Joe Manganiello, the actor who portrayed Slade Wilson/Deathstroke in Zack Snyder’s Justice League has joined millions of fans and Zack Snyder supporters in the #RestoreTheSnyderVerse movement. The campaign, which began in the wake of the release of Snyder Cut and its visible superiority in comparison to the theatrical version of Justice League, as well as how Warner Bros. changed the approach towards DCEU, garnered over a million tweets on Twitter in just twenty-four hours. The movement focuses on fans persuading WarnerMedia to restore Zack Snyder’s original plans for DCEU’s shared storylines and reinstate his original slate of films with all previous cast members and crew returning.
Throwing in his support, Joe Manganiello tweeted a behind-the-scenes photo of his character’s Knightmare look from Zack Snyder’s Justice League, sporting a mohawk and donning a weary armored costume, while wielding a gun. The picture showcase Manganiello photographed in a black-and-white setting just like the earlier character reveals of Knightmare Batman and Jared Leto’s Joker.
Manganiello’s appearance in the film was met with a massive appreciative response from fans. Though Manganiello was only featured in a post-credits cameo in the theatrical version of Justice League, he was later called back by Zack for additional photography and reshoots for an epilogue sequence in Snyder Cut, with a new look and suit, ultimately giving the audience and Joe himself some hope for Deathstroke’s return to the franchise.
Joe Manganiello was supposed to be the primary antagonist in Ben Affleck’s original The Batman, which was later rewritten as a separate reboot by Matt Reeves, with Robert Pattinson taking on the lead role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. Reeves’ The Batman will release with an entirely new cast next year, 2022.
Joe was even attached to a solo film project which at the time was expected to be helmed by Gareth Evans. Joe was even writing the script for the film, which would’ve served as both an origin story for the character, as well as would’ve been set in a simultaneous future in the franchise. The film was ultimately canceled after numerous delays.
The further active cancellation of DCEU projects in process of shifting from Snyder’s original plans for the franchise eventually put Deathstroke out of Warner Bros. priority list and had Manganiello grow skeptical about his role. Thanks to Zack Snyder’s faith in the character and Joe’s ability to portray Wilson, the actor was back with a menacing look and impeccable impression.
Though this is the first time Manganiello has used the campaign hashtag to voice his support for SnyderVerse, he has previously praised Zack Snyder countless times, thanking him for including his character in the new iteration of his Justice League cut. A self-identified geek of comic book lores, Joe Manganiello even shared previous pre-production footage from Ben Affleck’s The Batman. The Knightmare sequence in Zack Snyder’s Justice League has raised some hopes of the character’s return in the franchise’s future per Snyder’s original plans, eventually reinstating the SnyderVerse.
There is no telling what will become of Deathstroke and SnyderVerse, as Warner Bros. has explicitly stated that Zack’s Justice League is a non-canonical solo outing with no sequels planned to follow its cliffhanger ending. The #RestoreTheSnyderVerse movement has garnered much attention on social media handles and has even led Snyder to admit that he may direct the originally planned sequels if given a chance. It’s just that Warner Bros. might not have the capacity to ingest another fan campaign and sanction millions of dollars for the sequels and original slate of DCEU films.
Notably, if Snyder’s vision had continued within DCEU, by now we’d have already gotten Flashpoint (original release – 2018), The Batman (original release – 2019), Cyborg (original release – 2020) & Green Lantern Corps. (original release – 2020) along with other spin-offs, while Justice League 2 would be awaiting release.
For now, Warner Bros. is looking forward to multiple DCEU releases as per the renewed storylines, including The Suicide Squad, The Flash, Aquaman 2, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and Black Adam along with Matt reeves’ The Batman, all of which will release in 2021-2022. DC Films has also sanctioned Zatanna to be helmed by Emerald Fennell, along with films based on Static Shock, Blue Beetle, and Batgirl in the early stages of writing and development. So, even if Warner Bros. decides to go for restoring the SnyderVerse, it’s too tough to say when Warner Bros. will even take out the time to sanction an entirely different franchise.
Mark Kleinman is city editor, breaking major business stories and analysing what they mean for the financial sector.
He has revealed some of the biggest stories in the city in the past decade, with a string of exclusives about major takeover deals.
Before joining Sky, he was City Editor of The Sunday Telegraph.
Mark was awarded the London Press Club Business Journalist of the Year in 2011.