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Joe Manganiello Wants To Play A Superhero, Probably Batman

Joe Manganiello doesn’t play a superhero in Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike. He plays a male stripper. But even guys who take their clothes off while on screen dream of one day slipping on the skin-tight suits of the comic book industry’s most recognizable heroes, and Manganiello is no different.

In an interview with AICN on behalf of Soderbergh’s new film, the True Blood actor recalled his time spent on the set of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (he played Flash Thompson in a brief role), as well as his plan to audition for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel (his True Blood schedule got in the way). And when asked point blank if he thinks he might get considered for an eventual Batman reboot, Manganiello doesn’t bat an eye – no pun intended.

From your mouth to God’s ears, man. I mean of course, I grew up, as a kid, I read comic books, and I watched every single comic book movie that ever. ... You know, I was a big sci-fi fan, I was just that kid. I’m a fanboy at heart. So, yeah, that is on my radar, and I think in the back of my mind, even going getting classical theatre training to the way that I work out at the gym, all of it in the back of my mind has been to build this thing, this career in order to play ... a superhero the way I would have liked to see it as a kid. And I think that was the really disappointing thing about the Superman situation was that I think that I know comic books really well, and I had a really fresh take on the character and I really think I ... I was excited to share a take on where to take him and give him a little more edge.”

If he’s looking to give a character more edge, then Batman’s the way to go. The “reboot” question is a hot topic these days, what with Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man headed to theaters on July 3. Some see it as a necessary move when a franchise has exhausted most avenues. Others think it’s a cheap way for a studio to recycle material for more cash.

But what do you think Warner Bros. is going to do with Batman a few years after Christopher Nolan brings his story to a close with The Dark Knight Rises? They’re going to reboot the franchise. They won’t let Batman sit in mothballs when they can be making money off of a familiar character.

Now maybe Manganiello gets a different opportunity, perhaps as part of this Justice League movie that’s being rumored. Then he might be able to play Batman without having to build up a whole new trilogy. Truthfully, when it comes to comic book franchises, the success of Nolan’s film and this summer’s Avengers proves that most bets are off, and studios have to start thinking outside of the box to appeal to a smart and savvy fanbase. Hopefully Manganiello gets his shot. He sounds like he knows his stuff. And we’re going to need a new Batman … eventually.

Sean O'Connell

Managing Director at CinemaBlend. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.