Last summer, Ben Affleck posted the above video to Facebook showing Batman villain Deathstroke as he would appear in The Batman, which at the time was set to be written and directed by Affleck. Soon after, it was announced that True Blood and Magic Mike co-star Joe Manganiello was going to be playing the character, and virtually every bit of news about the film from that point presumed that this would be the case.
Fast forward a year and now that Matt Reeves has not only taken over as director of the film but also scrapped Affleck's script, people have begun to wonder if Manganiello's Deathstroke would even appear in the film anymore, let alone be the main antagonist. Manganiello himself weighed in on the issue in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, and he doesn't sound very happy about the current state of affairs...
THR: I think a lot of people are wondering what the status of Deathstroke is in the next Batman movie now that Ben Affleck is off the project as director. Do you have any information about that?
JM: I don’t. Well, I do but nothing that I can share. I know everything but I can’t say any of it.
THR: Was that imparted in a happy way or a downtrodden way? I’m trying to interpret the fluctuations in your tone.
JM: [Pause.] I’m shooting for a neutral tone.
THR: You’re succeeding.
THR: Any idea when we’ll find out?
JM: It’s not up to me. That’s a good question for Warner Bros. and D.C.
Yikes. That sounds like a man who just lost out on a great opportunity and not like a guy thrilled to still be gainfully employed. I'm not sure Deathstroke was the way to go as the villain for the film in the first place, but it did at least keep Jared Leto's god awful Joker on the sidelines where he belongs. I'm sure we'll find out soon enough who the new villain will be, but I wonder how many phone calls Paul Giamatti's been placing the Matt Reeves to find out if The Penguin could be the new villain.