The CW's Arrow Season 5 was arguably the biggest season in the show's history and hype has just been ramped up considerably with the return of Manu Bennett's portrayal of fan-favorite Deathstroke. Deathstroke hasn't been around Arrow since Season 2 (unless you count the end of Season 5), which is strange because the character was the main antagonist in the show. As it turns out, Deathstroke was written out of the show because DC had bigger plans for the character to show up in the DCEU's The Batman when Ben Affleck was still on board as director. But apparently those big screen plans for Deathstroke are over as Season 6 of Arrow is set to bring the character back.
Ben Affleck teased that Deathstroke would be in The Batman and shortly after, it was confirmed that Joe Manganiello (True Blood) would be playing the assassin in Affleck's version of The Batman. Obviously, a lot has changed for the project in a year with Affleck's script tossed in the garbage and rewritten by new director, Matt Reeves. Many question if Affleck is still even attached to the project since no official word has come out and said whether the actor is in or out.
Ben Affleck originally wanted to utilize a villain that had not been seen in a Batman movie and Deathstroke was the perfect fit, so DC pulled the character from the Arrow television series to bring the character up to the big leagues. Arrow showrunner, Marc Guggenheim, recently talked to Collider about the next season of Arrow including Deathstroke as well as the DCEU's recent lack of interest for the character. Guggenheim had this to say.
"It was actually a function of... DC controls these characters, and we went through a period where DC was like, 'We've got plans for Deathstroke that don't involve Arrow.' That changed at the end of the year."
Guggenheim's comments seem to confirm what everybody has been talking about for months about Deathstroke's involvement in The Batman. Many assumed this to be the case after Joe Manganiello recently claimed that he had no idea what was happening with the project and after the news that Matt reeves was starting a brand-new script from scratch.
It was also heavily rumored that Deathstroke could show up in the upcoming Justice League after Zack Snyder shared some storyboard images with the character and Lex Luthor. In has also been heavily rumored that Lex Luthor has been taken out of Justice League completely, which seems to indicate the Deathstroke would be gone as well. The reason that the scenes were cut is anybody's guess, but it certainly points to Deathstroke not being a part of the DCEU.
Whatever the case may be, it is almost certain that we will not see Deathstroke in The Batman and becoming more and more likely that Ben Affleck may be out as well. Matt Reeves has been rumored to be writing the Joker into the script (which would be crazy for the DCEU, if true) and the Scarecrow, all of which have been prominently shown in past Batman movies. So, it's some good news/bad news for DC fans. Fans of Arrow should be excited to get Deathstroke} back while fans of the mythical Batman movie might be a little irritated at this time. The DCEU is a very confusing place at this time, that's for sure.