Arrow fans are scratching their heads after a confusing couple of days that have had us all asking what the situation is with Deathstroke. After several people involved with the series confirmed Manu Bennett would be returning to the series as the villain, Bennett flipped the script by informing folks via Twitter that he is not. At first, many regarded it as a joke or some kind of cryptic hint that Deathstroke might appear on another DC series, but it looks like Bennett is doubling down on his lack of involvement with his latest tweet:
So is this tweet explicit proof that Manu Bennett is not returning to the Arrow-verse as Deathstroke? I'm still not convinced. For starters, an actor in Auckland filming from the set ofShannara Chronicles shouldn't necessarily be sharing a tabloid-style creep shot taken from the woods. Wouldn't it make more sense for to simply snap a picture from a phone on set? That question alone is enough to make me think this is just some odd prank Bennett is playing on fans to toy with them. On the flip side, what reason does Manu Bennett have to lie?
All the drama surrounding this news is totally bizarre, and I'm starting to wonder if it's a legitimate discrepancy between actors or just some poorly thought out joke. There's no reason for Manu Bennett to keep his return a secret as he was very publicly welcomed back to the Arrow cast by Stephen Amell and co-creator Marc Guggenheim the same day he first semi-denied the claim. Even if he wasn't on Arrow's set the same day some scenes were shot, it's completely plausible he could have a stand in wearing the suit only to return later to dub in his voice work for Deathstroke. If that's the case, then there's still plenty of time for Bennett to hop on a plane to Vancouver and do some scenes in person before Arrow's finale airs next month..
One thing I can't imagine is the Arrow staff recasting someone else as Deathstroke in place of Manu Bennett. Bennett's performance in Season 2 is widely regarded as a peak of the series by many fans. And with Season 5 doing a lot to repair some missteps the series has taken since then, a decision to recast someone as high-profile as Bennett would likely peeve the same fans Arrow has worked so hard to win over once again. With Stephen Amell welcoming back Bennett and co-showrunner Wendy Mericle cryptically teasing his return as well, I can't imagine we will go the rest of Season 5 without seeing him, albeit temporarily.
Should any more craziness regarding this Arrow drama surface before the show's return to The CW on Wednesday, April 26th, we'll be sure to let you know! Until then, leave it on us to track Manu Bennett's Twitter antics and find some new shows to get into via our midseason premiere guide and summer premiere schedule.