Excited about more Batfleck in The Batman? No one is more pumped for it than Ben Affleck himself, probably, but Joe Manganiello’s enthusiasm comes pretty close. While appearing on a podcast this week, he said all the right things about the standalone Batman movie that have us feeling hopeful that maybe the DC cinematic universe’s darkest days could be behind it.

On the Mark Madden, Super Genius podcast yesterday (per Batman News), Manganiello was asked about preparing for his role as Deathstroke in the movie, and how The Batman will compare to the rest of the DC movieverse’s offerings.

I think the audience is going to be surprised, because it’s a road that no one’s really gone down that’s completely integral to who Batman is. I think it’s gonna be refreshing, but at the same time completely familiar. But it’s going to take this franchise in a direction that I think a lot of people are going to be really happy about.

It’s going to be gritty and action-packed and cerebral and all of those elements that people love about Batman. Ben’s a great director, man. I mean the last movie that man directed won Best Picture. He’s got an Oscar for writing. Like, this is all the components to go down as a… everything is lined up for a really really really great movie. Not only a superhero movie but just a great, great movie. Which is why, you know, I told him in the room man, when I met him. ‘I should be so lucky, I’d be in great hands to work with you, I love your movies, let’s do this.’

Boy, it’s about time we had a cerebral superhero movie for once, she wrote, eyes rolling all the way back into her skull. But, all snark aside, this is very positive — if incredibly vague — news for The Batman, and for DC in general. “A road that no one’s really gone down” could mean absolutely anything, but if what Manganiello’s saying is true, and considering the lukewarm reception this year’s Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad got, DC trying something new and going in a different direction is definitely a good choice.

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