Until last month, all we’d seen of Joe Manganiello as Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke, was his brief appearance at the end of Justice League’s theatrical cut back in 2017. Now that Zack Snyder’s Justice League is available for public consumption, not only has Deathstroke’s original meeting with Lex Luthor been restored (where they talk about Batman rather than forming a separate league), but the character was also present in one of our new looks at the Knightmare future. Alas, with The Batman having transformed into an entirely different story and the Deathstroke movie being shelved, it’s unclear if Manganiello will ever get to reprise the character.
Well, as was done with the Snyder Cut years back, fans have launched a Deathstroke-centric campaign, with #DeathstrokeHBOMax has been trending on Twitter today. Yes, just like how Zack Snyder’s Justice League ended up on HBO Max, a lot of folks are keen about Manganiello leading a Deathstroke movie or TV series exclusive to the streaming service. Honestly, that sounds like a cool idea, especially if that project hit on the plot points suggested below.
There was a time when Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke was going to star as The Batman’s main antagonist and lead his own movie, but as already mentioned, those plans have been scrapped. Because the DCEU film slate has all sorts of movies in development (even with the recent shelving of The Trench and New Gods), those supporting this campaign are hoping that HBO Max (which you can sign up for with this link (opens in new tab)) can deliver more Deathstroke adventures.
Let’s also not forget that Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke got a stamp of approval from Marv Wolfman, the DC Comics writer who co-created the character with artist George Perez. Why not give Deathstroke a platform on HBO Max to show off his true potential and reinforce Wolfman’s confidence?
As anyone familiar with Deathstroke can tell you, a Slade Wilson-focused project could easily be one of DC’s most action-packed offerings. There’s a reason The Raid’s Gareth Evans was being lined up to direct the Deathstroke movie, and while he’s since moved onto other professional endeavors, there’s no reason why a different Deathstroke movie or TV series on HBO Max can’t provide that same sort of energy.
Finally, the #DeathstrokeHBOMax campaign received some backing from the man himself, Joe Manganiello. Considering all the Deathstroke-related disappointments he’s dealt with over the years, it’d be nice if he scored an opportunity to show why his version of Slade Wilson is so formidable, just like Manu Bennett and Esai Morales were able to do on Arrow and Titans, respectively.
Joe Manganiello has also been supportive of the #RestoreTheSnyderVerse campaign, although as things stand now, that particular goal won’t be met. Still, with Peacemaker spinning out of The Suicide Squad, it’s easy enough to envision a Deathstroke project spinning out of Justice League, even if it’s more tied to the theatrical version than the Snyder Cut. Thus far, all we’ve seen Manganiello’s Slade do is talk to Lex Luthor and Batman, so why not shine the spotlight on him over at HBO Max and show him embarking on his latest mission as a mercenary?
We’ll obviously let you know if Joe Manganiello is officially brought back to reprise Deathstroke. In the meantime, keep track of what the DCEU does have coming down the creative pipeline with our upcoming DC movies guide.
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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