Reports questioning Ben Affleck’s commitment to writing, producing, directing, and acting in his own Batman film might be prevalent, but by all appearances, production is moving steadily forward. During the promotion for Affleck’s Live by Night, he was hounded by questions about The Batman, leading to a short rant about fan enthusiasm. Nevertheless, Affeck consistently voiced a commitment to make sure he gets The Batman right instead of rushing through production.

Some pre-production work was clearly being done during the filming of Justice League on The Batman, as it was then that Affleck released test footage of a live-action Deathstroke, officially confirming that DC’s deadliest assassin would’ make an appearance in the Batman solo film. A short while later, it was confirmed that Joe Manganiello would be playing the man under the mask, Slade Wilson, in Affleck’s movie.

In a recent birthday tweet to DC’s Chief Creative Officer and president of DC Entertainment, Geoff Johns, Manganiello posted what appears to be the first new picture of Deathstroke (see below). The photo, as it turns out, is really a piece of Deathstroke fan-art created by DeviantArt user jeransome, based on the previously-released test footage of Manganiello in costume. While it doesn’t reveal anything new or special, it’s nevertheless a fun look at the character of Deathstroke.

deathstroke joe manganiello The Batman: Joe Manganiello Posts Deathstroke Photo

Considering so little about The Batman has been confirmed, Joe Manganiello’s involvement at such an early stage suggests he’ll also have a hand to play in the events of Justice League when it arrives this November. His role in that Zack Snyder-directed film may be pretty small, but it will more than likely set the character up for his eventual involvement in Ben Affleck’s own DC movie.

The 40 year old actor recently spoke to ET about his casting as Deathstroke, expressing his enthusiasm for the role:

“Growing up an avid comic book fan, and then there were a lot of superhero roles, and supervillain roles, that came my way that I said no to, or wasn’t allowed to do, because of other commitments. It’s just really exciting to think that this is the one. I’m glad everybody’s happy. I’m just gonna put my head down and just really show up as prepared as any supervillain ever has.”

It’s become a trend for new participants in the DC Extended Universe to release pictures of their “research,” (even John Cleese did something similar recently), but Manganiello tweeting out photos of his new Deathstroke collection and identifying himself as an “avid comic book fan” can only give fans more hope in his desire to do the character justice.

With a new Justice League trailer possibly months away still, any and all DCEU  images (like this one from Manganiello) are bound to be appreciated by fans – who are growing impatient for the next installment in the franchise.

NEXT: Jared Leto Returning as Joker in the DCEU?

Source: Joe Manganiello

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