A few weeks after Ben Affleck made headlines with his mysterious Deathstroke video, it has been confirmed that this character will be the main villain of the actor/director's Batman reboot, with Joe Manganiello set to star. DC Entertainment CEO Geoff Johns, who is co-writing the script with director/star Ben Affleck, confirmed the news in an interview to discuss his new role as head of DC Films. However, he wouldn't confirm if Deathstroke will have a cameo in Justice League, which is currently filming in London.
Shortly after the video was posted of Deathstroke, which appeared to be taken from the Justice League set, a report claimed that this iconic character will serve as the main villain in this Batman reboot. Joe Manganiello had been rumored to play Deathstroke back in March 2015, as part of the Suicide Squad cast, but that character wasn't even included in the movie, when it hit theaters this August. The Wall Street Journal spoke with Geoff Johns, who wouldn't confirm an official release date for the Batman reboot, but stated that the earliest it would arrive is 2018.
Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke, first appeared in The New Teen Titans #2 in 1980, created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. Due to the character's growing popularity, he received his own standalone comic book series in 1991, which ran for 65 issues. He was originally created as a villain for the Teen Titans, but he has clashed with Batman on numerous occasions. Their first encounter was in the 1991 standalone arc City of Assassins where he savagely beat up the Dark Knight.
It has also been rumored that Ben Affleck's Batman reboot will be set in Arkham Asylum. It's certainly possible that Deathstroke is locked away in Arkham Asylum when the movie begins, or that he ultimately gets locked up in this facility after doing battle with Batman. Both Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns have reportedly already finished the script, but we don't know when production will begin. The story is said to be largely original, although there will be appearances from numerous DC Comics villains in the Batman Reboot.
Joe Manganiello most recently starred in Magic Mike XXL and Netflix's Pee Wee's Big Adventure. He will also provide the voice of Hefty Smurf in Smurfs: The Lost Village, and he also has Drunk Parents in post-production and Stano in pre-production. Joe Manganiello is also no stranger to the superhero world. The actor made his feature film debut in 2002's Spider-Man as Peter Parker's nemesis, Flash Thompson, a role he reprised in 2007's Spider-Man 3.