Deathstroke – When and Where in the DCEU?

So Deathstroke will appear in the DCEU. For that matter, it will be the first time The Terminator appears in live-action movies. Sure, he’s had his time in the spotlight in TV series, in animated films and series, and in games. But now is the time for him to shine on the silver screen, alongside the many stars of the DC Extended Universe.

And he does look good, with his armor seeming to have come to life straight from the comic book pages. So, no matter what actor will portray him, he will certainly leave a long-lasting impression.

But when and where will Deathstroke pop up in the DCEU? Will it be in Justice League, as everybody assumes? Will it be in the still unscheduled The Batman? Will he have more than one appearance on the big screen, as it happens with many other comic book movie villains?

Here are my thoughts about it. And keep in mind that almost nothing has been confirmed until now about this character.

Vision/Dream sequence

The Knightmare (Collider) The Knightmare (Collider)

If Deathstroke were to appear in the Justice League movie, then Zack Snyder would have the honor of bringing him to life for the first time. And since we are talking about Zack Snyder, I can certainly assume that he will appear in a vision or dream sequence of some kind.

I’m excluding the flashback possibility. And that is because it was already revealed that the clip released by Ben Affleck was shot in the Flying Fox, the Justice League jet.

Most likely, Deathstroke’s appearance will be, in some way, connected to the Batman. After all, the Dark Knight seems to be, until now, the character that connects the entire shared universe. And he was, after all, one of the best things to come out of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

So, in this case, this will be just a simple cameo. But did you expect something else? Deathstroke is, as far as I am concerned, a character who deserves to be more than just a secondary villain to Steppenwolf.

This being said…

Just a brief DCEU existence

Remember Jimmy Olsen (Echoba) Remember Jimmy Olsen (Echoba)

As big a character as Deathstroke is, and despite what every fan wants, Zack Snyder could surprise everybody again. In this way, Deathstroke the Terminator could end up being terminated as soon as he is introduced. Sure, he is more famous than, say, Faora-Ul, who had quite a lot of screen time. But, at the same time, Deathstroke is not really an A-lister.

Maybe he’ll be one of the first victims of Steppenwolf. Maybe Superman, just returned from the dead, can’t really understand that killing is something villains do. Maybe he will die in the most stupid way possible, like Jimmy Olsen did in Batman v Superman. There are quite a few possibilities to explore…

Anyway, this can happen and should be taken into account. And I guess that a brief cameo is better than no cameo at all. Sure, it would suck. But his death would prove once again that Zack Snyder’s vision is unique…

An introduction

This was a great scene (YT) This was a great scene (YT)

One of the best scenes from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is when the Dark Knight is finally introduced. To make that happen, Zack Snyder cleverly decided for the Batman to go against a literal nobody – we didn’t know who the hero was and the director revealed him, without wasting any important villains.

So Justice League could go on the same path and show us how the Batman keeps on fighting crime in Gotham. Now we already know what he can do, so having him go against some nameless goons isn’t good enough. And here enters Deathstroke, as a brutal mercenary. Such a scene won’t just showcase Batman’s skills, but it will also show that Gotham is still a city you’d better think twice about moving into.

Who knows? Maybe this scene will also introduce the Flying Fox. And who says that Deathstroke cannot appear afterwards in other DCEU movies? Even if he ends up locked up after encountering the Batman, there is always the possibility of escape.

Suicide Squad

Deathstroke could replace a couple of Suicide Squad members by himself (Geek Tyrant) Deathstroke could replace a couple of Suicide Squad members by himself. (Geek Tyrant)

Here is another interesting possibility – what if Deathstroke is presented in the Justice League movie as a new member of the Suicide Squad? We already know that Amanda Waller and Batman aren’t exactly besties. However, given the impending alien invasion, Waller and Bruce Wayne might want to work together.

So here comes Deathstroke. Unlike other members of the Squad (members we saw this year), Deathstroke is actually superpowerful and he does stand a chance against Steppenwolf and the Parademons. Even more, maybe we have already met him.

It wouldn’t be such a big surprise for me if GQ actually survived and he entered a super-soldier program. Justice League would be perfect to introduce this new Deathstroke and reveal that Scott Eastwood’s character was never called Edwards.

Mercenary for Lex Luthor

Lex Luthor (Grunge) Lex Luthor (Grunge)

We already know that Jesse Eisenberg will return to the DCEU next year, when Justice League is released. What we don’t know is everything else concerning his character. Will he manage to escape Arkham? Will he be hired by the army, or even Waller, because of his extraordinary mind? Everything is possible.

I’d consider him as an agent, especially since he gathered so much knowledge from the Kryptonian scout ship.

So what if this is the moment Deathstroke is created? What if Lex Luthor, using the information received in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, creates another ultimate weapon? I’d see that happening. Sure, it isn’t exactly a comic book origin story, but this would be connected pretty neatly.

And there is always the possibility of Deathstroke being assigned to supervise Lex Luthor and make sure another Doomsday doesn’t happen. Just like it isn’t out of the realm of possibility for Deathstroke to actually be hired by Lex, for reasons that won’t be revealed until later on.

