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At the end of 2017's Justice League, comic fans were graced with a short, but exciting cameo from Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke. Soon after his brief appearance, all sorts of rumors surfaced with some potential answers as to where Manganiello might reprise his role. Potential attachment of a solo movie for Deathstroke even spread with writer and director of The Raid movies, Gareth Evans, about a year ago, although the filmmaker recently said he isn't officially developing the project. Evans does, however, have an idea of how he would handle it, if given a shot. In his words:
[It's] quite lean, quite mean in that way, and be something that wasn't afraid to go to some pretty dark places, because that character has some pretty dark history about him.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Gareth Evans said he had a phone call about the possible Deathstroke project and briefly spoke to actor Joe Manganiello about it, but since then, there's been radio silence. The filmmaker said he would be excited about helming the film for DC because of the potential for him to add a different spin on the villain's story, including his signature violent style, often influenced by bloody, razor-edged Korean noir. Fans of The Raid would be pleased with Evans' particular vision, that is if a solo Deathstroke project is still on the DCEU's ever-changing lineup.
Other places for Deathstroke in the DCEU floating around the rumor mill or as suggestions have included becoming the main villain in the next Batman project or as an addition to Suicide Squad 2. However, both films have seen quite a few roadblocks and switch-ups since the beginning of development. The Batman project for example, originally was taken on by Ben Affleck to co-write, direct and star as the titular hero, but has since been completely taken over by War of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves with Affleck's reprisal as Batman up in the air. Earlier this week, Suicide Squad 2 was taken over by Guardians of the Galaxy's James Gunn who is signed on to develop a new script and direct the sequel.
For now, Joe Mangaiello's Deathstroke is nothing but a brief daydream for DCEU that fans can only hope to see again in future films for the universe. If Warner Bros. does decide to move forward with the project, Gareth Evans would be a great choice to make a relentlessly bloody and dark origin story for the character. Superhero genre films focusing on villains such as Venom and Joker have showed the studios' interest in shifting focus from a typical 'hero versus villain' story, and a solo film for Deathstroke could continue this so-far successful trend.
Gareth Evans' latest film, Netflix's Apostle starring Dan Stevens, was released on the streaming platform on Friday. As for what else is being developed for the DCEU, you can find that information in our handy guide.