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Joe Manganiello is Deathstroke in Ben Affleck’s BATMAN

Joe Manganiello is Deathstroke in Ben Affleck’s BATMAN

We talked about it last week, and rumors had been flying around since footage was tweeted out by director-star Ben Affleck, but it is now official: Deathstroke is a villain in The Batman, and he’ll be played by Magic Mike and True Blood star Joe Manganiello.

The news comes from a very reputable source — DC Comics president and Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, who is also executive producing and overseeing all of the DC Extended Universe movies and writing a few himself. So, like, when he says it, it’s for real. He told The Wall Street Journal that Manganiello would be playing the master assassin in the first solo film for Affleck’s Batman — which will be co-written by Affleck and Johns and directed by Affleck — but wouldn’t comment on whether Deathstroke will make a cameo in Justice League, which is out next year and currently filming in London, nor when we can expect to see The Batman in theaters, though it’s unlikely to be before 2018 at the earliest.

So, we can now say with confidence that the man behind the mask in Affleck’s footage tweet is Manganiello, and he’s a pretty good choice for the role. Big, imposing, and with a definite air of menace.

Deathstroke began life in comics in New Teen Titans #2 back in 1980 and has since become a recurring villain for the Teen Titans, Green Arrow, and other DC Comics heroes. He’s sort of an all-purpose baddie who sometimes works on the side of the angels, but only when it suits him. Deathstroke appeared in live action form on the CW’s Arrow as a recurring character in season one and the main villain of season two, played by another beefy handsome actor, Manu Bennett.

Are you stoked to see Manganiello take on the role of Slade Wilson opposite Batfleck? Let us know in the comments below!

Manganiello told us his favorite songs to strip to right here!

Image: Warner Bros/DC Comics

Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist and a lifelong DC Comics fanboy. Follow him on Twitter!

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