The DCEU just can’t seem to quit Deathstroke. Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike) signed on to play the villainous assassin last September, but a lot has changed since then. Zack Snyder was replaced by Joss Whedon on directing Justice League (where the character may have debuted), and Matt Reeves replaced Ben Affleck on directing a solo Batman film where the character may have been the main antagonist. As recently as this past July, Manganiello seemed to be at a loss on what Deathstroke would be up to in the DCEU.
But it looks like the character’s fortunes are alive and well. The Wrap reports that Warner Bros. wants to give the baddie his own movie and they’re in talks with The Raid helmer Gareth Evans to get in the director’s chair. No deals have been set yet with Evans or Manganiello for a solo Deathstroke movie, and with the shifting state of the DCEU, it’s unclear where exactly he would first be introduced. Presumably, since he’s a Batman antagonist, he would be need an introduction in a larger profile film since he’s not a character like Deadpool whose personality and attitude can demand an audience.
However, he’s not a complete non-entity. He’s appeared in Batman video games, and, most notably, as an antagonist on Arrow, played by Manu Bennett. He’s a character whose popularity is arguably on the rise, but not to the point where a filmmaker wouldn’t have room to help define the character for a larger audience.
It will be interesting to see if this comes together, and it’s curious to see Evans finally taking a chance on blockbuster filmmaking after getting offers following the success of The Raid and The Raid 2. His new movie, Apostle, is slated to arrive on Netflix sometime next year. Manganiello may pop up in Justice League, but he’ll definitely be seen alongside Dwayne Johnson in Rampage, which opens in April.