Just last week, Ben Affleck generated quite a bit of buzz with a brief video featuring an unidentified actor suited up as the DC Comics character Deathstroke, who is rumored to be the primary villain in Warner Bros. Pictures’ upcoming Batman solo movie.
Now we have confirmation from an official source, as well as the identity of the man behind the mask: True Blood and Magic Mike actor Joe Manganiello.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Geoff Johns, DC Comics’ chief creative officer — who also serves as one of the architects of the DC Extended Universe and is co-writing the solo Batman movie with Affleck — revealed that Manganiello was the actor portraying Deathstroke in the video. He also confirmed that Deathstroke will be the main antagonist in the still-untitled Batman movie.
While Johns confirmed quite a bit about Deathstroke and the Batman movie he’ll appear in, he stopped short of revealing whether audiences would get their first look at Manganiello as the character in the Justice League movie. Johns also declined to suggest a date when the Batman movie will arrive in theaters.
Created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, Deathstroke is an elite mercenary in the DC Comics universe who was subjected to a secret military experiment that gave him enhanced strength, agility, and other attributes. These abilities, combined with his formidable tactical genius and martial arts skills, have given him the ability to go toe-to-toe with Batman and other superheroes over the years, and occasionally defeat them in battle.
Deathstroke recently served as a featured villain in the Arrow television series across several seasons, with Spartacus actor Manu Bennett portraying him.
Warner Bros. Pictures currently has dates in 2018 and 2019 earmarked for unidentified projects in the DC Extended Universe, so the Batman movie will likely end up premiering on one of those dates.