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DCEU Characters Who Disappeared Without Explanation

The DC Extended Universe only spans eight movies so far. Yet, as to be expected from a shared universe of films, it has already amassed a large recurring cast. Superman has managed to be the most frequent DCEU figure, thanks to the character's appearances in some form across four of the franchise's installments. Fellow Justice League members like Aquaman, Flash, Wonder Woman, and Batman are no slouches themselves. They've each made three onscreen appearances in this saga to date. Together, this roster of DCEU regulars has ensured that no superhero has had to "save the world alone."

However, not every character in this franchise is cut out for long-term glory, and not all of them have gone on to make regular appearances. Across these eight films, audiences have been introduced to a number of characters, including iconic figures from the comics, who have since totally vanished. Their absences can be attributed to a number of factors, including scheduling conflicts and changing behind-the-scenes visions for the franchise. The reasons behind their exclusions may vary, but here's a look at some DCEU characters who all share a common thread: disappearing from this superhero mega-franchise.

Will Smith's Deadshot hasn't been seen since Suicide Squad

Will Smith's Floyd Lawton, a.k.a. Deadshot, is introduced in Suicide Squad as a master marksman who never misses his target. He's also shown to be a devoted father to his daughter, Zoe. After being incarcerated, he's recruited as a member of the government-run Suicide Squad team. From there, he helps defeat the film's nefarious villain Enchantress before being put back in his prison cell.

Originally, this was only to be the start of Deadshot's journey in the DCEU. Five months before Suicide Squad premiered, Variety reported Smith was reprising his role as Deadshot in a sequel. By the end of that year, various reports confirmed noted that a spinoff movie about Deadshot was in development. "They've been talking about it," Smith said about the project in September 2018, per Digital Spy. "So if a good idea comes around, we've been having meetings. But I would love to. I love Deadshot."

In the years since, there's been little word about Deadshot having any further presence in the DCEU. Reflecting his diminished status in this franchise, Deadshot, unlike fellow Suicide Squad characters like Joker and Captain Boomerang, wasn't even referenced in Quinn's solo movie Birds of Prey. However, there's still hope for the character's return. According to Variety, after initial attempts to recast the role, Deadshot was written out of the upcoming reboot/sequel The Suicide Squad. It isn't as bad as it sounds: According to sources, the decision was made in order to allow the possibility of Smith reprising the role in the future.

Is Deathstroke DOA in the DCEU?

For a moment, it appeared that Deathstroke was poised to be a major fixture in the DCEU. Joe Manganiello was cast in the role in September 2016 as the villain of Ben Affleck's The Batman. A year later, in October 2017, Gareth Evans was in talks to write and direct a solo Deathstroke movie starring Manganiello. All of these developments occurred before Deathstroke made his first DCEU appearance in a post-credits scene for Justice League, which teased him teaming up with Lex Luthor to found the Legion of Doom.

Unfortunately, none of these plans for Deathstroke ever came to fruition. First, Affleck's version of The Batman fell apart. Matt Reeves took over the project and put together a new cast, which didn't include Manganiello. Additionally, the Deathstroke solo movie never got off the ground. In April 2020, Evans described his proposed Deathstroke movie to Yahoo! Movies UK as "a lean story, that would be kind of an origin of that character. Something that felt like it could be 100 minutes or 110 minutes long, max — not to go over the two hour period with it."

Plans for another Justice League movie also never came to fruition, leading to no follow-up on that Deathstroke post-credits scene. Currently, there are no plans to have Deathstroke show up in future DCEU movies. In October 2019, Manganiello referenced his troubled experiences with Deathstroke by telling Comic Book Resources, "Someday I'll write a book about it, but that time is... yeah."

Calvin Swanwick has gone AWOL

Among the military personnel fixated on Superman in Man of Steel was General Calvin Swanwick. Played by Harry Lennix, Swanwick proved a useful ally to Superman in the fight against General Zod. In his second appearance in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the character had gone from being a military general to United States Secretary of Defense. In addition to having a contentious discussion with Lois Lane, he communicated with the President of the United States during Superman's fight with Doomsday. 

Harry Lennix's Swanwick had a notable presence in the earliest DCEU movies. Lennix's prominence in the franchise even extended off the screen. At the 2013 San Diego International Comic-Con, Zack Snyder had Lennix read a passage from The Dark Knight Returns as a way of announcing that the follow-up to Man of Steel would pit Batman against Superman. Snyder also planned to have Swanwick become a superhero himself in Justice League. Per storyboards that Zack Snyder shared on his Vero account, Swanwick was to eventually be revealed as the cosmic being Martian Manhunter.

