Appearing Friday on “Pittsburgh Today Live” to promote the animated “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” the actor was asked about playing the DC Comics mercenary in the upcoming film. Manganiello replied, “Umm … maybe. We’ll see.”
His apparent hesitance stands in stark contrast to earlier interviews, in which Manganiello readily discussed his research and training for the role of the fan-favorite supervillain. He even shared Deathstroke fan art to celebrate the birthday of Geoff Johns, DC Entertainment’s president and chief creative officer.
Of course, there are a lot of questions surrounding the film following Ben Affleck’s sudden departure as director in late January. Warner Bros. tapped Matt Reeves to succeed him last month, but “The Batman” now appears unlikely to begin production before 2018, in large part because the filmmaker will be occupied with Fox’s “War for the Planet of the Apes” until at least June. “The Batman” previously had been expected to begin filming this spring, with an eye toward a 2018 release.
Affleck and Johns wrote the original screenplay, but in the wake of Affleck’s departure, Warner Bros. hired Chris Terrio (“Argo,” “Justice League”) to take another pass. Presumably Reeves, and established writer, will also have a hand in shaping the current draft.
As of now, “The Batman” stars Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon and Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke.