Deathstroke is the Next Batman Movie Villain!

Batman fans rejoice, because it looks like the next big villain in the franchise is someone we haven’t seen before. His name is Deathstroke the Terminator, and with a name like “Deathstroke the Terminator” you know he has to be a badass. Because if he wasn’t, he’d have had the crap kicked out of him for sporting such a silly name.

And sure enough, the DC supervillain Deathstroke has built up such a killer reputation since his first appearance in 1980 that he now ranks among the most formidable bad guys in comic book history. The unstoppable assassin named Slade Wilson is such a tough guy that the Marvel Comics character Deadpool, the one everybody knows and loves nowadays, was originally a Deathstroke knock-off. (Deathstroke is Slade Wilson, Deadpool is Wade Wilson; they weren’t very subtle about it.)

The news broke gradually this morning, when Ben Affleck – not just the new Batman, but also the director and co-writer of the upcoming Batman solo movie – revealed footage of Deathstroke in action on the Justice League set. 

That, in and of itself, was already news: Deathstroke hadn’t been announced as a player in Zack Snyder’s Justice League yet, and we still don’t even know who is playing the character. The Wrap then followed this revelation with the news that, as of this point in development, Deathstroke is going to be the primary antagonist in the next Batman solo movie. 

DC Comics

DC Comics

This is an interesting development for a variety of reasons, including the fact that – traditionally, at any rate – Deathstroke isn’t a so-called “Batman villain.” In the comics, the deadly assassin has spent more time menacing the Teen Titans than he ever spent tussling with the caped crusader. And the first live-action incarnation of Deathstroke, played by Manu Bennett (The Shannara Chronicles), was the “big bad” on the CW superhero show Arrow during the program’s second season.

But it’s also worth pointing out that The Wrap is touting Deathstroke as the next Batman movie’s “main” villain. Unlike previous cinematic incarnations of the superhero, this new Batman exists in a world fully populated with supervillains, as we saw in this summer’s Suicide Squad. So although Deathstroke may be the bane of Batman’s existence in the new movie, it’s entirely possible we could still get appearances from other Batman bad guys like Penguin, Catwoman or even Bane for all we know.

Warner Bros. has yet to confirm or deny this news. We will let you know if any further developments develop.

The 15 Best Supervillains Who Haven’t Been in a Movie Yet:

Photo: CW / Warner Bros.

William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series Most CravedRapid Reviews and What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.