While The Batman hones in on Cloverfield director Matt Reeves after Ben Affleck’s departure from directing duties, actor Joe Manganiello has been training hard to become Deathstroke. While speaking as a guest on the official Dungeons & Dragons podcast, the Magic Mike XXL actor expressed his thoughts on Slade Wilson’s moral compass. While DC has positioned Deathstroke as a villain, Manganiello has been approaching the deadliest killer in the DC Universe as an anti-hero.
“In my mind, you could say Deathstroke is a villain … there’s definitely a way to look at him that way,” Manganiello said on the podcast, “but there’s a way to look at him as an anti-hero or just someone who’s figuring things out in his own way or trying to work something out over the course of this two-hour movie.”
Manganiello’s approach to the character differs from how DC Comics has treated the character editorially since last year. Veteran comics writer Christopher Priest has told Inverse in multiple interviews that Deathstroke is not only “vile,” but a legitimate villain.
“I can’t be protective of Deathstroke,” Priest told Inverse at New York Comic Con last October. “He’s a villain and he’s a vile person. He doesn’t have that monitor in there.” A recent issue of Priest’s Deathstroke took place in Chicago, with Deathstroke hired to kill the city’s gangs. “He is completely indifferent to what’s going on in Chicago. A job is a job,” Priest said to Inverse. “The guy I’m writing is a villain, plain and simple.”
There is not yet a release date for The Batman.