Despite the fact that Ben Affleck's solo Batman movie is still well over a year away, plenty of great reveals have come forward recently. Slowly but surely, new details about the film have leaked, and we've started to piece the overarching premise together in meticulous (Riddler-esque) fashion. Now it seems that the movie may in fact be going in a direction that none of us expected. As bizarre as it may seem, based upon everything we've learned in recent weeks, it looks like Ben Affleck's solo movie may in fact change an iconic storyline by replacing Bane with Deathstroke as the main antagonist of the Knightfall arc.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Knightfall story, allow me to briefly get you up to speed. The arc served as the proper introduction for iconic Batman rogue, Bane. A physical and intellectual match for The Dark Knight, the story followed the steroid-enhanced mercenary as he deduced Batman's identity, released inmates from Arkham as a distraction and then subsequently "broke The Bat" when Bruce Wayne found himself exhausted from his crime fighting exploits. There's plenty more to the story, but that's all you need to make this Deathstroke theory work.
There's already ample evidence to support this Knightfall theory. Earlier this month, The Wrap's Umberto Gonzalez took to Twitter to report that the solo Batman movie wouldn't solely take place in Arkham Asylum -- which we had previously assumed was the case. According to his report, it seems that Ben Affleck's solo Batman movie will begin with a major prison break sequence in Arkham, and then expand the story to encompass all of Gotham City. This seems to mirror the opening of Doug Moench's Knightfall comic, in which the exact same event occurs.
That likely won't be a random prison break; it will have a very specific and tactical purpose. The one quick glimpse that we've received of Joe Manganiello's Slade Wilson appears to show him walking into the Batcave from the Batmobile's runway. If this is in fact the case, then we can reasonably deduce that the narrative of the film revolves around Deathstroke figuring out Batman's identity, letting all of The Dark Knight's most dangerous rogues out of Arkham (just as Bane did in Knightfall) and cornering the Caped Crusader in his sanctuary when our hero finds himself most exhausted.
You've probably already seen Ben Affleck's leaked Deathstroke footage, but this time look at the background, rather than the imposing mercenary in the foreground:
It's difficult to properly pin down where he is in that shot, but the most likely location seems to be the entrance to the Batcave. Note the steam, the color scheme and the overall industrial look of the setting. We cannot confirm it, but that location is a dead ringer for the Batcave that Zack Snyder introduced in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. If you look closely, you can even possibly pick out the Batmobile just behind Slade. It looks like The Bat will once again be broken, only by a very different assailant this time.
All evidence aside, there's one very important piece of information that's currently standing in the way of this theory: the last solo Batman movie already followed this narrative. Christopher Nolan's 2012 epic, The Dark Knight Rises, liberally adapted elements from both The Dark Knight Returns as well as Knightfall, and even featured a brutal fight scene in which Bane cracked Batman's back over his knee.
You all remember that scene; it was pretty much the highlight of the film:
It would admittedly feel somewhat odd for Ben Affleck to immediately delve back into Dark Knight Returns/Knightfall territory in the very first Batman movie to hit theaters after Nolan's last outing. That being said, we expect that Affleck will likely blend Knightfall with other Batman stories to create something entirely new. Perhaps the film will feature the Court of Owls, or maybe it will also adapt elements from Geoff Johns' Batman: Earth One. We're just going to have to wait and see what happens over the course of the next year. All we know for certain is that another Knightfall adaptation seems incredibly likely.
Only time will tell if this theory holds any water. There's plenty of evidence to support it, but we simply don't know anything yet. Cinema Blend will keep you up to date with any and all relevant information pertaining to the solo Batman movie as more information becomes available. Until then, let us know what you think about this Knightfall theory in the comments section below!