Will Smith’s Deadshot and Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke have plenty of superficial similarities given their penchant for wearing masks, armored costumes and killing a whole lot of people with deadly accuracy and precision, so it’s almost ironic that their respective tenures in the DCEU have largely been defined by inactivity.
Smith took top billing in Suicide Squad and was announced to be getting own solo spinoff shortly afterwards, with the actor confirming it was still on the table in late 2018, only for David Ayer’s movie to receive a soft reboot from James Gunn, which was originally going to recast the role before it was decided that Idris Elba would play Bloodsport instead.
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As for Manganiello, his cameo during the credits of Joss Whedon’s Justice League set him up for a much larger part in the sequel, while he was also due to make life miserable for Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne in The Batman and even headline his own standalone adventure that would have marked the Hollywood directorial debut of The Raid‘s Gareth Evans.
Of course, there’s been no shortage of speculation that a third Suicide Squad could bring back Deadshot, and Manganiello has admitted that he was once going to be involved in the second installment before plans changed, but we’re now hearing from our sources – the same ones who told us Affleck will be suiting up in The Flash – that Warner Bros. and DC Films want Smith to return and fight Slade Wilson in a future project, although there’s no word on whether Manganiello would still be involved or if it’d mark the latest bout of DCEU recasting. As always, it seems the future of the franchise is plagued by question marks and inconsistency, but it’s certainly something that’d please the fans.