Batman: Joe Manganiello Has Begun His Deathstroke Katana Training

Although there are many questions swirling around "The Batman" -- Who's going to direct? Will it hit its planned 2018 release? Is it even called "The Batman"? -- none of that is getting in the way of its villain's preparations.

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Joe Manganiello, who's set to star as Deathstroke in the Warner Bros. film, revealed during an appearance on the Dragon Talk podcast that he's been studying up on the deadly DC Comics mercenary, and has even begun sword training.

"I’m somebody that likes to start preparing way ahead of time," said Manganiello, best known for his roles in "True Blood" and "Magic Mike. "So I’ve read almost all the comic books involving him. Just to get the information out of them. Some of them are useful. Some of them are not going to be useful. Because ultimately the script — that’s my text. I have to play that."

Perhaps more useful -- and certainly more practical -- is the actor's work with katanas and martial-arts techniques.

I started katana training recently -- like live sword training, and I started meeting with various martial arts teachers and discussing with them. 'OK, so what are the most offensive styles of martial arts, ones where you’re not waiting for someone to attack you but ones where you’re looking to make the attack?' Then what are the most deadly ones?" he continued. "Where are the scrolls, the ancient Japanese scrolls that have these really deadly techniques that you don’t teach to the average student out the street? Something that only somebody who would go looking for it that are really really bad, you know, are dangerous. Like, what are those?"

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Manganiello's approach spills over into fighting stances, and the physicality of the Deathstroke role. "OK, so now what if that person lost an eye?" he said. "If that person lost an eye how would they then alter the stance so that you would have better peripheral vision. What would that look like? So then you start cooking, and then you start building a story. Kind of outside-in; that’s, like, a very physical way to build a story."

The film's current script is written by Chis Terrio ("Argo," "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice") from a draft by Affleck and Geoff Johns, DC Entertainment's president and chief creative officer. It was announced for release in 2018, but following the departure of Affleck as director, it's rumored to be aiming for 2019.

Tentatively titled "The Batman," the film also stars Affleck as Bruce Wayne, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.

(via Comic Book Movie)

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