Batman's Deathstroke was very, very close to playing Superman in Man of Steel

Actor Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike) is preparing to suit up as Deathstroke in DC’s upcoming Batman solo movie, but a few years ago, he came this close to playing Superman in Man of Steel.

In an interview with MTV, Manganiello revealed that he met with the 2013 film’s producers, the head honcho at Legendary Entertainment, and eventually director Zack Snyder about playing Clark Kent/Superman in the Superman reboot. But the actor was starring on HBO’s True Blood at the time, and when Warner Bros. called HBO’s costume department to get his measurements so they could create a suit for him to try on for a screen test, the whole thing went wrong very quickly. The True Blood producers found out about the audition, and immediately put a stop to it because they couldn’t afford to let Manganiello take the time off he’d need to make the movie. Since he was contractually obligated to the show, the actor had to pass on the role of a lifetime.

“I’m a sensitive guy and I was kind of rocked by the whole thing,” he explained. The incident impacted him so much that he wasn’t able to watch Man of Steel until years later, when he was drugged up following a surgery. He laughs about it now, but it sounds like it must have been difficult to come that close to a dream job only to have it slip through his fingers.

Things seem to have worked out for him, though, as he’ll soon appear on the big screen as the mercenary Deathstroke opposite Ben Affleck’s Batman in the new standalone film. And who knows - maybe he’ll even make a cameo in Justice League and have a chance to go head to head against Henry Cavill, the man who ended up winning the Superman role in the DC Extended Universe.

Directed by Zack Snyder and starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, and more, Justice League hits theaters on November 17, 2017. Click here to read about the film’s villain.

Images: Warner Bros.

Ben Pearson
Ben is an entertainment journalist who has written about movies online for nearly a decade. He loves the Fast & Furious franchise, prefers Indiana Jones to Star Wars, and will defend the ending of Lost until his dying day. He shook Bill Murray's hand once (so he's got that going for him, which is nice). Ben lives in Los Angeles with his wife.