Whenever an actor lands a gig in a high profile movie that’s adapted from some kind of source material, odds are that they’re going to do their share of research before cameras start rolling. In fact, this is doubly true when it comes to the superhero genre, because their respective character oftentimes has years – sometimes decades – worth of backstory preceding them.
Needless to say, Joe Manganiello has embraced this notion as he’s immersed himself in all things Deathstroke since first landing the role about a year ago. Having made his first silver screen appearance as Slade Wilson in the much talked about post-credits scene in Justice League, it’s become apparent to all that he’s the perfect choice for bringing the world’s deadliest mercenary to life.
So, naturally, when one reads a stack of comics, they’re bound to have some favorites. When it comes to which ones Manganiello hopes will influence Matt Reeves’ The Batman, well, he’s crossing his fingers for the Earth One series of books:
“If something were to come my way, in that way, I would happily accept it. […] I was a fan of DC comics and I’m a big fan of Geoff Johns’ Batman: Earth One, which was a really great series. For anyone who’s a comics fan who hasn’t read it, I highly recommend it.”
For those unfamiliar, the Earth One line consists of graphic novels timely released as volumes, as opposed to being collections of previously published comic book story arcs. Not only that, but they exist outside of DC continuity proper (Earth 0), therefore they have the freedom to tell tales that may be radically different from what we’ve come to know. In Batman’s case, Geoff Johns and Gary Frank chronicle his early adventures – but with a few twists.
But as much as I love those particular graphic novels myself, I can’t help but think they won’t influence Reeves’ own screenplay very much – if at all – because Johns may have incorporated elements from it into the script he penned along with Ben Affleck. And, lest we forget, Reeves has been said to have thrown that out the window and started from scratch.
Furthermore, Manganiello’s inclusion in The Batman has been uncertain since Reeves took the wheel, but that doesn’t mean we’ve given up hope. Sure, Deathstroke may very well be granted a solo movie in due time, but seeing Slade duke it out with the Dark Knight is too cool of a prospect.