Audiences were split on Justice League after it hit theaters in 2017, but the post-credits tag featuring Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke definitely created some excitement for the future of the DC Extended Universe. Not only was Deathstroke going to be the main villain in Ben Affleck’s version of The Batman, but Warner Bros. was also plotting a standalone film for his Manganiello’s Slade Wilson. The studio even reached out to The Raid director Gareth Evans to helm the movie. And in a new interview with Yahoo, Evans offered some new insight into what this might have looked like.
Evans’ Deathstroke movie would have differed from other DCEU entries in some ways. In contrast with the bloated runtimes of Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Evans was aiming for a much shorter film. He was also planning a “Shakespearean” take on Deathstroke’s origin that would have drawn inspiration from international movies.
“The plan was, I wanted to tell something that would be a lean story, that would be kind of an origin of that character,” said Evans. “Something that felt like it could be 100 minutes or 110 minutes long, max – not to go over the two hour period with it.”
“Back then, I was massively influenced by the noir films coming out of South Korea, so that was my pitch,” added Evans. “I was like, these films are amazing: the texture, and the tones of colours, the grit and the aggression of them is super interesting to use to tell Deathstroke’s story.”
Unfortunately, the various behind-the-scenes shakeups related to the DCEU (including Affleck’s exit) all but guarantee that Manganiello’s portrayal of Deathstroke was a one-and-done deal. Regardless, Evans thinks it still might be possible for the project to see the light of day, even if he’s not the one directing it.
“We had some pretty bold ideas there that could have been really visceral and really fun,” noted Evans. “But, yeah, I don’t know. Who knows? They might come back again in five or ten years time, you never know. I don’t know what exactly happened. There might have been a change of personnel, as happens quite a lot in big U.S. studios. I think that project just stopped being a priority for them. It never really went further than two or three phone calls. I’ve never heard anything since, so I just presumed that project was either on the back burner somewhere, or someone else might be doing it.”
Would do you make of Gareth Evans’ ideas for a Deathstroke movie? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!
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