These plans, however, never came to pass. After Snyder was taken off Justice League, Swanwick did not appear in the film's theatrical cut. Swanwick hasn't been seen since Batman v. Superman and no future DCEU movies have announced plans to bring the character back. Despite being a major part of its inaugural installments, Calvin Swanwick has seemingly disappeared from the DCEU.

Why has Perry White disappeared?

Laurence Fishburne appeared as the third cinematic incarnation of Daily Planet chief Perry White in Man of Steel in 2013. For his take on the character, Fishburne told ComicBook.com that "Essentially, I used my model, my inspiration really is the late Ed Bradley, who was a CBS correspondent on 60 Minutes for many years." Fishburne reprised the role in the second entry in the DC Extended Universe film, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Since that 2016 feature, though, Fishburne's Perry White has been absent from the DCEU. This is partially due to scheduling conflicts on the part of Fishburne. When asked to reprise the White role in Justice League, Fishburne declined the offer. "They asked me to come for a day, but I couldn't work it out, schedule-wise. And really, what do you need the newspaperman in Justice League for?" Fishburne told the Los Angeles Times.

Fishburne subsequently noted that he wasn't sure about his future in the DCEU. "I don't think I'm still on call," Fishburne revealed to Den of Geek in July 2018. "I was unfortunately unable to go do some work on what turned out to be the Justice League movie. I don't know that I need to go back or if they'll have me back or not, but I was grateful to have been a part of it." Though a new Superman adventure could see the character returning, for now, the DCEU's Perry White — at least the version played by Laurence Fishburne — appears to have become yesterday's news.

What happened to Killer Croc?

Killer Croc made his live-action movie debut portrayed by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in Suicide Squad. A member of the titular group of supervillains, Croc managed to survive the events of Suicide Squad and ended the film with both a reduced prison sentence and access to BET in his jail cell. However, unlike fellow Suicide Squad characters Captain Boomerang and Rick Flag, Killer Croc will not be returning for the next installment in the franchise, The Suicide Squad.

This development seems to suit Akinnuoye-Agbaje just fine. "I don't think I need to [do it again], to be honest," Akinnioya-Agbaje told Yahoo! Movies UK. "I did it, I enjoyed it, it bought me a Bentley and I will keep moving on." Killer Croc being alive at the end of Suicide Squad means the door is still open for his return should any subsequent DCEU movies want to further explore the character. For now, though, neither the DCEU nor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is in a rush to revisit the scaliest member of the Suicide Squad.

Where has Jenny Jurwich gone?

When Clark Kent started to work for the Daily Planet in Man of Steel, his co-workers included a number of familiar faces from the comics. Pre-existing characters like Lois Lane, Perry White, and Steve Lombard all rubbed shoulders with Kent as he toiled away for the newspaper. A newer face that Kent worked with, though, was Jenny Jurwich. Once rumored to be a female version of Jimmy Olsen, this original character was played by Rebecca Buller.

Jurwich debuted as an intern in Man of Steel who worked closely with Lane and White. During the film's climax, she fled through Metropolis right alongside White as General Zod attacked the city. Though Jurwich nearly perished after being trapped under a piece of wreckage, she managed to survive Man of Steel and became a reporter by the time she reappeared in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. After production wrapped on that film, plans were in place for Jurwich to return in future DCEU movies. "I don't think I can confirm anything," Jurwich said in an interview with Jumbo Hollywood regarding her participation in Justice League. "But it looks like it, yeah."

However, Jurwich ended up being absent from Justice League and all of the other DCEU movies that have been released since. With this franchise moving away from Superman-centric stories, there's been no need for Jurwich to return. With outlets like Variety reporting that there are no further solo Superman movies on the horizon, it's doubtful that this co-worker of Clark Kent's will be coming back to the DCEU anytime soon.

Katana has been sliced out of the DCEU

"This is Katana. She's got my back. I would advise not getting killed by her. Her sword traps the souls of its victims." There are the lines Rick Flagg used to introduce the character of Katana (Karen Fukuhara) in Suicide Squad. She had quite extraordinary supernatural powers, especially when compared to the more grounded skills of some of her Suicide Squad teammates. 

Even with those abilities, Katana did not end up having a large role in the Suicide Squad movie. This is primarily due to a number of her scenes ending up on the cutting room floor, including a sequence during which she became possessed by Enchantress and attacked the other Suicide Squad members. Sadly, her reduced presence in Suicide Squad ended up mirroring her subsequent role in the entire DCEU franchise. Since Suicide Squad, Katana has been absent from all other DCEU properties, including the Squad follow-up film The Suicide Squad. This is despite Fukuhara having clear visions of where she wanted to take the character in future movies.