Cyborg connection

Cyborg (Screen Rant) Cyborg (Screen Rant)

While the best chances are for Deathstroke to be connected in some way only to Batman, maybe we should take a look at the comics. There, Deathstroke is the most well-known antagonist for the Teen Titans. And since Cyborg is (in the comics, of course) a member of the Teen Titans…

I don’t really know how this could work out. But the thing is that Cyborg needs some development. We need to know just how powerful he is and why he is one of the founding members of DCEU’s Justice League.

So a subplot of the movie could see him taking on Deathstroke. Although this doesn’t actually explain the villain’s presence in the Flying Fox.

Anyway, if a Teen Titans movie were to replace the planned Cyborg flick, maybe it wouldn’t hurt for their antagonist to be introduced earlier in the timeline. In this way, we’d get an idea not just how powerful Cyborg is, but also how powerful Deathstroke can be. And this is a win-win situation.

An agent of Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf (Screen Rant) Steppenwolf (Screen Rant)

As the Justice League teaser has revealed, and as Wonder Woman herself said in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Darkseid has tried to conquer Earth in the past. And that is why I believe that, since ancient times, the ruler of Apokolips has infiltrated all sorts of agents on our planet.

Deathstroke could be one of them. And his task would be to locate the Mother Boxes. In this way, Steppenwolf would only have to come and collect them. It’s a pretty thin scenario and it would also reduce Deathstroke to just a simple secondary (if not tertiary) character.

But I guess this is still better than other alternatives. In this way, he’d still have an active role in the plot of the movie. And also, a connection with Cyborg would be established.

After all, the Terminator is a mercenary who can be hired by the highest bidder. And since Darkseid rules over an entire planet, who can be more powerful and wealthier than he is?

Plans for the future

Deathstroke, as revealed by Ben Affleck (CBM) Deathstroke, as revealed by Ben Affleck (CBM)

Usually, superhero movies save the big battle for the grand finale. Maybe Justice League will change that. Maybe, just like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 tried, it will save Deathstroke for the ending. In this way, it would be a nice lead toward a further appearance of the Terminator, in which he'd play a more important role.

So, after Steppenwolf is defeated (I guess there is nobody believing otherwise), the superheroes will return to their own cities. And there they will have to deal with their usual problems. This could be a chance for introducing other characters, as well, villains from each superhero's rogues gallery.

Will Deathstroke be a villain for The Batman, or for the Cyborg/Teen Titans movie? An ending scene just like this would clear things up. But, since the character is seen in one of Bruce Wayne’s planes, I guess we can all be certain that he’ll go toe to toe with the Dark Knight afterwards.

It would be just a cameo. However, it would end the movie on a different note than other superhero flicks do.

Credits scene

Credits scene (Screen Rant) Credits scene (Screen Rant)

This would be very anti-climactic. But still, it would be better than some of the alternatives on the list.

Thus, while Suicide Squad was the first DCEU flick to have a credits scene, who is to say that the following movies won’t continue the trend? After all, the meeting between Waller and Wayne can be tied to almost every movie planned for the DCEU. Having Deathstroke in a credits-scene would hint at even bigger plans for the character than we would have believed (think about Thanos’ first credits scene).

Still, to show the actual scene so early on would ruin it for the fans. But I guess it is better than revealing one of the main antagonists of the entire movie.

Who knows? Maybe Deathstroke will see an opportunity rising after Steppenwolf’s failed invasion. And maybe he will be shown infiltrating the Justice League base. Why? It will be revealed in subsequent movies, of course.

Deathstroke won’t appear in the Justice League

The Batman (The Final Panel) The Batman (The Final Panel)

Maybe the fact that Ben Affleck did the reveal and not Zack Snyder is a hint in itself. While there are a few possibilities on this list that would make sense, Deathstroke should be the highlight of a movie and not just a secondary character.

So maybe Ben Affleck has already started working on The Batman. And maybe this was his way of teasing the big news. There is a precedent to this – remember when Zack Snyder revealed Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, as if the superhero had a big role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice?

This also explains, to a certain degree, the Flying Fox. Even if it is a Justice League property, we all know who built and actually owns it. And it also makes sense from another perspective. Ben Affleck, as a director, would want to know how the big baddie of The Batman looks on the set. And since the Flying Fox was already built for Justice League, the opportunity was for the taking.

And lastly…

A potential candidate for Justice League

F**k off (Cinema Blend) F**k off (Cinema Blend)

As said, the Waller-Wayne conversation can be connected to almost all upcoming DCEU movies in a number of ways. Thus, maybe Waller had a file on the Terminator as well. And maybe Batman will try to recruit him. This would be a scene similar to the Wolverine cameo from X-Men: First Class, though I doubt that it would be so funny.

In any event, this would also establish Deathstroke as a rather new character in the DCEU, one who hasn’t clashed with any of the known superheroes before. And it would also establish Deathstroke as a character who can be redeemable and not just a straight-up villain.

It would also be interesting, since such a connection would lead to further appearances for the villain. Whether it would be in The Batman, whether it would be in a Suicide Squad sequel, or even in a Cyborg/Teen Titans flick, such a cameo would do wonders on the long run.

What do you think? When and where will Deathstroke appear in the DCEU?