Joe Manganiello May Join Dwayne Johnson In 'Rampage' Before 'The Batman'
When The Batman eventually gets itself straighted out, Joe Manganiello is in line to play presumed arch-villain Deathstroke. But Manganiello may be lining up other blockbusters in the meantime, as he is now in line to join fellow future DCEU star Dwayne Johnson in Rampage, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Johnson himself also helped back up the report on Twitter.
The Reporter claims Manganiello would play "the leader of a private military group" with Marley Shelton being recruited as "a scientist and astronaut." They would support Johnson as "an animal-loving hero" who has to face a genetically altered gorilla, crocodile and wolf across North America, just like in the 1980s video game Rampage is based on.
This is just one more big budget film out of seemingly dozens that Johnson has lined up, including an upcoming DCEU film with him as Shazam villain/anti-hero Black Adam. Given Johnson's overcrowded schedule, surely Manganiello could find time to do Rampage before or after The Batman shoots.
However, that may depend on just how fast or slow The Batman recovers from Ben Affleck dropping out as director. Yet unlike The Batman, Rampage already has a release date of April 20, 2018, so it would likely have to shoot in a few months. Therefore, if DC is stil committed to Manganiello playing Deathstroke, it may have to wait until he is done with Rampage, although there's no guarantee it will be ready then either.
Publicly, Variety reporter Justin Kroll just told Batman News that the latest script draft has everyone "very happy with it" despite reports from Forbes earlier in the week that it might be rewritten from scratch. That report also claimed there would be "a fresh start" when "a new creative team has been put together," with Matt Reeves allegedly a frontrunner to lead that team as Affleck's directorial replacement.
Whatever the truth is, Manganiello is likely one of many who will need to know a concrete time table very soon. But at this moment, the only thing for certain about Batman's DCEU future is that he'll be in Justice League on Nov. 17, whether or not Deathstroke makes some sort of cameo in it too.