First of all, they made another ‘Smurfs’ movie?  Why?

Twocoms /
Twocoms /

But in other, possibly not-great news, Joe Manganiello, who stars in said ‘Smurfs’ movie, made an appearance on ‘Pittsburgh Today Live’ (along with a Smurf) to promote the movie and was asked about his role in the embattled ‘The Batman’.  You may recall a fairly cool, but brief, video clip of Manganiello suited up in full Deathstroke armor that was released last year when buzz was first building for a solo Ben Affleck ‘Batman’ movie was building.  After all, while Affleck kind of got crucified when his casting was first announced, he managed to silence most haters with his serious depiction in ‘Batman V Superman’.  Some even hailed him as the best film Dark Knight yet!

But recently the solo film has been plagued by setbacks.  Affleck had planned to direct the film, but stepped down.  Affleck had also helped pen the script with DC CFO Geoff Johns and ‘Argo’ scribe Chris Terrio and indeed the general consensus was that the film would pit Batman against Manganiello’s Deathstroke.  But recently, word emerged that Warner Brothers had asked that the entire script be re-written from scratch.  (This also followed some rumors that Affleck was looking to walk away from ‘The Batman’ and the DC Expanded Universe as a whole.  So far that hasn’t been confirmed and Affleck is, as far as we know, still attached.)

Manganiello simply rolled with the inquiry, shrugging and saying “Maybe… we’ll see.”  You can watch the short clip below:

It’s entirely possible that Manganiello simply wanted to keep the focus on his current project, especially since at this point, who knows how long it will be before ‘The Batman’ finally arrives?

Presumably, Manganiello is in the loop somewhat regarding the future of this potentially major franchise.  But this follows J.K. Simmons‘ recent announcement that he is unsure of when he will return as Commissioner Gordon:

“My part in the first film coming out this fall is very, very small.  It’s a little introduction of the character. But whenever the next one gets off the ground, whether it’s The Batman movie or the Justice League sequel, and I know those things are getting shuffled around right now … we thought we might be getting to work pretty soon on The Batman, but we’ll see what the future brings. Hopefully that’ll be another comic-book character that I get to take two or three or four cracks at.”

Check back for more information as it surfaces.

Are you worried that Manganiello might not be playing Deathstroke after all?  Or is there someone else you would rather see in the part?  Or would you rather see a different villain altogether?

Sources: Pittsburgh Today Live, Screen Crush