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When Matt Reeves took over as The Batman's director and writer, it was to be expected that the movie would go through a lot of changes. Sure enough, earlier this month, Reeves confirmed that the script that The Batman script Ben Affleck and DC's Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns wrote will not be used, and instead Reeves is formulating the story from scratch. This has led to speculation about whether or not Deathstroke will still be The Batman's main antagonist. Well, Joe Manganiello knows the answer to this mystery, but he's not allowed to say anything on the subject right now. When asked if he knows what the current situation with Deathstroke is, Manganiello coyly responded:
I don't. Well, I do but nothing that I can share. I know everything but I can't say any of it.
THR then followed up by asking if Joe Manganiello's answer was passed on in a "happy way or downtrodden way," to which he answered that he was going for a "neutral tone." He later said that is wasn't up to him when we find out what's happening, but that it was a good question for Warner Bros and DC. Evidently someone clued Manganiello in on what's happening, but for now he's been ordered not to reveal if he's still geared up to play Deathstoke or if he's no longer attached to The Batman. It's also possible that although Manganiello will still get to play Slade Wilson, it will be in a smaller capacity, and the main antagonist position has been filled by someone who has yet to be publicly revealed. Regardless, his response doesn't come across as very reassuring to those who've been eagerly anticipating Deathstroke's theatrical debut.
Joe Manganiello was announced as the DCEU's Deathstroke last year shortly after Ben Affleck posted a video of some footage of a costumed Slade Wilson. But a lot has changed for The Batman since then, and now the character's future is up in the air. Since Matt Reeves only recently finished his War for the Planet of the Apes press tour, he hasn't had much time to work on The Batman story outside of the basic ideas he's come up with, like making it a noir-driven detective story. Since Deathstroke is one of the world's best assassins, throwing him into a murder mystery would certainly be interesting, but if Reeves has a different story in mind, then that's going to take precedence over shoehorning in Slade Wilson. However, keep in mind that even if Deathstroke doesn't appear in The Batman, that doesn't necessarily mean we won't see the one-eyed assassin at all in the DCEU, as he's rumored to show up in Justice League.
The Batman's release date hasn't been announced yet, but considering that it was included in the updated DCEU slate shown off at San Diego Comic-Con, it's one of Warner Bros and DC's bigger priorities, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates about the project.