Joe Manganiello will be the first actor to play Deathstroke in a theatrical movie, but he's not the only person who has brought the famed DC mercenary to life in live action. His most recent predecessor is Manu Bennett, who played Slade Wilson across three seasons of Arrow. It's been a while since Bennett reprised the character, but fortunately, he doesn't seem to have any hard feelings about a new Deathstroke on the way, as evidenced by his hilarious reaction posted online.
Responding to a gif of him seductively dancing that was sent to his Spartacus costar Liam McIntyre on Twitter, Manu Bennett joked that if Joe Manganiello is going to be playing Deathstroke, he wants to take over as Magic Mike. This is referring to Manganiello's role as "Big Dick" Richie in the Channing Tatum-led stripper comedy dramas. While there are undoubtedly Manu Bennett fans out there who wouldn't mind seeing him strut his stuff in a Magic Mike follow-up, this doesn't appear to be a tradeoff situation. Still, it's good to see that he's cool with someone taking the Deathstroke reins.
Manu Bennett's Slade Wilson was introduced in the Arrow Season 1 flashbacks as another occupant on the island where Oliver Queen was trapped. Slade taught Oliver how to fight and became a close ally. In Season 2, viewers watched his descent to villainy in the flashbacks, while the present day storyline saw Slade exacting his vengeance on Oliver Queen after years of planning. After being defeated and imprisoned in the Season 2 finale, he returned for a guest spot in the Season 3 episode "The Return," though Bennett later expressed his disappointment on how the show took Slade "in the wrong direction." Deathstroke hasn't been seen on Arrow since then, but series star Stephen Amell recently suggested that Bennett's iteration of the character could return without there being any conflict with the movie division.
As for Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke, he's being set up as a major player in the DCEU. Manganiello was rumored last year to play the character in Suicide Squad, but obviously that didn't come to pass. Then last month, Ben Affleck posted a video of Deathstroke on social media, but without revealing any details about where the assassin would appear or who was wearing the mask. Not long after, it was reported that Slade Wilson will be the new solo Batman movie's main antagonist, and Manganiello's casting was later confirmed by DC president Geoff Johns. Beyond that, it's unclear what we can expect from him...for now.
We'll keep you apprised on what's happening with the cinematic Deathstroke as more information comes in. As for Bennett, you can catch him as Allanon in the MTV series The Shannara Chronicles.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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