Gareth Evans Reveals His “Shakespearean” Pitch for ‘Deathstroke’ Movie

     April 30, 2020

deathstroke-joe-manganiello-sliceRoughly 10,000 years ago, ripped Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast Joe Manganiello appeared in the after-credits scene of Justice League as DC’s deadliest assassin, Deathstroke. The DCEU clearly had big plans for the character, placing him in the big-screen Legion of Doom alongside Jesse Eisenberg‘s Lex Luthor and planning a standalone film directed by Gareth Evans. Things have certainly shuffled around since then, leaving that Deathstroke movie all but tanked, but in a recent interview with Yahoo, Evans gave a glimpse of what could have been.

The director, who made a name for himself with the absolute banger of an action duo The Raid and The Raid 2, was “quite enthused” about taking on Deathstroke, envisioning a fast and furious flick for Slade Wilson.


Image via DC Comics

“The plan was, I wanted to tell something that would be a lean story, that would be kind of an origin of that character. Something that felt like it could be 100 minutes or 110 minutes long, max – not to go over the two hour period with it.”

Evans’ pitch was primarily influenced by South Korean noir films— “the texture, and the tones of colours, the grit and the aggression of them”, he says—and would have taken the origins of the character very seriously.

“When I read up on it, there were about three different versions of how his character originated. And so I thought we could do something quite Shakespearean, in terms of how he loses his eye, and how he gets created as the character that he is.”

As far as the action, Evans looked to combine his trademark gritty throwdowns with the uber-stylized flamboyance of a comic book movie.

“We had ideas of the kind of style that we would have gone for with that, which would have married some of the more grounded style that I have, but then because of the world of it, it would allow me to be a bit more flamboyant and a bit more stylised. We could have taken it in some really interesting areas…We had some pretty bold ideas there that could have been really visceral and really fun. But, yeah, I don’t know. Who knows? They might come back again in five or ten years time, you never know.”

What do you think? Could Evans have made this work? Let us know, and for a handy guide to the DC movies that are actually are still on the way, head here.

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