A surprising amount of details about Ben Affleck’s “Batman” film have trickled out over the years. We know that the villainous Deathstroke portrayed by Joe Manganiello would’ve played a significant role in the story, and it would’ve introduced a very different version of Batgirl. But throughout the years, it has remained unclear exactly which comic book arcs or issues might have served as an inspiration for the plot. According to Jay Oliva, Affleck and Johns were thinking much, much bigger:
“I’ve worked on a lot of Batman things and what was really cool about it was, it was tying together a lot of really cool Batman storylines that had never been really explored.”
“Ben’s story was gonna cover something that had never really been covered in comics, but was building off of storylines in the ‘Batman’ mythos over the last 80 years and approaching it from a new kind of perspective.”
Given the fact that Affleck’s version of Bruce Wayne arrived in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” as an already past-his-prime brawler who had utterly lost his way over such long years of fighting crime in Gotham, it sounds like this could’ve been a really neat opportunity to give audiences a taste of several different comic storylines — and not just one, like Frank Miller’s classic “The Dark Knight Returns” — that haven’t been adapted in live-action before. Oliva goes so far as to praise the script as “very clever” and “a really great project in the beginning,” but notes that he fully understood why Affleck had to step away in the end.
Of course, the loss of Affleck’s “Batman” meant the gain of Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” and Affleck received a decent sendoff in “The Flash,” so perhaps things happen for a reason.