The Batman: Joe Manganiello Has Already Started His Deathstroke Training

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Looks like Joe Manganiello is staying one step ahead of the game. Despite Ben Affleck vacating the director’s chair, Manganiello has now revealed that he’s already started his katana training in preparation for playing Deathstroke in The Batman.

The former True Blood star appeared on a recent episode of the Dragon Talk podcast (via Reddit/CBM), where converation inevitably turned toward Warner’s gestating solo movie. Last we reported, sources close to WB claimed a preliminary script had been turned in, and it’s one that both Warner Bros. brass and Ben Affleck, who is still attached to produce and star as the Caped Crusader, are reportedly pleased with. In light of Affleck’s departure from the helm, The Batman was purportedly in line for a complete overhaul in the story department, as Warner Bros. looked to start again from scratch.

For all of the creative turbulence behind the scenes, though, Joe Manganiello remains fiercely committed to the role of Deathstroke, admitting that he’s even read every single comic featuring the iconic mercenary.

“I’m somebody that likes to start preparing way ahead of time. So I’ve read almost all the comic books involving him. Just to get the information out of them. Some of them are useful. Some of them are not going to be useful. Because ultimately the script—that’s my text. I have to play that.

“I started katana training recently. Like live sword training and I started meeting with various martial arts teachers and discussing with them. ‘Ok, so what are the most offensive styles of martial arts’. Ones where you’re not waiting for someone to attack you but ones where you’re looking to make the attack. Then what are the most deadly ones? Where are the scrolls, the ancient Japanese scrolls that have these really deadly techniques that you don’t teach to the average student out the street? Something that only somebody who would go looking for it that are really really bad, you know, are dangerous. Like, what are those?”

The Batman: Joe Manganiello Has Already Started His Deathstroke Training

When it comes to the minutia of Deathstroke’s combat, Manganiello went on to discuss some of the fighting styles that have cropped up during his seemingly extensive research. Without a release date for The Batman, it’s impossible to tell whether these styles will carry over into the final product, but the actor’s research makes for interesting reading nonetheless.

“‘Ok, so now what are the stances?’ What are like some really unorthodox stances that someone who learns say Ninjutsu would stand in? Ok, so now what if that person lost an eye? If that person lost an eye how would they then alter the stance so that you would have better peripheral vision. What would that look like? So then you start cooking, and then you start building a story. Kind of outside-in. That’s like a very physical way to build a story.

“Then on the other side of it, like I said, I’m looking at the script rather than the comic books. I mean the comic books are giving me a good general kind of area of what we’re talking about. Where this characters located. But the script is really like, you know. Because they might change the canon. There’s been like 3 or 4 different ways that he’s lost his eye. Are we doing one of those? Or are we doing it a completely new way? Like, I need to play that.”

The Batman is without a release date at the moment and is now on the hunt for a new director. Matt Reeves has emerged as an early frontrunner to replace Affleck at the helm, but so far Warner Bros. has played its cards close to its chest. As for Joe Manganiello, the actor recently entered negotiations to join Dwayne Johnson and Naomie Harris in New Line’s Rampage movie.

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