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The DC cinematic universe was originally going to be a very different franchise. Like the MCU, there were plans for lots of solo flicks, a massive team up, and then movies that would follow. Unfortunately, that vision largely didn't come to fruition. Justice League went from a two-part film to a single blockbuster, but beyond that there were many other films (and characters) that never really got their due on the big screen. Unfortunately, Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke was one of the characters who still hasn't been given the chance to shine. In fact, he's faced multiple disappointments over the years.
Way back in 2015 it was first rumored that Joe Manganiello was going to play Deathstroke in a Suicide Squad movie. Following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, fans were excited for a Batman movie that would be written, directed, and star Ben Affleck. Said project would have included Manganiello as Deathstroke. He was even supposed to get his own movie at one point, but then that didn't happen either. All we ever got was a post-credits scene in the original cut of Justice League, teasing a future for the character that we may never see.
If this ride has been frustrating for fans, one can only imagine how it feels for Joe Manganiello. The good news is that Deathstroke will be back in Zack Snyder's Justice League on HBO Max. The actor recently told ComicBook.com that he was very excited for the call to come back, as he'd previously let the character go for his own sanity. According to Manganiello,
I was happy to get that call from Zack. There's been so much disappointment over the past four years. There were probably seven different Deathstroke projects that were all canceled. So, when you keep getting that phone call over and over again, you have to let it go for your own sanity. So getting that call from Zack to put the suit back on, it was fun.
The Snyder Cut will be available exclusively on HBO Max. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.
One has to wonder, depending on the reception of Zack Snyder's Justice League, if there could there be a future for Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke after all. Unless the droves of fans instantly hate the movie (which seems unlikely), there will almost certainly be calls by those same fans to see more of that version of the DCEU. And depending on the size and scope of Manganiello's part and the way fans react, maybe it could happen. Whether in a follow-up to the original Justice League or the new one, there's no reason Deathstroke can't become a major player moving forward.
We'll know more once we all see Zack Snyder's Justice League, which debuts on HBO Max on March 18.