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The Surprising Hero Who Would Have Appeared In Ben Affleck's The Batman

Unlike the intricately linked films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Warner Bros.' DC Extended Universe takes a relatively loose approach to its comic book source material. For example, characters that were once important to canonical movies have disappeared entirely in subsequent franchise entries. Zack Snyder, who has directed multiple DC films, explained that this is largely the by-product of numerous successful live-action TV and animated DC properties. Thus, whereas the majority of Marvel Studios' energy can be focused on building its flagship cinematic universe, Warner Bros.' resources are spread between a variety of DC projects entirely separate from its live-action cinematic universe.

While, on one hand, this approach can make for an occasionally disjointed viewing experience from film to film, the constant flux of Warner Bros. DC movie projects can sometimes act as a saving grace. For example, although Ben Affleck portrayed Batman in both Batman v Superman and Justice League, he was able to drop out of the iconic role when his health was at risk as a result of his struggle with alcoholism. Now, The Batman is no longer a vehicle for Affleck but a film starring Robert Pattinson.

Joe Manganiello, who portrays the villainous Deathstroke in the DC Extended Universe, recently discussed the Affleck-led Batman in an episode of the ComicBook Nation podcast. While outlining a scene from the prior version of the film in which Deathstroke acted as its main villain, Manganiello also happened to reveal the inclusion of one of Batman's allies who has yet to appear in a live-action DC film.

Welcome to the bat-family

While outlining a fight between Ben Affleck's Batman and his own Deathstroke, Joe Manganiello offhandedly revealed to the hosts of the ComicBook Nation podcast that The Batman in its original incarnation was going to include Batgirl in a prominent role. According to Manganiello, Batgirl was going to aid Bruce Wayne in battle after it became clear that he couldn't defeat Deathstroke alone.

Though Batgirl is a character with decades of history, there have been few live-action adaptations of the character. While DC is currently developing a standalone Batgirl film, few details have emerged about its production since Joss Whedon walked away from the project in 2018. Outside of the release of the Batgirl movie, it's unclear when or if the character will ever appear on the silver screen.

The Batman is an entirely different film now, and barring a forthcoming casting announcement, Batgirl no longer seems to be a part of it. That said, reflecting the constantly shifting nature of the DC Extended Universe as a whole, Ben Affleck is currently slated to return to his role as Batman in the upcoming The Flash. Whether or not that means appearances from Batgirl outside of her planned standalone film are on the table has yet to be publicly detailed.