Ben Affleck shocked DC Comics and DC Films fandom Monday morning by releasing a clip of a fully-costumed Deathstroke the Terminator, seemingly from the set of Justice League, which is filming now. The character, a highly efficient villain who is in many ways an anti-Batman, has gained huge popularity across fandom in recent years, thanks to a major years-long story arc on Arrow (played by actor Manu Bennett) and appearances in various animated films, TV series, and video games.
A deadly assassin, Deathstroke has slightly enhanced speed, reflexes and strength, giving him a competitive edge over his opponents. With his natural skill, training, and preparation, he's been known to single-handedly take down the entire Justice League, even with their heavy hitters. Depending on the origin story, he's often even received some of the same training, from the same masters, as Batman himself.
So if Deathstroke is in fact coming to Justice League, or even if this is just a screen test preparing to use him in the upcoming Batman solo film that Affleck will star in, and is rumored to direct, after writing it with DCE CCO and President and co-head of DC Films Geoff Johns, the big question is: who's in the suit? Julian Lewis Jones was added to the Justice League cast back in July, without his role being revealed. Most speculation leaned toward him playing the big bad in the film, Steppenwolf, but that was before we knew Deathstroke is also in the movie.
Of course, this could just be a quick screen test to see how the costume works on film, and if this is just a screen test, that could just be a random stunt man in the suit. With that in mind, we thought the better question is who do we want in the suit?
We have five candidates we'd like to see suit up as the deadly assassin.
Look, we had to, okay? Matt Damon almost has to have a role in the DC Films universe, if only so he and his pal Ben Affleck can share some screentime together in a larger-than-life capacity. Put aside the fact that Damon and Affleck playing direct foils, and almost mirror-images of each other would be awesome, and you still have Damon, a highly-capable action star, just waiting for his next big franchise. While Jason Bourne may have slightly underperformed for him, it's clear Damon knows how to throw a punch, and seems to enjoy it, too.prevnext
Why does Ron Perlman make it on almost every fan casting list for any superhero role? Because he's so good, he's such a superhero fan, and with his imposing frame and booming voice, he just seems to fit in a world where men can fly and women can punch tanks in half. But Perlman has one other distinct advantage in this particular role... he's already played it! Or, at least he's voiced it, as he was the voice of "Slade" on Teen Titans. Apparently, someone thought calling a character "Deathstroke the Terminator" was a little much for a kid's cartoon, and decided to go with Slade Wilson, his civilian name, instead.prevnext
A few months ago, there was a blast of a hashtag called #StarringJohnCho. The hashtag, circulated widely on twitter, put John Cho in the roles of romantic lead, action star, superhero, and more. So why not put John Cho in the role of Deathstroke? The actor has shown his action chops in scenes in the Star Trek franchise, and when he gets serious, he gets intimidating - just what you need out of Deathstroke.prevnext
If there's one thing about the old Hollywood model that Warner Bros. has tried to keep alive, it's the idea of Studio players - actors who repeatedly work with WB, jumping from film to film as they try to keep them too busy to work with anyone else. Margot Robbie had three films with WB in the last year or so, for example, and co-starred with Will Smith in two of those. When you look to what actors are taking a major role in a WB tentpole like Justice League, then, it's usually a safe bet to look at the cast lists of their recent films. In Legend of Tarzan, which over-performed for WB this summer, there's an actor with the chops, the age, and the stoic nature on film to play Deathstroke, and his name is Djimon Hounsou. Hounsou has a bit of a comic book adaptation background, voicing Black Panther in the motion comic adaptation, and Korath in Guardians of the Galaxy. Giving him a meatier role in a comic movie is practically inevitable, and Deathstroke would be one great option.prevnext
Joe Manganiello is, as you can see, a beast of a man. His name has come up with WB many times before - usually as Superman. While he's gotten close a few times, it has never wound up working out for him - so maybe this is the DC Films role he's been waiting for? He's got the build to play an enhanced-strength super-assassin, and if you saw him standing there with swords and guns in hand, you'd certainly believe he could take on Ben Affleck's Batman, and maybe even the rest of the League.
But there's another wrinkle here, as well. Joe Manganiello is in London, England, right now, where Justice League is filming. And if you check out who the actor is following on Twitter, his most recent follow is none other than Justice League director Zack Snyder. That's by no means conclusive, but it sure doesn't hurt the case for him finally getting his DC Films debut, as Deathstroke the Terminator.prev