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Joe Manganiello to Play Deathstroke in Ben Affleck’s Batman Film

Joe Manganiello will play DC’s deadly assassin Deathstroke in Ben Affleck’s upcoming Batman standalone film.

DC Entertainment president and chief creative officer Geoff Johns confirmed the casting on Thursday in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. The news comes a week after Affleck cryptically teased a video on social media that appeared to be a screen test, with the villain walking toward a camera, which led to fervent discussion about who was under the mask.

Deathstroke, aka Slade Wilson, was created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, and first appeared in “The New Teen Titans #2” in 1980. Although he originally appeared as the archenemy of the teenage superhero team, Deathstroke eventually had run-ins with many other characters in the DC Universe, including Batman.

Manganiello’s Deathstroke won’t be the first live-action version of the character. “Spartacus” alum Manu Bennett played the character in three seasons of The CW’s “Arrow.”

Affleck donned the cape and cowl for the first time in this summer’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and will do so again in “Justice League” next year. Johns declined to comment on whether Manganiello will make an appearance in the latter film.

“Justice League” hits theaters on Nov. 10, 2017, while “Justice League: Part Two” is slated for June 14, 2019.

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