Manu Bennett brought the character of Deathstroke to life on the CW's Arrow before the DC film universe was even a thing. Now, the actor has spoken out about his feelings that another actor will be playing the role on the big screen. While Bennett admits he would have loved to have been given the opportunity to reprise the role himself, he says he's very happy for Joe Manganiello, who will be playing the part in DC's film universe. According to Bennett...
To be honest, when he was announced to do this role, I was very very happy for him. Of course, I was a little bit disappointed that I wouldn't get to do such a wonderful opportunity of getting onto that big screen with Deathstroke. But listen, I have had the wonderful opportunity to be a TV actor, and to spend the time it takes to cook a character. And sometimes, I don't think you get that chance when you're on the big screen.
It's understandable to be a little disappointed when you lose out on an opportunity to play a big role. As it stands, the simple fact is that because Manu Bennett played Deathstroke on TV, he was probably literally the last person who would be considered to play the part in the movies, because DC wouldn't want to cause confusion between their film and TV worlds. Bennet told the assembled audience at the Heroes and Villains Fan Fest in San Jose, (via ComicBook), that, disappointment aside, he's happy with the opportunity that he had.
Manu Bennett does point out that he certainly got a chance to make a deep dive into the character of Slade Wilson, which is something that Joe Manganiello likely won't get a chance to do in the films. Bennett was a major character in the first couple of seasons of Arrow, with a handful of appearances since, and thus got to make Wilson a fully realized character, which Bennett points out can be hard to do in the movies. Time is much more limited, and since the focus of the films is much more the superheroes than their enemies, the fact is we likely won't get to really get to know Manganiello's Deathstroke too personally.
Still, Manu Bennett hopes, as many fans certainly do, that Joe Manganiello puts an amazing performance up on screen. He wants to see an amazing Deathstroke in the movies just like the rest of us.
We have a word in Maori, called 'tatoko,' which means to give somebody your best feeling of support. And I give Joe my best feeling of support, and I hope he gets up there and does a fucking great job.