One of the many projects that seems to be on the back-burner at DC towers is a solo movie for Deathstroke. Initially, Joe Manganiello was cast by Ben Affleck to play the main villain in The Batman, but this plan went south when Matt Reeves came onboard and started from scratch. In place of that, it seemed he was getting his own vehicle instead, with reports saying that The Raid director Gareth Evans was on hand to helm it.
Well, ComicBook.com caught up with Evans recently and discovered how this piece of news was actually misleading. The director maintains that his involvement in the project was much more casual than we thought and he only had “conversations” about it. That said, he did make clear that he was impressed with Manganiello’s passion for Slade Wilson.
“I had a phone call which I think was publicized a bit, about Deathstroke with DC. We talked about that before, we had a few conversations. One of the guys at DC and at Warner Brothers, one with Joe, who has been on the character for some time now, who is super passionate about that character, by the way. I’ve never met anyone who knows more about their character.”
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Evans admitted that he wasn’t overly familiar with Deathstroke before chatting about the character with WB, but he did sink himself into the source material in order to get a feel for the villain.
“I was feeling my way around it and did a bit of research and read a couple of those comic books. I started to dig in to the origin stories. I like to figure out what the origin of a character is and what shapes them, what paints them as a personality. There’s been a few iterations, actually, of his origin, which is interesting to see. There was the original way his character was created and then there’s been a few creative licenses taken in terms of how he lost his eye, for example, and stuff like that. So, it was an interesting sort of experience.”
But those early talks with the studio never led to the production going anywhere, according to Evans, who revealed he’s bemused when he reads online articles still linking him to the Deathstroke movie as he’s not heard back from Warner Bros. in a “really long time.”
“Nothing really went beyond those conversations. I haven’t heard anything for a really long time,” the director noted. “To be honest, every time I see an article written I keep wanting to ask, ‘Okay, what is it you guys know that I don’t know?’ Because I haven’t heard anything for a good while yet. So I don’t know if that will ever come back full circle at some point. But I know I haven’t had any conversation about that project for a long time now.”
Of course, Manganiello made his debut as the eyepatch-wearing assassin in Justice League‘s awesome post-credits scene, which saw him recruited by Lex Luthor into the Injustice League. Word has it that the original plan was for either of these characters to show up in future DC movies to pick up new villains for their gang. However, this is apparently no longer expected to happen.
It’s hard to say what the future of Deathstroke is in the Worlds of DC franchise, but let’s hope he gets another appearance, as it’d be a shame if a big fan like Manganiello only got to play him for 30 seconds of screentime.