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Joe Manganiello talks Justice League, Ben Affleck’s cancelled Batman movie and more

December 10th, 2020 by Marc Comments

If there’s one thing we are still annoyed about, it’s that we never got to see Ben Affleck’s standalone Batman movie because a) Affleck was awesome as Batman and b) he was going to have Joe Manganiello’s Slade Wilson/Deathstroke as the villain… and that would have been amazing!

Now Manganiello has been talking about what Affleck’s Batman would have been – remember, he was set to write, direct and star – saying it was heavily have been influenced by the movies of David Fincher, in particular, The Game.

Remember when Affleck shared the video below during the filming of Justice League? Ah, what might have been (continues).

At one stage, we were to get The Batman and a standalone Deathstroke movie, but alas it was not to be…

“It was a really dark story in which Deathstroke was like a shark or a horror movie villain that was dismantling Bruce’s life from the inside out,” Manganiello  says of the script, which saw Deathstroke learning who Batman really was and blaming him for… something.

“It was this systemic thing: He killed everyone close to Bruce and destroyed his life to try and make him suffer because he felt that Bruce was responsible for something that happened to him.”

Going on, the star added: “It was really cool, really dark and really hard. I was very excited for it.”

While he doesn’t say how, I’d bet he learned Batman’s identity from Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor who he met with at the end of Justice League and who worked out Superman and Batman’s real identities in Batman V Superman.

In fact, this was all set up in the original ending of BvS, but was later reworked for the Joss Whedon cut of the movie: “I thought that scene was gone, but [producer] Jon Berg called me up and said, ‘We’ve reworked the scene and put it back in’,” Manganiello says, “I was as surprised as anybody!”

On the standalone Deathstroke film that wasn’t to be, Manganiello still seems annoyed it never came to be: “I worked with an Oscar-nominated writer on that treatment, and it was one of those projects that got canceled during that period. There were maybe seven different Deathstroke projects that all didn’t happen over the course of four years. It’s one of those funny things in Hollywood and in life where you’ve just got to let it go.”

However, the good news is, Deathstroke is set to return in next year’s Zack Snyder’s Justice League series on HBO Max: “Zack called me one day and asked, ‘How’d you like to do it again?’ So I said, ‘Sure, man, I’ll be there.’ And he told me, ‘OK, we’re getting your armor out of storage in England, and we’re going to fly it over here. Is there anything you want to do differently?'”

On the character’s cool new look in Snyder’s Justice League, the actor said: “Some of those elements I snuck into this round.

“The greatest warriors are the ones who walk into battle already dead or assuming that they’re going to die — they’re looking for someone who could actually kill them. There’s almost an excitement around that, like ‘Is today going to be the day?’ So there was a climactic moment in my standalone story where I wanted Slade to shave his head into this war-like Mohawk knowing that he was going off to his own death. I said to Zack, ‘I always envisioned him with a big white Mohawk,’ and he was totally down for it.”

Hmmmmm… sounds like the rumours that this new Deathstroke look is from the Knightmare future might have some truth to it.

But, at the end of it all, Manganiello hopes – as do we all – that the new Justice League series will get support up and running again for Deathstroke and perhaps we’ll see him play the character at the height of his powers in the DCEU:  “Hopefully this will reinvigorate interest from the fans as far as wanting to see this version of the character get told. We landed on an origin story that everyone I’ve ever pitched it to has gone crazy for. There’s been so many versions of this character over the years, and I just wanted to put my own stink on him.”

Deathstroke is back guys… and it is just as is should be.

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….