Though Ben Affleck's standalone Batman Reboot is rumored to feature plenty of iconic DC Comics villains, the main bad guy has already been announced. And it is Deathstroke. Ben Affleck himself made the announcement a few weeks back with a teaser video that many assumed was for Justice League. A short while later, it was confirmed that Joe Manganiello will be embodying the deadly assassin. And it looks like he's already started his intense research.

It's still not clear whether or not Deathstroke will be showing up in Justice League. If he does, it will probably only be for a cameo. Perhaps during the end credit sequence? It's interesting to note that Joe Manganiello has already starting gathering intel on Deathstroke. No production start date has been announced for The Batman at this time.

That said, earlier in the week, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes announced that Ben Affleck's solo Batman movie was just a year and a half out. It wasn't immediately clear if he meant the actual release date or the production start date. If Batman is making his big screen return in a year and a half, that would be 18 months from now, landing it pretty close to the March 16, 2018 release date currently held down by The Flash movie starring Ezra Miller. Many speculate that bruce Wayne may be snatching this date away from Barry Allen, with the millionaire set to arrive sooner than later.

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Yesterday, The Flash director Rick Famuyiwa announced that he'd finished his revisions on the screenplay, hinting that Cyborg will definitely show up in this solo adventure for Barry Allen. So, this solo Justice League outing seems to still be on tract. And last we heard, Aquaman will still arrive on its intended July 2018 release date. However it all shakes out, Joe Manganiello appears to be raring to go!

Amongst the research shared on Twitter, you'll notice a lot of toys. How this helps him get into character, we're not sure. And this was most likely a care package sent by Geoff Johns and the rest of the team at DC Films. More interesting to note is the inclusion of the graphic novel Batman Earth One. We also see Arkham Origins buried under the Funko Pop! and Action figures, which teases the villains Red Hood, CopperHead and his own character unmasked. For a while, it has been said that The Batman will take place partially in Arkham Asylum. With Geoff Johns having written Batman Earth One and the screenplay for The Batman (alongside Ben Affleck), it shouldn't be a shock to see it included here. But will the movie be curbing from this? Here's the graphic novel's synopsis.

"Batman is not a hero. He is just a man.Fallible, vulnerable, and angry. In a Gotham City where friend and foe are indistinguishable, Bruce Wayne's path toward becoming the Dark Knight is riddled with more obstacles than ever before. Focused on punishing his parents' true killers, and the corrupt police that allowed them to go free, Bruce Wayne's thirst for vengeance fuels his mad crusade and no one, not even Alfred, can stop him. In the tradition of the #1 New York Times bestselling Superman: Earth One, writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank re-imagine a new mythology for the Dark Knight, where the familiar is no longer the expected in this long-awaited original graphic novel from DC Comics."

In this version of the DCEU, Ben Affleck is playing Bruce Wayne as a seasoned crime fighter and aging superhero who's better days are behind him. So it's doubtful that The Batman will be a full text adaptation of Batman Earth One. Especially since Slade Wilson doesn't appear. But perhaps the plot will be influenced by what has happened in this twisted reboot of the vigilante and his backstory. Take a look at Joe Manganiello's tweet and all his marvelous Deathstroke toys.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange