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The DC Extended Universe is a unique place, one that is always keeping fans on their collective toes. This was certainly true for Zack Snyder's Justice League, which was released on HBO Max after years of fan campaigns and millions of dollars. The streaming event revealed Snyder's original vision for the project, while also teasing where he would have taken the story in two more movies. The latter was achieved through the new Knightmare scene, which featured Joe Manganiello's return as Deathstroke. And now we know why he has beef with Batman in the Snyder Cut.
When Zack Snyder was still the architect of the DCEU, he was planning a five-film story beginning with Man of Steel. Ben Affleck's Knightmare from Batman v Superman set up the time-traveling narrative that would come in Justice League's sequel, including the motley crew of characters who were shown in The Snyder Cut's coda. Joe Manganiello explained the backstory between Deathstroke aka Slade Wilson and The Bat, saying:
You could kind of like infer from the proper Justice League and credit scene. Slade is summoned by Luthor, who offers a peace offering of information to Slade. So basically: Slade lost his son. And he blamed Batman for it. Batman had a hand in it. And Luthor summons him to his yacht. And gives him a key piece of information that Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne. So now he's setting loose this unstoppable force on Gotham City and Bruce Wayne.
FOMO alert. Now we finally know why Deathstroke had a vendetta against Batman. We'll just have to see if Slade Wilson's backstory gets expanded in a future DCEU project. Fingers crossed.
Joe Manganiello's comments to ComicBook show just how much planning was done for Deathstroke ahead of the release of Justice League's theatrical cut. While he didn't get to film that new Knightmare scene, the DC blockbuster was meant to set up Ben Affleck's solo flick as Batman. Said project would have seen Slade Wilson as the primary villain, armed with the knowledge of Bruce Wayne's secret identity.
Both versions of Justice League are currently available on HBO Max. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.
Joe Manganiello has been open about the various Deathstroke disappointments he's faced over the years. He originally wasn't sure he'd appear in Justice League's theatrical cut, although the scene itself was cut down from the one that would eventually be revealed on HBO Max. Following Justice League's disappointing performance, Warner Bros. scrapped plans for a sequel. Additionally, Ben Affleck dropped out as both director and star of the Batman movie that would have co-starred Manganiello as Slade Wilson. There were even talks of a Deathstroke solo flick, which was similarly scrapped.
While it's currently unclear if/when we'll ever see this version of Deathstroke back in the DCEU, Joe Manganiello was seemingly thrilled to participate in reshoots for the Snyder Cut and step back into the character's shoes. The scene itself has essentially broke the internet, and Manganiello has joined the campaign to #RestoreTheSnyderVerse. Unfortunately, Warner Bros. has shut down those talks.
The next installment in the DCEU is The Suicide Squad on August 6th, which will arrive both in theaters and on HBO Max. Be sure to check out our 2021 release list to plan your next movie experience.