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SYFY WIRE Joe Manganiello

Joe Manganiello plays a possible superhero (or not) in artsy and moody 'Archenemy' trailer

By James Comtois
Joe Manganiello in Archenemy

While we wait for that Deathstroke movie that’s clearly still happening (right, Warner Bros.?  Right...?), we can watch Joe Manganiello play a different kind of superhero — in that, he may or may not actually be a superhero at all.

In Archenemy, the upcoming film from writer-director Adam Egypt Mortimer (Daniel Isn't Real), Manganiello supposedly plays interdimensional superhero Max Fist. Only thing is, he’s lost his powers, and nobody believes him, except for a teen named Hamster (Skylan Brooks) and his older sister Indigo (Zolee Griggs). With Hamster and Indigo’s help, Max takes on the local drug ring, since, powers or no, he’s still a hero and must do the right thing. 

So, is Max who or what he says he is? Or is he deluded, possibly from having watched too many superhero movies?

Here’s the thing: This information is all from the film’s synopsis. You’re not going to find any of these story details from the artsy and dialogue-free trailer, which Variety first unveiled. Check it out below. 

Back in November when the project was first announced (courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter), Jonathan Decker, CEO of Voltage Pictures, one of the production companies financing the film, was quoted as saying that “Archenemy is about finding the heroes amongst us, and within us, something that I think everyone can relate to in today’s world,” adding that he and the folks at Voltage were “thrilled to add this fun, action-packed superhero” to their stable.

Still, it doesn’t seem particularly superheroey. In fact, it feels a lot like that Nicolas Cage-led arthouse horror film Mandy, which makes sense, since it’s from the same producers. 

That said, we did notice a couple shots of some very alien-looking dudes pointing guns at someone in a funky mask and costume starting at the 0:43 mark. 

Archenemy screengrab
Archenemy screengrab 2

Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Amy Seimetz (Pet Sematary) also star.

Egypt Mortimer wrote the script based on a story he conceived with Lucas Passmore, and Elijah Wood is on board as one of the producers.

Archenemy is set for a 2021 release.