JUSTICE LEAGUE Star Joe Manganiello Says DC Studios' James Gunn Has Told Him To "Let [Deathstroke] Go"

JUSTICE LEAGUE Star Joe Manganiello Says DC Studios' James Gunn Has Told Him To "Let [Deathstroke] Go" JUSTICE LEAGUE Star Joe Manganiello Says DC Studios' James Gunn Has Told Him To "Let [Deathstroke] Go"

Justice League star Joe Manganiello once had what looked to be a bright future as part of the DCEU as Slade Wilson, but it sounds like James Gunn has told the actor to move on from playing Deathstroke.

By JoshWilding - Feb 22, 2024 05:02 AM EST
Filed Under: Deathstroke
Source: ComicBook.com

There was a time when Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke was being lined up for a huge role in the DCEU. Original plans called for the villain to learn Batman's secret identity in Justice League's post-credits scene (courtesy of Lex Luthor), setting the stage for them to clash in The Batman

Plans changed when Ben Affleck decided not to direct the movie and Joss Whedon's Justice League reshoots saw Slade Wilson enlisted to the "Injustice Society" instead. For a time, there were even rumblings about a Deathstroke spin-off helmed by The Raid's Gareth Evans.

Manganiello has shared his interest in reprising the role in the new DCU on several occasions, but it appears the actor has now thrown in the towel. 

"James [Gunn] is my buddy, and James and I had a conversation about it because Jim Lee over at DC Comics wanted me to create a graphic novel series based on the screenplay that I wrote for the Deathstroke origin film," he tells ComicBook.com.

"When they were dismantling the DCEU, that went to the wayside as well," Manganiello continued. "Jim read it, and wanted it to be a graphic novel series, but no one could assure me that, if it garnered the attention of directors and producers, that I couldn't be attached. So I had to let it go. James Gunn was just like, 'Let it go.'"

It's worth pointing out that Gunn appears to have told the actor to let the movie go, and not necessarily the role itself. Well, we think that's the case, anyway, as the site's transcription isn't the easiest to follow!

Either way, we'd say Manganiello is done as Slade as DC Studios looks to move on from the DCEU. For the most part, the only actors to have survived the DCU transition are those cast by Gunn and Blue Beetle star Xolo Maridueña (who starred in a movie that felt largely standalone from the DCEU). 

Gunn has also teased having his own plans for Deathstroke in the DCU and we're guessing those don't involve Manganiello.

In the comics, Deathstroke is a highly skilled mercenary and assassin who was originally introduced as an adversary to the Teen Titans. Known for his exceptional combat abilities, enhanced strength, agility, and intellect, as well as his tactical genius, Slade possesses a regenerative healing factor that enhances his durability and longevity.

Despite his status as a villain, Deathstroke is often depicted as an anti-hero, with a complex moral code and a sense of honor. His motivations vary, but he is typically driven by a desire for power, wealth, or personal vendettas.

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Mugens
Mugens - 2/22/2024, 5:59 AM
No surprise at all. Sorry for Joe, but no surprise.
dagenspear
dagenspear - 2/22/2024, 6:09 AM
I don't think he really has a bad look for it, but I'm not sure if he has the right feel for the character in voice or vibe. I feel like him looking cool might have been Snyder's main requirement for the character, but I don't know.
Clintthahamster
Clintthahamster - 2/22/2024, 9:44 AM
@dagenspear - Yeah, I've never liked him for that role.
lazlodaytona
lazlodaytona - 2/23/2024, 1:39 AM
@dagenspear - one of the few bright spots in MAX's TITANS was the dude who played Deathstroke. I believe it was during the second season.
dagenspear
dagenspear - 2/23/2024, 3:34 AM
@lazlodaytona - I thought he was solid.