"I'd like to explore where she's from, what kind of training she comes from — if she gets a stand-alone movie that would be awesome!" Fukuhara told ComicBook.com. "There's so much story from the point of her husband's death to her story leading up to Suicide Squad — that's something that I'd love to show on the screen." Unfortunately, though she may have Rick Flagg's back, the DCEU doesn't have any plans to bring Katana back.

Has Cyborg been put in sleep mode?

There are many superheroes in the DCEU, but only one has the technological prowess of Cyborg (Ray Fisher). He made his first full-fledged appearance as part of the titular superhero team in Justice League after being introduced to audiences via a Batman v. Superman cameo. Originally, the DCEU had big plans for Cyborg which included, as reported by Variety, the character co-starring in an early version of the Flash movie. From there, Cyborg was supposed to get his own solo movie, entitled Cyborg and set for an April 3, 2020 release.

However, those ambitions ultimately went unfulfilled. Since Justice League in 2017, Cyborg has made no further appearances in the DCEU. Fisher has said the lack of movement for the solo Cyborg movie is simply due to money. "There's a ton of people making those kind of decisions behind the scenes. And it would be a very, very costly movie to make because it is so CGI heavy with Cyborg," Fisher explained to CinemaBlend. "Because I'm the only member of the League that's not in a practical costume. You're going to be looking at $200 million just to make it."

Despite the character's absence from the DCEU, Fisher hasn't given up hope on playing Cyborg again. According to ScreenRant, Fisher commented on the prospect of reprising the role in a Twitch livestream by saying "Nothing's off the table [...] Knock on wood." With no future appearances on the horizon, though, the most tech-savvy DCEU hero has been, for now, put on the back burner.

Hunter Griggs Has Disappeared

Prior to the release of Suicide Squad, theories abounded about who Ike Barinholtz was playing in the film. Dr. Hugo Strange was a particularly popular guess with regards to who he would be portraying. If you're struggling to remember if Barinholtz was even in Suicide Squad, well, it's because he wasn't playing an iconic comic book character. In reality, Barinholtz ended up playing a totally original character by the name of Hunter Griggs. 

Griggs was a sadistic prison guard at Belle Reeve tasked with guarding supervillains that would make the up the Suicide Squad team. In the earliest scenes of Suicide Squad, he's shown perpetrating particularly nasty acts of abuse against Deadshot and Harley Quinn. Eventually, Griggs is taken captive by the Joker (Jared Leto). The Clown Prince of Crime tasks Griggs with giving Harley Quinn a cell phone as part of his plan to reunite with her. After handing Harley the phone, Harley cackles with glee while chortling that Griggs is "so screwed."

After this ominous moment, Griggs vanishes from Suicide Squad. The audience never figures out how exactly Griggs is "so screwed" — and the DCEU is apparently in no hurry to clarify Harley's statement. Since Suicide Squad, Griggs has failed to appear in any other DCEU properties and he isn't a part of the cast of The Suicide Squad. Though pre-release speculation ran rampant over who Hunter Griggs was, it turns out the character wasn't all that important to Suicide Squad — or, for that matter, the DCEU at large.

Where did Lex Luthor go?

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was all about showdowns between superheroes. However, it still had room for a supervillain. That adversary was Superman foe Lex Luthor, here portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg. The man who orchestrated the titular duel between Batman and Superman, Luthor is also responsible for creating Doomsday, the creature that eventually kills Superman. By the end of Batman v. Superman, Luthor has been sent to prison, had his head shaved, and delivered some vague warnings to Batman indicating that he's aware of an impending attack by Darkseid.

Luthor's final moments in Batman v. Superman set up plenty of different directions the character could go down in future DCEU movies. However, despite those cliffhangers, the DCEU version of Luthor and his potential connections to Darkseid have been almost totally ignored: He's only appeared once since Batman v. Superman, in a Justice League post-credits scene. Here, Luthor has a rendezvous with fellow supervillain Deathstroke to discuss, in the wake of numerous superheroes joining forces, establishing a "league of our own."

This was another sequel tease involving Luthor that went nowhere. In the years since Justice League, no other DCEU movies have even referenced this supervillain. With no upcoming DCEU movies planning to end the character's absence, even Eisenberg is doubtful he'll ever return to the role of Lex Luthor. "I probably won't do another. I don't know if they're making another one where I would be in it," he told MovieWeb.