On the back of Matt Reeves’ success with The Batman at the box office these past two weeks, concept art from another Batman project has recently surfaced, depicting Ben Affleck’s return to the cowl that wasn’t meant to be.

We explore the newly released concept art from Keith Christensen, explain why Affleck’s solo movie never came to fruition, and discuss what could be on the horizon for Deathstroke.

Scheduled to be directed by Ben Affleck while he starred as the Dark Knight, the solo Batman movie was to continue the actor’s previous two roles as Batman, once in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the other in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

The Batman | Main Trailer

Batman Concept Art by Keith Christensen

Concept artist Keith Christensen posted a handful of artwork from Ben Affleck’s canceled Batman movie on to his Instagram account and the results look intriguing.

Christensen first posted Affleck’s Batman in front stance, revealing a more defined look to the bulky Batsuit we’re used to seeing on him. Close-up images of the Caped Crusader’s back, cowl, belts, and gloves followed the initial image.

Additionally, a few pieces of concept art for Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke were also on show, highlighting a neo-Samurai look for Slade Wilson side-by-side with different aspects of the antagonist’s helmet.

In addition to producing artwork for Batman, Christensen has also shared work he did on concept art for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune and Marvel’s Eternals.

Why Ben Affleck’s Solo Batman Movie Was Canceled

Ben Affleck was supposed to direct and star in his solo Batman movie. However, Warner Bros. later made changes to bring Matt Reeves in to direct instead, which consequently saw Affleck depart the project altogether.

It was originally thought that Warner Bros. voted in favor of Matt Reeves’ vision for Batman over Ben Affleck’s, and because the company didn’t want to commission two Batman films releasing together, one had to go.

There was also the hullabaloo with Zack Snyder’s SnyderVerse, a Multiverse that DC fans are still backing to this day, which has also been put on hold for the foreseeable future, possibly in favor of developing Reeves’ Batman universe on Earth-Two – where all of the content will be completely separate from what’s come before.

Deathstroke Origin Series

Joe Manganiello was set to return to the solo Batman movie as Deathstroke, and speaking to Entertainment Tonight, the actor was clearly disappointed when it all fell apart:

“Once Batman got canceled, I kind of wrote it off and thought, ‘This is over.’ I had actually shifted gears and started working on the studio on an origin film for Deathstroke that also didn’t happen. So for me, I just let it go.

However, DC fans noted Manganiello’s sudden change of profile picture on Instagram the other day, sporting the mohawk and eye patch he wore as Deathstroke, speculating that he will return to the role.

Alongside a Deathstroke solo movie, Manganiello has also expressed interest in a Deathstroke series for HBO Max, which he spoke about during the virtual JusticeCon convention:

“Deathstroke origin as a series on HBO Max. Absolutely. I think it’d be such a fun series and people would absolutely love it and there’s not a lot like it out there right now. It would have its own tone and its own place within the universe. I think it would be very fun and tonally very unique.”

By Jo Craig – [email protected]

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