Joe Manganiello has revealed how much research he has already put into the role of Deathstroke, AKA Slade Wilson. Manganiello is attached to play this master assassin within the DC Extended Universe movie franchise, and he already made a quick appearance in the role at the very end of Justice League.
Manganiello originally chatted to Ben Affleck about the role, at a time when Affleck was penning the script for The Batman, the next solo adventure for Gotham’s Dark Knight. Manganiello explained as much in a recent interview:
“I met with Ben Affleck about Batman, and he told me that the meeting we were having was for Deathstroke, I thought, ‘Wow, well, there’s a literal mask,’ but this is a real opportunity to figure out who this guy is on the inside”.
Affleck’s script for The Batman was ultimately benched by DC Entertainment, with War For The Planet Of The Apes writer/director Matt Reeves stepping in to develop a trilogy of Batman movies instead. Regardless of that, it’s clear that Manganiello has put a lot of thought into the role:
“The best, quote-unquote, I hate calling them this…calling them a ‘villain,’ is understanding where they’re coming from. They’re a villain to people who are opposing them, but from the inside, this is a person who’s struggling with all types of things. I think it’s really interesting to tell that kind of story and tell the truth, emotionally, of a story like that when you’re talking about a man who lost an eye, was betrayed, lost his son. These different types of aspects and you couple that with real-world military training.”
And Manganiello didn’t stop there. He went very in-depth into his preparation and building a backstory for the character of Deathstroke:
“Then I started training at a Ninjitsu dojo and started learning sword fighting. I started learning and understanding where those techniques come from and all of the sudden this thing starts writing itself and now, what I love doing, in an instance like that, I’m able to, because I’m in at the ground level, I’m able to go back and pitch all of my work. So I’m pitching them, ‘This is where I think he comes from, this is where I think he’s going, this is the military background, these are some articles that I’ve pulled for you, I’ve also interviewed these people over here, the Ninjitsu school.'”
With Reeves’ Batman movies still in development, it’s unclear where Manganiello will next show up in the DCEU. Since Manganiello was originally brought on board for Affleck’s version of the project, it’s hard to tell if he will still play a part in a solo Batman adventure. Perhaps a separate Deathstroke movie will happen instead?
As we hear more, we’ll let you know.