Is The Batman Losing Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke?
Uh-oh! There's more trouble in paradise. It seems that Joe Manganiello may no longer be playing villain Deathstroke in DC Films' The Batman. The actor himself is unsure if he still has the job. This news comes as rumors rise that the movie is undergoing a massive rewrite.
This latest report comes from Pittsburgh Today Live, where Manganiello was promoting his voice role in the new Sony animated reboot Smurfs: The Lost Village. Of course talk turned to The Batman. When asked if he was definitely paying Deathstroke in the upcoming DC standalone adventure, he didn't seem so sure anymore. The actor gave this sort of surprising response.
"Umm...Maybe. We'll see."
Ben Affleck announced that Deathstroke was going to be the main villain in The Batman last summer, with a fun teaser video that showed Joe Manganiello in costume. This arrived at a time when Ben Affleck was still set to direct the movie. A few days later the actor was announced for this DCEU spin-off which will reboot the Dark Knight standalone franchise. In every interview since that time Manganiello has been extremely happy about his upcoming role in the DC movie universe, even if he couldn't share any plot details.
Now he seems a little less happy about the situation. The actor's uncertainty adds fuel to the fire that Warner Bros. wants The Batman script rewritten from page one as Matt Reeves arrives to take over for former director Ben Affleck. Ben Affleck and DC Films boss Geoff Johns wrote the initial draft of the screenplay, with Justice League writer Chris Terrio polishing the most recent version.
It's possible that director Matt Reeves has a different story he wants to tell, one that no longer includes Deathstroke. Another likely scenario is that Joe Manganiello is facing scheduling issues. The Batman was supposed to start shooting this summer. Production has been delayed so that Reeves can finish his War for the Planet of the Apes sequel, which arrives this July. Because of his commitments to that movie, and his press run in various foreign markets, The Batman won't shoot until 2018. DC is already looking for another movie to fill the 2017 production void, but they don't have anything that's ready to go.
Even if Matt Reeves drops Deathstroke from The Batman, Joe Manganiello's character could definitely show up somewhere else in the DCEU. And it's unlikely that Warner Bros. would completely ditch the actor, though it has happened before. Right now, nothing is certain when it comes to The Batman, and it has hit one stumbling block after the next ever since it was announced. Right now, The Batman is aiming for a summer 2019 release date.