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Taking on the role of an iconic comic book character is always a huge undertaking, especially when a certain hero or villain is relatively unexplored on the silver screen. With that in mind, Joe Manganiello has an enormous task ahead of him with regards to tackling the part of Slade Wilson a.k.a Deathstroke in the upcoming solo Batman movie. Not only does he have to inhabit the legendary mercenary's imposing physicality, but he also has to capture the inherent, ruthless spirit of the character. Luckily for all of us, based upon a new tweet that Manganiello recently posted, it seems that he's taking the responsibility quite seriously. Check it out below to see his research materials for yourself.
It's a seemingly innocent tweet, but there's a wealth of information to be gleaned. We've gone through the finer details of the picture with a fine-toothed comb and come up with five specific aspects of Deathstroke, and the solo Batman movie that will undoubtedly drive Bat fans wild. Without further ado, let's get the ball rolling with one of the most obvious and instantly noticeable aspects of this photo...
Slade Wilson Will Definitely Look Like His Comic Book Counterpart
We already know that Slade Wilson's armor will be incredibly faithful to the way it appears in the comics. That much became obvious when Ben Affleck leaked the first footage of the character. Now it also seems that the man under the mask will look very familiar to fans of the source material. Joe Manganiello's photo featured several unmasked Deathstroke action figures, which seemingly indicates that the guy genuinely wants to look the part in the film. From the goatee to the white hair, these are fundamental aspects of the character's look that have remained consistent for years. The photo he posted appears to have even been taken in a bathroom (based on the look of the counter), so perhaps he gave himself the signature Deathstroke look right before posting the picture to Twitter. We will have to wait and see.
We Likely Won't Receive An Origin Story For Deathstroke
Slade Wilson is very commonly portrayed as an older character, and it seem like that's the version of Deathstroke we will see in the Batman solo movie. As previously mentioned, it appears that Joe Manganiello has done quite a bit of research into the more typical, older look of the villain, which means we likely won't get a ton of backstory regarding Slade Wilson's origin. Although there might be a few passing remarks about his history as a mercenary, his experience as part of a super soldier program (à la Captain America) and the nasty side effects he suffered as a result of such a project, we can reasonably expect that the film won't provide a full-blown origin story.
The Deathstroke/Batman Fights Will Take Inspiration From Arkham Origins
One thing that instantly jumped out at us when we first looked at Joe Manganiello's Twitter posting was the fact that he has very specifically referenced Batman: Arkham Origins as a major source of research material. This seems specifically relevant because many fans have been hoping for a silver screen depiction of the battle between The Dark Knight and The Terminator that occurs during that game. Origins is generally considered the black sheep among the Arkham games, but if there's one silver lining to the entire affair, it's the brutal yet highly tactical showdown between Bruce Wayne and Slade Wilson. This makes plenty of sense, as Deathstroke is arguably the best physical challenge (aside from Bane) that a Batman movie could potentially throw at The Dark Knight; make it happen, Mr. Affleck.
The Batman Solo Movie Will Be Far More Grounded Than Any Other DCEU Film
The fact that Joe Manganiello has opted to read Batman: Earth One as research for the upcoming Batman solo film stands out as a particularly interesting bit of information. If nothing else, it seems to provide fairly definitive evidence that Ben Affleck's vision for Gotham is far more grounded and realistic than Zack Snyder's. Earth One -- written by none other than Geoff Johns -- has become notorious for its gritty and grounded take on the Batman mythos. In this depiction of Gotham, Bruce Wayne is a good fighter with a reasonably keen analytical mind, but he's not the Bat God that many comic book fans have come to expect. He can only handle a few opponents at a time, and he makes plenty of mistakes that almost get him killed. The DCEU Batman has already been established as far superior to the average man (he fought Superman, after all) but it looks like this movie will at the very least scale things back quite a bit.
Penguin May Have Hired Deathstroke
In keeping with the theme of Batman: Earth One, it now seems even more likely that Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a Penguin, may be the party that hires Deathstroke to take down Batman in the upcoming solo movie. We can make this deduction because Joe Manganiello is specifically reading Volume One of Earth One. In that issue of Geoff Johns' grounded Batman series, Bruce Wayne wages a one-man war on Cobblepot after learning that the notorious Gotham gangster may actually be behind the deaths of his parents. Quite a bit of Earth One's narrative requires a Batman who is in the early days of his career, so we don't expect a direct adaptation, but the presence of this particular book amongst Manganiello's research material definitely makes Penguin a person of interest.