Lately, Ben Affleck and company have been teasing fans with sneak peeks at what's to come for Batman on the big screen. Suffice to say, it's going to be an exciting journey for the Dark Knight.
In particular, the Caped Crusader's next cinematic foe seems to be the perfect choice for the protector of Gotham's upcoming solo outing. Actor Joe Manganiello was recently confirmed to be playing Deathstroke, the highly-skilled assassin for hire who will be Batman's toughest on screen opponent to date.
While the villain has been used on the small screen several times over the years, the various TV versions of Slade Wilson have never really showcased just how deadly of a warrior and tactician he is. Although each incarnation had its merits, the DCEU has the rare opportunity to deliver a Deathstroke that truly lives up to his name.
The Teen Titan's mysterious version of Slade felt kind of like Inspector Gadget's Doctor Claw, while Smallville focused more on his military background in seemingly a general's capacity. Arrow, to its credit, has had one of the best portrayals so far in terms of showcasing his martial arts skills, but actor Manu Bennett's character relied a little too heavily on the superhuman serum angle and overly intertwined his background with Oliver Queen's past.
Similar to Arrow, the Son of Batman animated film mixed Slade's history with that of the Wayne family's via Damien and the League of Shadows. Like the Green Arrow, the heir to the cowl ends up being responsible for Deathstroke losing an eye.
Since news of the villain's inclusion in the DCEU broke, the promo video of his battle with Batman from the Arkham Origins video game has been used as an example of what Deathstroke can do. Frankly, it's the most comic book accurate incarnation yet and will hopefully serve as the main inspiration for the next Batman movie.
The clip continues to excite fans because it shows just how evenly matched these two fighters are. Both have nearly unlimited resources and arsenals coupled with master-level martial arts skills and military know-how.
One of the few highlights from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was the Dark Knight's epic warehouse scene, where he clears out a room full of baddies using mostly his fists and feet. The average criminal may be an easy win for Batman, but Slade definitely won't be, meaning their eventual clash will be a huge, must-see spectacle.
Should the filmmakers decide to give Deathstroke and the Bat a shared history, either through Damien and the League or some sort of past confrontation, it would add fuel to the fire of this exciting match-up, making for a highly entertaining story as well. A Slade looking for revenge is no easy task to overcome, so Batman would have a challenge both on a physical and mental level.
Aside from the possible bad blood and hand-to-hand skills, what fans should really hope for is a duel of swords between the DC stalwarts. Deathstroke loves using blades and Batman isn't a slouch with a saber himself, so it would be great to see this kind of fight, which could also serve as a nice homage to Bruce Wayne's training in Batman Begins.
Overall, Batman vs. Deathstroke is going to be the fight to watch in the DCEU and will hopefully live up to its potential.