The Batman is not having the easiest pre-production phase. Ben Affleck’s commitment to the character is wavering and director Matt Reeves had to go through a very public spat with Warner Bros. to get to make the film he wanted to. But they can at least rely on one commitment unlikely to be broken: Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke.
Having first appeared in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man as brutish bully Flash Thompson, Manganiello has been gradually making a name for himself with eye-catching roles in True Blood and in Magic Mike, where he played the memorably named ‘Big Dick Richie.” But the lead villain in a Batman movie is quite the step up, and Manganiello sounds insanely hyped to begin shooting.
In an interview with Total Film Magazine, the actor commented:
“I’m very excited, I just started kung fu, qigong and cutting with a live katana blade. … I grew up rooting for the villain. These characters mean so much to so many people and there’s a real opportunity to polarise the audience or have them walk away maybe not agreeing with my character but understanding why he does what he does. That’s a really fun challenge.”
With the best rogues gallery in comics to choose from, the announcement that The Batman would focus on Deathstroke, generally considered more of a Teen Titans villain, came as somewhat of a surprise to fans. Still, you can at least guarantee that Slade Wilson’s presence in the movie will lead to some stunning fight sequences – the villain being one of the few martial artists in the DC Universe who can regularly go toe-to-toe with Batman.
We’re very excited to see him brought to life here and we’ve no doubt that it’ll be a relief to Manganiello when Reeves and Affleck finally begin filming later this year and leave all this pre-production gossip behind them.