True Blood vet to battle Dark Knight
What if I told you Entertainment Weekly’s “Favorite Pop-Culture Werewolf of All Time” was coming to Gotham to battle Batman. It’s true. Well, kind of.
Pop Culture Werewolf Joe Manganiello, the man who played Alcide Herveaux on the HBO television series “True Blood,” has been cast to play the villain Deathstroke in the upcoming solo Batman movie starring Ben Affleck in the iconic cape and cowl. Rumored online for weeks, the big news was recently confirmed by DC Entertainment President and chief creative officer, Geoff Johns.
Manganiello is no stranger to comic book movies, having played Spider-Man antagonist Flash Thompson in Sam Raimi’s trilogy of web slinger films from the 2000s. The Pittsburgh-born actor has appeared in 2012’s “Magic Mike” and the 2015 sequel, “Magic Mike XXL,” as well as the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle “Sabotage” in 2014. A few years removed from stripping with Channing Tatum and blowing stuff up with Arnie, Mangeniello will lend his voice to 2017’s “Smurfs: The Lost Village” before turning his attention to the DC Extended Cinematic Universe (DECU. While there is no official release date of Affleck’s first solo Batman film, the earliest expectations point to 2018.
The character of Deathstroke, real name Slade Joseph Wilson, has recently been featured in the CW’s version of “Arrow,” where he is portrayed by actor Manu Bennett. The DCEU exists separately from the CW’s live-action shows, so there’s not expected to be any continuity between Mangeniello’s Deathstroke and the one who tangles with Stephen Amell’s Green Arrow character on the small screen.
Deathstroke has been stalking around the pages of DC comics since 1980, when he first appeared in “The New Teen Titans” (Vol. 1) No. 2. Fueled by an experimental serum which grants him superhuman abilities, the mercenary Deathstroke has always been portrayed as ruthless, cutthroat and dangerous. The character has been enjoying a renaissance of late thanks to Bennett’s portrayal on the CW as well as a solo comic series launched in August as part of DC’s Rebirth initiative.
It’s unknown at this time if Deathstroke will appear in 2017’s “Justice League,” which is currently filming. But given how the DCEU has been cramming tons of characters into its last few films, a cameo from the deadly assassin is certainly not out of the question.
With Affleck and Manganiello on board, the future of the Caped Crusader seems to be bright. Fans will certainly be anxious for the inevitable showdown between the Dark Knight and Jared Leto’s Joker, but for the time being, Deathstroke provides a solid, well-established antagonist for Affleck’s grizzled version of Batman. In addition to playing the titular role, Affleck is writing the movie with Johns and will also be directing.
Source: Wall Street Journal