Back in March, news broke that “True Blood” alum Joe Manganiello was no longer certain on whether or not he’d still be portraying Slade Wilson, AKA Deathstroke, in the upcoming “Batman” solo film. However, while Manganiello’s status in the film hasn’t officially changed as of yet, a tease from “Beauty and the Beast” actor Josh Gad has some fans speculating that the mercenary might be joined (or replaced) on the big screen by Oswald Cobblepot, AKA The Penguin.
Gad tweeted out an ominous photo of the longtime Batman villain – completely free of context – to ensure that everyone’s imaginations could collectively begin running wild. It’s worth noting the word balloon in the image Gad shared, which reads, “Make Me!” Does this mean that Gad is petitioning for the role, that he’s already gotten it, or is he simply teasing fans for reasons unknown?
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) May 2, 2017
While plans for “The Batman” initially called for Manganiello’s Deathstroke to be the primary antagonist of the film, it seems pretty clear that at this stage in the game, nothing is set in stone. After dropping out as the director in January, Batman/Bruce Wayne actor Ben Affleck was replaced by “War for the Planet of the Apes” director Matt Reeves, who’s said to have full creative control over the project. That, along with reports that “The Batman” was being rewritten from the ground up, could certainly lend credence to the notion that The Penguin might appear in the film, either as the new primary foe to the Caped Crusader, or perhaps as the man that hires Deathstroke in the first place, which would fall in line with the character’s gangster persona in the comics.
“The Batman” stars Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, and Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke, and there’s currently no official release date. However, you can still catch Affleck suited up as the Dark Knight in “Justice League,” which hits theaters November 17.