleck’s Batman movie is expected to take some cues from the actor/filmmaker’s previous crime drama/thriller work (see Gone Baby Gone, The Town) and could make for the sort of hard-boiled Batman detective story that fans have long wanted to see on the big screen, all the more so with Deathstroke serving as the primary antagonist.

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Suicide Squad is now playing in theaters. Wonder Woman opens in theaters on June 2, 2017, followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The FlashThe Batman solo movieDark Universe and Man of Steel 2 are currently without a release dates.

Source: The Wrap