Joe Manganiello made a brief appearance at the end of “Justice League” as super-villain Deathstroke, and was to have appeared in the standalone Batman movie that Ben Affleck was to direct while reprising the role of the Dark Knight.
As fans well know, Affleck walked away from the project, with Warner Bros. going in a completely different direction by casting Robert Pattinson in “The Batman”, currently in production with director Matt Reeves at the helm.
In a new interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, Manganiello shared some details about the aborted Batman flick.
“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. 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,” he explained.
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“It was really cool, really dark and really hard,” Manganiello said of the not-to-be film. “I was very excited for it.”
While Manganiello assumed that was the end of his short-lived experience as Deathstroke, “Justice League” director Zack Snyder’s upcoming “Snyder Cut” of the movie for HBO Max allowed him to step into the role one more time when Snyder asked if he was available to shoot some new scenes.
“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, ‘Okay, we’re getting your armour out of storage in England, and we’re going to fly it over here. Is there anything you want to do differently?’”
Indeed there was, and he had plenty of ideas for the character that he pitched to Snyder. “Some of those elements I snuck into this round,” he said, pointing to the character’s new Mohawk hairstyle.
“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 climatic 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,” revealed Manganiello.
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Meanwhile, he’s hopeful that the re-upped role in the recut “Justice League” will renew interest in a standalone Deathstroke movie, which had been discussed but was abandoned along with the “Battfleck” movie.
“Hopefully this will reinvigorate interest from the fans as far as wanting to see this version of the character get told,” he added. “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 isn’t the only experience that Manganiello has with the comic book world; during a Tuesday-night appearance on “The Late Show with Seth Meyer”, he revealed that he once auditioned to play Spider-Man.