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Ben Affleck, Jared Leto and Joe Manganiello in talks to return as Batman, Joker and Deathstroke?

June 6th, 2020 by Marc Comments

More juicy rumours from the world of DC/Warners today folks.

Following on from the big news a few weeks back that Zack Snyder’s Justice League was coming (here) and the rumours that followed that Ben Affleck is wanted by AT&T to return as Batman for a possible series on HBO Max (here), it seems there’s more speculation to be had.

You may recall in our original coverage for the SnyderCut that we mentioned Joe Manganiello, who tweeted out that we might finally see the original post-credits scene focusing on his Deathstroke. You may also recall we hinted – hinted –  that Jared Leto’s Joker may also be up for a return at some stage… well, now all these rumours have come together for one gloriously tantalising bit of rumour fodder.

Word is that AT&T and WarnerMedia want Ben Affleck, Jared Leto, and Joe Manganiello all together for an original Batman project.

Whaaaaaaaat?

Well, that could mean a limited series or a movie on HBO that picks up after the events of Snyder’s Justice League.

Could you imagine?!

Now obviously this is all here-say at the moment, but there’s definitely something going on at Warners with the Snyder Cut and then the news that Henry Cavill is back as Superman (here).

This project may be in addition to Affleck also stepping back into the director role for his own Batman project at HBO Max – the one he was originally meant to do after Justice League before Matt Reeves stepped in to make his movie with Robert Pattison.

We know that Affleck was very close to breaking his script for Batman (here) but it too became another casualty after Warners panicked when they hacked Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice so badly for theatrical release that they almost derailed the DCEU.

On the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, AT&T’s Otter Media division CEO Goncalves had this to say: “Look, definitely not a precedent. And you’re right. There’s different types of fandoms.

“My reference to the fandoms is the fact that we’re in a space where consumers are loud. Consumers guide, and we absolutely have to listen as industry. I had a boss that once said, ‘Industry and consumers aren’t always aligned, but consumers do tend to win’.”

He goes on: “It’s a fine balance. And I think when it comes to video, when it comes to entertainment, when it comes to content, consumers have never had more choice, and they’ve never had more of a voice. But that doesn’t mean that we will go and invest our dollars in every single fandom that exists.

“But I think the reference to the Snyder Cut and the Friends fandom is the fact that consumers are speaking, and we have to listen. It doesn’t mean that we’re going to go redo every movie ever made. But I think that we definitely have to have our ear to the ground. And I think we do.”

Well, we think you do too, sir.

On a related note, The Raid director Gareth Evans has recently opened up about what his planned Deathstroke movie – starring Manganiello – would have been.

Evans is known for his fast, fluid action scenes and brutal violence in his movies, with an ever-present feeling of Hong Kong cinema and it seems that he was looking to build on that with Deathstroke.

“I wanted to tell something that would be a lean story, that would be kind of an origin of that character,” Evans said.

“Something that felt like it could be 100 minutes or 110 minutes long, max – not to go over the two hour period with it.”

“Back then,” he goes on, “I was massively influenced by the noir films coming out of South Korea, so that was my pitch.

“I was like, these films are amazing: the texture, and the tones of colours, the grit and the aggression of them is super interesting to use to tell Deathstroke’s story.”

At the time the DCEU was in a state of flux, with movies being cancelled and others being re-edited and re-tooled extensively and when Affleck walked it seemed that Deathstroke, as well as Affleck’s standalone Batman – which would have been a cross between the classic Arkham Asylum and Long Halloween stories as far as we can tell – was one of the movies to fall on the proverbial sword.

Remember we were supposed to have had Flash and Cyborg movies by now too?

Anyway, Evans goes on, saying he doesn’t see why the project couldn’t still happen some day: “We had some pretty bold ideas there that could have been really visceral and really fun.

“But, yeah, I don’t know. Who knows? They might come back again in five or ten years time, you never know. I don’t know what exactly happened. There might have been a change of personnel, as happens quite a lot in big US studios. I think that project just stopped being a priority for them. It never really went further than two or three phone calls. I’ve never heard anything since, so I just presumed that project was either on the back burner somewhere, or someone else might be doing it.”

Hmmmm… wonder how he’d feel about doing a movie at HBO Max?

Let me know how you’d feel about the DCEU’s original Batman, Joker and Deathstroke all making a comeback. I know I’d be on for it. I mean really, really on for it.

Let us know your thoughts below, @NerdFollowing on Twitter or on Facebook

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….