Joe Manganiello Says Batman Movie Begins Shooting in Spring

Ben Affleck's Batman movie may begin production sooner than many people thought.

Speaking with "Entertainment Tonight," Deathstroke actor Joe Manganiello revealed the Warner Bros. film will shoot "in the spring," but didn't offer any details.

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However, that timeline may help to bring into focus comments made last month by Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, who told investors that the film is “a year and a half out.” It was widely presumed he was referring to the start of production, but now it appears as if he meant theatrical release. That makes the Batman film -- which may or may not be titled "The Batman" -- a likely candidate for release on Oct. 5, 2018.

Affleck, who will star in and direct the film, from a script he's co-writing with DC Entertainment President Geoff Johns, has attempted to play things cool: He revealed earlier this month that the movie will likely be called "The Batman," and then quickly walked that back, insisting, "There is no Batman movie happening yet, we’re still trying to figure it out, you know, get the script and budget and all that stuff."

However, he did say he's at last "really excited" about the script, after revealing in June from the set of "Justice League" that he wasn't yet happy with the writing, and wouldn't move forward with the project until it met his high standards.

He'll be joined in the film by Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon and =Manganiello as Deathstroke. We probably shouldn't hold our breath for his "The Accountant" co-star Anna Kendrick as Robin, though.

Affleck will next be seen as Batman in director Zack Snyder’s “Justice League,” alongside Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash and Ray Fisher as Cyborg. It arrives in theaters Nov. 17, 2017.

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