The Hollywood history books will be filled with numerous pages detailing the comic book movies that never were. One such project is the Deathstroke movie, which was supposed to star Joe Manganiello as the famed DC Comics assassin, with The Raid director Gareth Evans at the helm. Sadly, this one wound up on the scrap heap, but Evans has revealed some details about what his adaptation would have looked like.
Gareth Evans first became attached to the movie in October 2017. At that time, Ben Affleck was going to direct The Batman and Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke was going to be the main villain. It was a very different time for the DCUE. In a recent interview, Evans confirmed he was attached and that he had talks with Manganiello about it. Here’s what he had to say.
“I was actually quite enthused and excited about [Deathstroke] back in the day, when it was first pitched to me. I met with them, and talked to them about it, and was certainly attached to it at a certain point… I’ve spoken to Joe Manganiello, who was attached to star as Deathstroke. I spoke to him a while back, and we both lamented the fact that it didn’t happen. But yeah, I don’t really have much more than that, in terms of anything lately on it.”
As for the filmmaker’s specific plans, the goal was to keep things lean and tight. Gareth Evans envisioned a movie clocking in at hunder two hours and could serve as an origin story, showing us how Slade Wilson becomes Deathstroke. Evans also says it would have been influenced by South Korean noir cinema.
“The plan was, I wanted to tell something that would be a lean story, that would be kind of an origin of that character. 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. 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.”
Specific comic book stories that might have influenced the movie are harder to pin down. Gareth Evans is willing to admit that he’s not the biggest fan of comic books or superheroes. Though, while the project was still happening, he had started digging into the source material.
“I’ll be the first one to admit it, I’m not a massive comic book or superhero fan, but something about Deathstroke interested me. I did some reading into it, not enough to make real hardcore fanboys happy, but I tried my best to consume as much as I could in the time that I was on it, for a bit.”
The only time, officially speaking that we got to see Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke was in the post-credits scene attached to Justice League that seemed to be setting up the Legion of Doom, or another team of various villains. Sadly, that probably won’t even pay off. Warner Bros. has largely moved on from that version of the DCEU and, as a result, the Deathstroke movie was scrapped in October 2018. This news comes to us via Yahoo.