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Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke in justice League

A lot has been written about the wild ride that has been the DC film universe in general and the production of the movie Justice League specifically. There are, as I understand it, entire books set to be published on the topic. But whatever you think of Justice League itself, or the reasons that the movie largely failed to perform as expected, the greater loss may be that everything that we thought we were going to get after Justice League was largely let go.

Among those exciting projects was a solo Batman movie starring Ben Affleck in the role. Not only that, we already knew who Batman was going to fight in the movie, as Joe Joe Manganiello had already been announced in the role of Deathstroke. That battle could have been epic, and while we'll likely never see it, not everybody has forgotten about it.

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"You're gonna lose, hero." #Batman #deathstroke

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Graphic artist BossLogic shared a new design on Instagram which is a poster for a movie we'll never see. It's a close up of Deathstroke, with the reflection of Batman visible in the villain's eye. The hypothetical film is given no name, but both Ben Affleck and Joe Manganiello are given credit. Interestingly, this project is apparently an HBO Max production.

The story of Ben Affleck's ill-fated Batman movie is a story unto itself and it's far from certain that we would have seen the movie even if Justice League had been a critical and commercial success, but the rough road for Justice League certainly didn't help matters. We only ever saw Joe Manganiello in the post-credits scene to Justice League, a moment that was likely designed to introduce the character specifically because of the plans for him to be included in the new Batman movie.

Instead, we're getting an all-new Batman film, with Robert Pattinson in the lead role. At best, the character will be a younger version of the DCEU Batman, though more than likely it's an entirely separate and standalone story. It's all far from clear right now. We don't really know what we are getting, we just know what we've missed out on. As far as we know Deathstroke isn't in this new movie, and even if he is, like Batman, he's almost certainly being played by somebody else.

While Justice League will get another chance as Zack Snyder's Justice League will finally reveal what that movie was supposed to be, or at least as close to it as we'll ever get, we won't ever be so lucky with Ben Affleck's Batman movie. That story is almost certainly one that will never be told, and that's too bad because whatever else might be true, a fight scene between Affleck's Batman and Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke sounds like something that could have been amazing on film.

If this poster was real I'd be excited for whatever movie or series it was promoting.

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