It’s going on 13 months since Ben Affleck (Justice League) unceremoniously posted test footage of Joe Manganiello as assassin/supervillain Deathstroke, and DC fans are still wondering whether Slade Joseph Wilson has a role to play in The Batman.
Much of that uncertainty can be traced back to Affleck’s decision to vacate the director’s chair, and ultimately hand over the reins to War For the Planet of the Apes helmer, Matt Reeves. Since climbing aboard, word is that Reeves has envisioned an entirely new trilogy built around the Caped Crusader – at the expense of Ben Affleck’s original script, no less – and all involved are said to be targeting a production start in the summer of 2018.
But the question remains: will Joe Manganiello star opposite Batfleck as the marauding Deathstroke? Slade Wilson was featured in that scrapped script, and soon after fresh details on Affleck’s initial vision began to emerge, Manganiello took to Twitter to stoke the rumors. Specifically, the former Magic Mike actor retweeted a Heroic Hollywood piece on The Batman and added a nebulous sword emoji…and little else.
Deathstroke is known for wielding twin swords, but basing Joe Manganiello’s involvement – or lack thereof – on a throwaway Tweet is a dangerous game. Until we catch wind of an official announcement from either Matt Reeves or the Powers That Be at Warner Bros., file this one in the rumor cabinet for now.
— Joe Manganiello (@JoeManganiello) September 18, 2017
Exactly when The Batman will take flight at Warner Bros. remains to be seen, but with filming expected to commence next year, a potential 2019 release isn’t out of the question. If true, Reeves’ solo pic will find itself rubbing shoulders with Wonder Woman 2 and, presumably, David Sandberg’s Shazam! movie, which will be ushered in front of the cameras after the turn of the year.