Joe Manganiello Recalls Pitching Deathstroke Movie And Meeting Ben Affleck For The Batman


One glance into the We Got This Covered archives will tell you that there is currently a very long list of DC-related projects simmering over at Warner Bros., regardless of whether they wind up enshrined in the DCEU or not.

From The Batman to Birds of Prey, Nightwing to Gotham City Sirens, the list is endless, and if there’s one feature that garnered a ton of buzz soon after its tentative announcement, it’s Deathstroke.

Just prior to Justice League‘s release in November, we learned of Warner’s plans for a spinoff movie revolving around Slade Wilson, which currently has Gareth Evans and Joe Manganiello attached to direct and star, respectively. There’s still no sign of any tangible movement (that we know of, mind you), but while appearing on the ID10T with Chris Hardwick podcast (h/t Heroic Hollywood), Manganiello recalled meeting with Ben Affleck for The Batman and eventually delivering his pitch for Deathstroke.

When I met with Ben Affleck about Batman, the meeting we were having was for Deathstroke. This is a real opportunity to figure out who this guy is on the inside. Like what he’s battling with. The best quote-unquote, I hate calling them this, ya know I don’t mind, but I you know calling them a villain is understanding where they’re coming from.

And at least in the eyes of Manganiello, Deathstroke is more layered and much more complex than your typical villain, which ought to lay the groundwork for a compelling spinoff movie based on one of the Caped Crusader’s greatest adversaries.

There are villains who are the people who are opposing them but from the inside, this is a person who is struggling with all types of things. I think it’s really interesting to tell that kind of a story and tell the truth emotionally of a story like that when you’re talking about a man who lost an eye, was betrayed, lost a son. These different types of aspects.

The Ninjustu school – there are scrolls that are written that have these ancient techniques that are not shared with students that are locked away because somebody is going to go into a bar and rip someones head off using one of these techniques. What are those techniques? Where are they? Could there theoretically be somebody that would go around and learn these insanely offensive techniques and become this incredible killer?


He concluded:

I’m rooting it in the world. I’m rooting it in something honest so it feels real. Then we’re talking about the emotional content. Somewhere along that way I know that it was announced where the studio.. there was talks with Gareth Evans and talks about an origin movie. I’m not giving news. I spent six months prior to all of those phone calls writing a backstory that was turned into sixteen pages which got turned into a treatment which then led to my Skype call with Gareth.

Neither The Batman nor Deathstroke have nailed down official release dates at this time, though we recently learned that the DCEU had slipped into a holding pattern of-sorts as it waits for Matt Reeves’ solo flick to progress.

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