DC movie fans have finally gotten confirmation of a long-speculated rumor: True Blood and Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello is playing Deathstroke in the DCEU, beginning with Ben Affleck's Batman solo movie.
This is a rare DCEU casting rumor that has been met with overwhelming positivity - with good reason.
Here are 5 Reasons that Joe Manganiello is perfect for the role of Deathstroke.
He's Buff & Tough Enough
Joe Manganiello is, quite clearly, a beefcake.
As an alpha male werewolf on True Blood, we got to see him throwdown and flex muscle (sometimes wearing clothes); the Magic Mike practically pimped out the actor's physique (all of it...), while a film role like Joe 'Grinder' Phillips in the David Ayer/Arnold Schwarzenegger flick Sabotage showed how natural he looks as a militant soldier type.
Deathstroke/Slade Wilson is a career assassin, a master of weaponry, and is able to match Batman in hand-to-hand combat.
The actor playing him needs to look physically capable, and it's hard to think of an actor as physically imposing as Manganiello. With his level of athleticism, it's easy to imagine him pulling off complex and hard-hitting fight and action sequences, making the "Deathstroke vs. Batman" DCEU fights something worth getting excited about.prevnext
He's Gruff Enough
Following on the heels of physicality, comes another all-important aspect of comic book movie characters: the voice!
Anyone who watched True Blood recalls Manganiello's sturdy tenor with that lupine growl mixed in when he got mad, and many still swoon from the deep silky tone of the way he would say the name "Sookie" (swoon!).
Manganiello's beef cake status extends all the way to his voicebox, and DC fans can probably already hear the actor gravely drawl as a great fit for Slade Wilson.
Assuming Slade will be a man of at least a few words (you don't hire a guy like Manganiello to keep him in a mask the whole time!), then we want his dialogue to sound as good being delivered as it hopefully does on the page.
Manganiello can deliver that.
He also has an equally gruff manner that makes him the kind of man you would think twice about insulting in a bar; exactly the kind of swagger Slade Wilson should have.prevnext
He's Gray Enough
This might seem like an odd thing to focus on, but as fans of the Deathstroke comic book character, we'd say it's important!
At age 40, nobody is going to argue that Joe Manganiello still looks like he's every bit as strapping as a 25-year-old young buck; but we appreciate the fact that there's now a nice bit of salt in that pepper-colored hair on his head and face.
Manganiello is a perfect age to play Slade Wilson: still in physical prime, but with a seasoned (weathered?) look, after a long career as a mercenary.
The character has a mostly silver mane of head and facial hair in the comics, but Arrow actor Manu Bennett added more pepper to the mix, during his role as Deathstroke on the show. Based on the photo above (Instagramed in London, back when Manganiello was just rumored to be hanging around the Justice League set), it seems like Manganiello will have a nice balance of salt and pepper - with a cropped hairdo that will be a different look for Slade Wilson: seasoned, but still militant and badass. Pitch-perfect.prevnext
He Has Geek & Mainstream Appeal
Being in a DCEU (or MCU) film isn't a sprint through the days of filming; it's a marathon of filming, promoting, and interacting with a flood of fan questions, comparisons and criticisms - even years after a beloved character has been left behind. In short: it's where the "pro" in "professional actor" comes into play.
Joe Manganiello has been through the wringer of being a geek culture superstar. In fact, his role on True Blood will probably have some people still calling him Alcide even after playing another big geek culture role like Deathstroke.
The actor understands how "passionate" fans can get about certain beloved properties and/or characters. He knows how to excite the fans with teases, always stay gracious in face of their sometimes overwhelming passion - he knows how to play the game.
With his marriage to Sofia Vergara making him a bigger pop-culture fixation, Manganiello is also a great pick to take the stage at Comic-Con, or appear at fan events, or on the morning show circuit and really charm both the hardcore fans and mainstream masses into checking out his DCEU movie(s).prevnext
He's Been Waiting for This Chance
Joe Manganiello has had his name circulated for so many comic book roles since he broke out into True Blood stardom; in fact, he was one of the top frontrunners to play the new Superman in Man of Steel.
When the role went to Henry Cavill instead, Manganiello was very candid about the deep disappointment he felt from missing that chance.0comments
Now he's set to play a character who could conceviably kick both Batman and Superman's asses (with the right hardware, of course).
It may not be the Man of Steel, but Joe Manganiello is getting to finally join the DCEU as a pretty badass icon who has potential (keyword: "potential") as a solo character act. We think he's the type of guy who will appreciate life's second chances, and put his all into the role.prev