Ben Affleck’s The Batman Was Inspired By Arkham Origins Video Game

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When Matt Reeves’ The Batman finally arrives next March, unless it ends up getting delayed again as has been rumored, ten years will have passed since the iconic superhero’s last solo outing in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, marking the longest gap between installments yet and comfortably surpassing the eight years between Batman & Robin and Batman Begins.

Of course, in an alternate reality, we’d have seen the movie a long time ago, with the project initially being announced in October 2014 with Ben Affleck set to star, direct, co-write and executive produce. The canonical DCEU blockbuster would have starred Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke, and the actor’s revealed that the story drew inspiration from David Fincher’s The Game, with the nefarious Slade Wilson tearing apart Bruce Wayne’s life from the inside out.

It sounds like a great concept, but unless something drastic changes, it’s one that we won’t be seeing. In a new interview, though, Manganiello revealed a little more about it and said that the Arkham Origins video game was another reference point, in particular the cinematic battle between Batman and Deathstroke that was directed by Deadpool and Terminator: Dark Fate‘s Tim Miller.

“I was in the mix over there. All the executives when it came up that Ben wanted to make Deathstroke the villain. Then this discussion happened where the executives said, ‘You know who would be great is Joe’. And then Zack Snyder, who knew me from years previous said, ‘Yeah I know Joe’. They vouched for me which set up a meeting between Ben Affelck and I. Ben told me, ‘You’re the only person I’m meeting with’. We had a discussion, we watched the Tim Miller video. The Tim Miller piece that got him Deadpool. He made that Arkham Origins Deathstroke vs. Batman video. Ben and I talked about that a lot and how that was going to relate to the action sequences. We talked specifically about one big action piece and what that was going to entail, not in great detail, but the broad strokes.”

The Arkham series was essentially the video game version of Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, taking a gritty and back to basics approach to its storytelling that brought the Caped Crusader kicking and screaming into the Xbox/PlayStation era after years of disappointing and mediocre output during the previous generation.

While Ben Affleck’s The Batman remains a ‘what if?’ scenario, the twelve-month countdown to Reeves and Robert Pattinson’s reboot is now on, and hopefully it delivers the standalone adventure that fans are expecting, even if the project has faced some serious obstacles from start to finish just to make it this far.