Deathstroke is one of the most formidable villains in DC comics. Originally a Teen Titans baddie, he’s faced off with some of DC’s biggest heroes, including Batman, Green Arrow, and Wonder Woman. His strength, skills, abilities, and confidence are so great that he does not even hide the fact he only has one eye. So, of course, his inclusion in the DC Extended Universe has been anticipated right from the beginning. In September of 2016, it was confirmed that Deathstroke would appear in The Batman, played by Joe Manganiello.
Since the announcement, Manganiello has frequently offered updates and photos from the film and himself in the role. So it was a bit of a surprise when a few weeks ago, the actor cast some doubt on whether he was still going to appear in The Batman. Once Ben Affleck stepped down as director and Matt Reeves took over the film, the script reportedly entered rewrites, and the previously enthusiastic Manganiello suddenly became a bit coy when asked if Deathstroke would still appear in the film.
There is a glimmer of hope for those who want to see Manganiello as Deathstroke. The actor met recently with Deathstroke’s creator Marv Wolfman. After the meeting, Wolfman took to Facebook (via Batman News) to let the world know “After a great lunch with Joe Manganiello, I feel more confident than ever that we got both the Slade Wilson the movies need and the Deathstroke great movies deserve.”
It should be noted that Wolfman did not specify that Deathstroke would be seen in The Batman. There are several other films in the DCEU where the character could appear. He might have an introductory cameo in Justice League. Then again, he may be seen in any of the other upcoming films, such as Aquaman, Shazam, Cyborg, or Green Lantern Corps.
He also might still be appearing in The Batman. Manganiello may have simply been responding to concerns over the rewrite, suggesting it is substantial enough that his appearance in the film has been called into question. Whether or not his role in The Batman has been altered, deleted, or will remain the same will likely remain to be seen for some time. That doesn’t mean Warner Bros. is about to recast the character altogether. And it seems like Manganiello has someone in his corner who knows a thing or two about what makes the character tick.
When we see Deathstroke might be a mystery. But it is nice to have confirmation that Manganiello is still playing the role, whether it is in The Batman or somewhere else in the DCEU.