It's still unclear when "The Batman," the upcoming standalone DC flick starring Ben Affleck's version of the Caped Crusader, will hit theaters, but it may be sooner than fans anticipated: One of the film's stars just revealed when the film will start production.

Joe Manganiello, who will play villain Deathstroke in the flick, dropped the news in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, spilling the beans that it looks like a spring 2017 start date is in the cards for the feature. The actor told ET that he was currently "getting ready to go shoot Batman in the spring."

Part of that preparation has included at least one screen test for director Affleck, who shared some raw footage of Manganiello in his Deathstroke garb on Twitter back in August, causing DC fanboys and -girls to freak out -- and wonder whether or not the deadly assassin would be appearing in "Justice League." While the possibility of a cameo in that film remains to be seen (Manganiello did pop up in Europe during production), it was later revealed that Deathstroke would be the main villain in "The Batman," set for release after the DC team-up flick.

We still don't have any definitive word on when "The Batman" will hit theaters, but based on DC's current release schedule -- and now this new production information -- it's not likely to arrive before 2018.

[via: Entertainment Tonight]