If you're the kind of person who masochistically enjoys following the relentless cycle of news and trauma known as the #DCEU, you'll be well aware that Magic Mike actor and sickeningly handsome human being Joe Manganiello has been cast as Deathstroke the Terminator in DC's dark superhero universe.
But what you might not realize is that there's another dimension, probably Earth-709, in which Manganiello instead plays #Superman. Yep, that's a thing that almost happened on our Earth, before a cruel twist of fate prevented Manganiello from suiting up with a big S on his chest.
Although this is not the first time this story has broken out from the scorched earth of Krypton, Manganiello has just spoken in detail about how close he got to playing the Man of Steel, and why it ultimately didn't work out. Here's what he had to say about the near-miss in conversation with MTV's HappySadConfused podcast:
"I met with casting, and then they brought me over to Zack [Snyder]. I met the producers, I met with everybody involved – and then finally sat down with Zack for an hour and a half and had a big conversation about the character and where it was going, etc. Then they called the 'True Blood' costume shop for my measurements to build my suit and that’s what caused the – that’s when it stopped."
Essentially, HBO were unwilling to give Manganiello enough time off from his role on True Blood as Alcide Herveaux to commit to filming Man Of Steel. For a TV actor who was heart-stoppingly close to being cast as the world's most famous superhero (and being paid a truck-ton of money), that must have been a complete shitter.
So did Manganiello ultimately get around to watching Man Of Steel with Henry Cavill in the red cape?
"I wouldn't see it, I couldn't... I'm a sensitive guy, I was rocked by the whole thing! I had bicep surgery after 'Magic Mike XXL' and I was up in the middle of the night, you know, with the pain ... I was on painkillers and it was on so I watched it then. Like, alright, I think I'm ready! [Laughs]"
If one must watch Man Of Steel, that sounds like the way to do it.
Manganiello also touches on how True Blood used its platform as a genre show about vampires to tell stories about marriage equality and racism in the South, drawing parallels with how superhero movies like Logan seem to be turning a corner from being all about scale and spectacle to telling slightly more human stories:
"I think if you present a great story, people will go. It's not to say that 'Logan' didn't have spectacle, it's just that ... it was dirty, it was stripped down, and I think that there's a real need for that now."
It'll be interesting to see whether the actor's idea of more grounded superhero movies being more satisfying carries over to #TheBatman.
You can listen to the podcast in full over on MTV, and check out Manganiello's screentest as Deathstroke above.
Would Manganiello have made the ultimate Man Of Steel, or did things work out right in the end with Deathstroke and Cavill as the man from Krypton?