While we’ve all certainly pondered the red tape that separates WB’s motion picture and television divisions, it’s probably best we not think about all the specifics that decide which DC characters can and cannot be used for each because, let’s face it, there’s not enough migraine medication in this world.
On the plus side, though, we’ve had ample time to savor various heroes and villains to have appeared on Arrow and its sister shows. And no matter how short of a stay someone like, say, Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman enjoyed over on Supergirl, we’re grateful to have become acquainted with him.
Getting back to Arrow itself, one man that has accrued an impressive fan base of his own has been that of Deathstroke, played to perfection by Manu Bennett. Having both fought at the side of and against Oliver Queen, this interpretation may very well go down as being the definitive one in the minds of many.
Of course, with Slade Wilson being expected to take on a more prominent role in the DC Extended Universe, it comes as no surprise that his TV exposure will soon be downplayed, no matter how unfortunate that may be. Still, we can take solace in knowing that since Bennett returned to Arrow, his version of Slade has been given an organic exit, declaring himself “Deathstroke no more” and strengthening the search for his estranged children.
On that note, Discussing Film caught up with executive producer Marc Guggenheim at ACE Comic Con, and was actually able to get him to comment on the situation:
“These are DC’s characters, we’re just renting them ya know, so we use the characters that they tell us we can use when we can use them, and we work around whatever limitations that places us.
I think you know as a result we’ve been on and off. You know, for a time they were saying ‘you can’t use Deathstroke,’ and that changed and we were able to have Slade Wilson back on the show, and now we’re back to ‘you can’t use him.’ They’re working on the feature film version, it really is sort of now that you’ve got obviously Slade, spoiler alert, Deathstroke appears at the end of the Justice League movie.”
And much like Bennett, Guggenheim wishes Joe Manganiello (the DCEU’s Deathstroke) all the best:
“It was a great scene. I think Joe is a great actor. You know, Manu’s been very encouraging of his work and, you know, there’s these intervals, and we try and take advantage of our opportunities when we have them.”
No matter how you slice it, the future remains exciting. Because even if we never see Bennett return as the world’s deadliest mercenary, we have a perfectly cast Manganiello tearing it up in cinemas. Compare that to decades of this character having little to no exposure outside of comics, and you have to admit that we’re being spoiled, regardless of whatever your position may be.
Arrow returns with new episodes on Thursday, January 18 on The CW.