"It was really cool, really dark and really hard," Joe Manganiello revealed about Ben Affleck's proposed Batman film

By Georgia Slater
December 09, 2020 11:36 AM
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Ben Affleck Batman Justice League
Ben Affleck as Batman
| Credit: DC Entertainment/Warner Bros/Shutterstock

While Ben Affleck is no longer suiting up as Batman in the upcoming solo superhero film, his Justice League costar Joe Manganiello is revealing new details about what Affleck's version of the story would have looked like.

Manganiello, who viewers first met as the villain Deathstroke at the end of Justice League, told Yahoo! Entertainment that his character would have made a reappearance as Batman's nemesis in Affleck's now-abandoned film.

According to the Magic Mike actor, in Affleck's version, the assassin Deathstroke, whose real name is Slade Wilson, would have destroyed Bruce Wayne's life as both a leading citizen in Gotham City and his private life as Batman.

Manganiello, 43, said that Affleck's film would have taken inspiration from director David Fincher, who Affleck worked with on Gone Girl, drawing from his 1997 cult film The Game.

"It was a really dark story in which Deathstroke was like a shark or a horror movie villain that was dismantling Bruce’s life from the inside out," Manganiello said of Affleck's film.

Adding, "It was this systemic thing: He killed everyone close to Bruce and destroyed his life to try and make him suffer because he felt that Bruce was responsible for something that happened to him."

Ben Affleck - Batman
Ben Affleck as Batman in Zack Snyder's Justice League
| Credit: The Director’s Cut of Justice League/Twitter

"It was really cool, really dark and really hard," Manganiello continued. "I was excited very for it."

In 2017, Affleck stepped away from directing the solo Batman film, leaving director Matt Reeves to helm what is planned to be a new trilogy of films.

The Good Will Hunting actor, 48, was then replaced by Robert Pattinson to star as the superhero.

While Manganiello won't get to play out the Deathstroke storyline as originally imagined, he did reprise his character earlier this year for Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

Joe Manganiello Deathstroke
Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke

In May, director Zack Snyder announced his cut of the 2017 film would be debuting on HBO Max in 2021 after a relentless fan campaign asking for his version of the film.

"Zack called me one day and asked, 'How'd you like to do it again?' So I said, 'Sure, man, I'll be there.' And he told me, 'OK, we're getting your armor out of storage in England, and we're going to fly it over here. Is there anything you want to do differently?'" Manganiello recalled his conversation with Snyder.

One thing the actor decided to change about his character was his hair, now giving Deathstroke a wild mohawk look — which he showed off on Instagram last month.

"There was a climatic moment in my standalone story where I wanted Slade to shave his head into this war-like Mohawk knowing that he was going off to his own death. I said to Zack, 'I always envisioned him with a big white Mohawk,' and he was totally down for it," he said.

Zack Snyder's Justice League, which also stars Affleck as Batman, will debut on HBO Max in 2021.