Ever since fans were given their first taste of Ben Affleck’s Batman in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice last year, the conversation surrounding his eventual standalone film, titled The Batman, has become a constant topic of conversation over the past few months. For the moment, it’s set to be directed by Affleck from a script he’s writing alongside Geoff Johns, and in one of the more unexpected and exciting reveals, it will see Bruce Wayne/Batman facing off against Slade Wilson/Deathstroke for the first time in a live-action feature film.
Revealed last year, the character is set to be played by Joe Manganiello, with a possible cameo appearance/introduction in this year’s Justice League before going on to serve as the main antagonist in the standalone film. Apparently, Manganiello had plenty of opportunities to don an iconic cape or mask over the years too, before agreeing to play Deathstroke.
Speaking with ET, Manganiello revealed that he actually turned down multiple notable superhero and supervillain roles in the years prior to playing Deathstroke, and talked briefly about how excited he is to bring the character to life on the big screen:
“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.”
This isn’t really surprising, and indeed, Manganiello’s name has popped up in rumored casting reports multiple times throughout the years. Before Henry Cavill was cast, he was rumored to be playing Superman at one point, and even before Ben Affleck was announced, he was one of the other names rumored to be on DC’s shortlist for an older, more rugged Batman. As most fans familiar with the kind of physical presence and charisma that Manganiello brings to his roles would likely agree, though, it seems like Slade Wilson might just be the perfect character for him to play, simultaneously bringing both an actor and beloved character to the screen that fans have been waiting years to see introduced in some form or another.
This won’t be the first time that Manganiello has appeared in a comic book film either, after playing a small role as Flash Thompson in Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man film. Flash wasn’t really a notable character in that film, however, and hopefully, Slade Wilson will provide Manganiello with the opportunity to really demonstrate his full range of talent, opposite Affleck’s Wayne. After all, the Batman films have become known for their iconic villains at this point, and with a lethal skill set and cutthroat attitude as well, Deathstroke should be able to give The Batman the kind of antagonist unlike any other that the Dark Knight has faced on the big screen before.