With weeks to go before its premiere, Zack Snyder is sharing more information regarding not only his special cut of Justice League but also what his plans for future DC films would have been.
This includes how Joe Manganiello would have been a huge force as Deathstroke the Terminator and would be facing Batman in Snyder’s never-produced Dark Knight sequel.
Created in 1980 by Marv Wolfman and George Perez during their classic run of New Teen Titans, Deathstroke the Terminator has been DC’s premiere assassin for decades.
A former soldier, Slade Wilson underwent a unique experiment that enhanced his physical abilities, brainpower, and fighting skills. He went rogue to become a freelance mercenary who never fails a job.
Despite being blind in one eye, Deathstroke is a formidable fighter who has defeated the Titans and even the Justice League all by himself. While he has occasionally followed a moral code, Deathstroke is known as a ruthless killer who works for the highest bidder.
Slade’s oldest son, Grant, followed in his father’s footsteps as the Ravager but lost his life in a battle. His other son, Joseph, would lose his voice in part because of his father. He gained his own powers to join the Titans as Jericho.
The character appeared in the various Teen Titans cartoons, known simply as Slade. He was played on Arrow by Manu Bennett as a former ally turned enemy of Oliver Queen. Esai Morales portrayed Deathstroke for the Titans TV series.
Batman and Deathstroke
In Justice League, Deathstroke appears in the post-credits scene to meet with Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) on a yacht and hears Luthor’s idea of “a League of our own.”
Speaking on his Justice League cut for IGN, Snyder shared how it will have a deleted scene of Deathstroke breaking Luthor out of prison. Also, Slade would pop up in the “Knightmare” sequence where Batman navigates an Earth conquered by Darkseid. The difference being Deathstroke and Batman are actually allies.
“Joe’s character in this movie when we find him, clearly he and Batman have struck some sort of a deal and they have a bit of a partnership. There’s a bigger enemy, I guess. I think that’s the big difference. They’re not locked in mortal combat. They’re actually working together to try to figure out how to make this world work.”
In the comics, Batman and Deathstroke do have a grudging respect for each other’s fighting skills and never giving up in a fight. Where they differ is Batman despising Deathstroke being a killer for hire.
A major battle
Deathstroke would have played a significant role as the villain in The Batman film Snyder had been planning to direct after Justice League. Like many DCEU projects, that film was put on hold after Justice League disappointed at the box office.
Manganiello told of how the Batman film would have Deathstroke embarking on a major war with the Dark Knight.
“It was a really dark story in which Deathstroke was like a shark or a horror movie villain that was dismantling Bruce’s life from the inside out. It was this systemic thing: He killed everyone close to Bruce and destroyed his life to try and make him suffer because he felt that Bruce was responsible for something that happened to him.”
Manganiello shared Deathstroke’s new look for the Snyder Cut that enhances his warrior skills. Whether this leads to Manganiello being able to play Deathstroke again or not, the Snyder Cut of Justice League will showcase how the actor could have brought DC’s deadly warrior to big-screen life.
Justice Leauge the Snyder Cut debuts on HBO Max on March 19.