Joe Manganiello reveals more about plans for Deathstroke in Ben Affleck's canceled Batman movie

Justice League Deathstroke
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Joe Manganiello, who plays Deathstroke in the DCEU, has revealed more about plans for the character in the canceled Ben Affleck solo Batman movie.

"In the Batman script, Deathstroke loses his son and blamed Batman for it," Manganiello explained on a MANvsGAME Twitch stream. "Which is why, in the restored end credits sequence that appears in Zack [Snyder]'s version, that was what we originally shot. It was Lex Luthor getting a hold of Deathstroke and letting him know, I know who killed your son and his name is Bruce, Bruce Wayne." He further explained Luthor's motivations were to eliminate one of his own enemies, and that Deathstroke and Luthor may have ended up at odds, or could even "strike up a kinship."

The theatrical version of Justice League featured Jesse Eisenberg's Luthor and Manganiello's Deathstroke in its post-credits scene, but set up the Injustice League rather than Affleck's Batman movie. The scene in Zack Snyder's Justice League, which is part of the movie rather than a post-credits sting, is the original version of the sequence.

Manganiello also talked more about the parallels between Deathstroke and Batman: "I really, really didn't want Deathstroke to have powers. I wanted him to be just a man who experienced a tragedy, and instead of becoming this altruistic utopian who believed that people could be better, and a better society, he was just this nihilistic killer, and there was a line in the sand between the tactics that he was willing to use and the ones that Bruce was willing to use."

He added: "The idea that they were both trained in the League of Assassins, and that one went one way and one went the other. And I just really thought that that was gonna be a really cool dichotomy to see." There is in fact a minor League of Assassins Easter egg hidden on Deathstroke's sword in the Snyder Cut.

We may never know what would happen in this showdown between Batman and Deathstroke, though Manganiello has teased that he might not be done with the role: "It's also not over currently. There are little irons that are in the fire." This also isn't the first time Manganiello has revealed details of the scrapped movie.

For now, the only place to see Manganiello's Deathstroke and Affleck's Batman together is the Snyder Cut. If you've watched all four hours, check out our deep dives into the movie here:

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.