Deathstroke in 'Justice League'? - What Ben Affleck's Mysterious Tweet Really Means

As production on November 2017's massively-anticipated Justice League film continues, one of its biggest stars (and possible directors) has released one piece of cryptic news that's definitely worth some speculation. Following Ben Affleck aka the Caped Crusader's mysterious tweet this week, which bolstered the fact that a certain gun-for-hire (no, not Will Smith) may show up in either Justice League or the upcoming solo Batman film, fans have dived into just how the DC Extended Universe's newest villain -- Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke -- might fit into the ever-expanding DC film-verse. Here to toss in my own collective speculation about the character, I'm more than excited to see just how DC and Warner Bros. handle this new -- and deadly -- player. 

If you've never heard of the hired assassin Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke, then you're missing out on one of DC's deadliest villains around. First appearing in the comics in 1980, Slade has sliced his way through a gracious number of comic appearances, taking on everyone from the Teen Titans and Green Arrow to the Flash and of course, Batman. While I never got into the character in the comics much, my first exposure to him had to be in the popular 2003 animated series Teen Titans. Dubbed simply as "Slade", while this version of Deathstroke was a bit toned down for the kids series, he did manage to pull out a pretty menacing performance as the show built up a decent arc between the villain and one of the show's central protagonist, Robin. Still one of my favorite shows today, Teen Titans cemented the character of Deathstroke into my mind as a worthy adversary to any superhero right from the start. 

Next popping up in the CW's Green Arrow series Arrow -- a show that quickly captivated me, but unfortunately turned me away after a while -- Deathstroke piqued my interest once more as New Zealand actor Manu Bennett brought a captivating and bone-breaking performance opposite Stephen Amell's Oliver Queen. Drawing me back into the character, Slade Wilson became a highly-anticipated character to return again and again to the show. Offering up a favorable backstory for the mercenary, one that intertwined many times with that of Queen's, Arrow's dynamic story arc involving Deathstroke was one of the main reasons I stayed with the show -- for the time being. 

While I may not know a whole lot about Deathstroke as a character aside from his television appearances, one thing is for sure is that the gun-for-hire popping up in a Justice League film is something I would've never expected -- at least at this point in the DC film-verse. While it all may seem very sudden, with DC and Warner Bros. continuing to remain very cryptic about their upcoming projects, the potential for a character like Deathstroke to show up in the DC Extended Universe is a great surprise. But what does Ben Affleck's mysterious footage drop really mean? While he may or may not play into the overall plot of the Justice League film, whose main villain Steppenwolf could utilize the assassin's skilled artillery to combat the metahuman team, my guess is that Slade may pop up earlier in the film. Possibly a foe that Affleck's Batman faces before he unites the seven, with Deathstroke being either an entirely new threat to Gotham or one that the Caped Crusader has dealt with numerous times before, that theory seems a lot more ideal in order to introduce the character and his skill set, and not force him into the spot of an under-developed side villain.

Another exciting theory that's now being thrown around the ever-speculating network of social media is that Deathstroke could in fact be the main antagonist in the future solo Batman film -- which supposedly could star and be written and directed by Affleck. While Affleck's brief video of the merc -- decked out in his comic-accurate orange-and-black armor -- may have supposedly spawned from the set of Justice League, a more fascinating theory could be that it's actually early footage from the Affleck-directed Batman film. While Slade could still show up in the 2017 team-up flick, the idea that he could feature as the central foe to Batsy in his own film is something very exhilarating. A foe of equal wit and caliber as Batman -- with a dark past of his own -- Deathstroke could be the perfect villain for what seems to be a much more brutal and character-focused Batman film. While I still do want Jared Leto's eccentric gangster Joker from this month's Suicide Squad to face off against Affleck in the near future, it's very possible that Leto could work with Deathstroke in the film with an elaborate agenda of breaking the Bat.

Whatever this ambiguous video shared by Ben Affleck could mean, the fact now is that Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke is pretty much confirmed to be in the DC Extended Universe. While his appearance on the silver screen might not be as anticipated to some as say Wonder Woman or even the Flash, the thrilling promise that the Dark Knight's -- and others -- superb rogue gallery is slowly building shows that DC is still a force to be reckoned with. Whether you're a fan of Deathstroke or not, he'll be showing his face -- or rather his masked face -- a lot sooner than we thought.

What do you think the footage Ben Affleck shared really means? Is it even real, or is it just a ploy to get those weary few in to see Justice League? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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