I also liked Arrow's actor, even if they botched his character motivation for being against Oliver to me.
GhostDog
GhostDog - 2/22/2024, 6:29 AM
Finally someone told him
Twenty23Three
Twenty23Three - 2/22/2024, 6:37 AM
It was a cameo role to set up for a Batman movie that never got made. It’s weird that he held out for it this long. Unless of corse between Snyder getting the boot and them restarting with Gunn, they kept leading him on about it
moanandgroan
moanandgroan - 2/22/2024, 7:08 AM
I hope he gets a role in the d&d sequel. The blokes got the passion for it, so give him a crack in that, I reckon.
Evansly
Evansly - 2/22/2024, 8:43 AM
@moanandgroan - I'd also love to see him on Dimension 20
HashTagSwagg
HashTagSwagg - 2/22/2024, 7:08 AM
They really were wasting his time.
elgaz
elgaz - 2/22/2024, 7:10 AM
I feel like Manganiello definitely has the size and chops for a comic book character, but he's missed out now on Superman and Deathstroke didn't pan out either. I could see him as a Wolverine type character (not hard given he played a werewolf in True Blood) but at 6"5 he's even bigger than Jackman was and I suspect the next Wolverine actor will be a bit shorter and truer to the comic version.
IAmAHoot
IAmAHoot - 2/22/2024, 7:15 AM
Good.
TheVisionary25
TheVisionary25 - 2/22/2024, 7:20 AM
That sucks…

I was never sold on him as Deathstroke but the dude does seem to have passion for the character so to see him be jerked around by having 2 cameos in different versions of the same film which amount to nothing & still try to get a project off the ground but can’t makes me feel for him.

Hopefully Gunn does cast him in the DCU to make up for it in the future…

him as the DCU Ares could work I feel.
TheVisionary25
TheVisionary25 - 2/22/2024, 7:20 AM
Forthas
Forthas - 2/22/2024, 7:56 AM
So Joe Manganiello joins the long list of people who now regret that James Gunn became the CEO of the DCU.


harryba11zack
harryba11zack - 2/22/2024, 8:12 AM
@Forthas - Gunn doesn't have as much control as people think. Ever feige had to prove himself before his overlords gave him some real control.
Forthas
Forthas - 2/22/2024, 8:26 AM
@harryba11zack - I believe that! I think he is on a short leash. If I am not mistaken Gunn's contract was for just three years and that ends right around the time Warner Brothers will have been either bought or merged with another company. I think he is a temporary caretaker until all that clears.
RolandD
RolandD - 2/22/2024, 7:59 AM
I’ve always been good at reading comprehension but,. . . .
“It's worth pointing out that Gunn appears to have told the actor to let the movie go, and not necessarily the role itself.”
“Either way, we'd say Manganiello is done as Slade as DC Studios looks to move on from the DCEU.”
TheFinestSmack
TheFinestSmack - 2/22/2024, 8:54 AM
@RolandD - There've been "rumblings" that not all writers here have comprehension skills that are up to standard.
DankMan
DankMan - 2/22/2024, 10:49 AM
@RolandD - Roland d? As in then gunslinger himself? Get back to the path of the beam you lunatic
RolandD
RolandD - 2/22/2024, 6:30 PM
@DankMan - I’m not sure I ken what you mean.
harryba11zack
harryba11zack - 2/22/2024, 8:07 AM
come on marvel do your thing, recast your awful Flash Thompson character and get this guy back as agent venom.
dragon316
dragon316 - 2/22/2024, 8:13 AM
Sucks feel bad for him not many actors actresses feel that for parts they play
CAPTAINPINKEYE
CAPTAINPINKEYE - 2/22/2024, 8:15 AM

Let him go?
Was he holding him hostage?

Thank you thank you
I’m here all night.
TheOtherOn
TheOtherOn - 2/22/2024, 8:55 AM
xfactor
xfactor - 2/22/2024, 9:00 AM
This is funny. But in all fairness a much needed reality check
slickrickdesigns
slickrickdesigns - 2/22/2024, 9:02 AM
Biggest missed opportunity Batfleck vs MangeolStroke.
marvel72
marvel72 - 2/22/2024, 9:33 AM
The thing is, I would still like to see Deathstroke. Seeing fight Batman or Teen Titans would be awesome.
Super12
Super12 - 2/22/2024, 10:08 AM
Another perfect costume & casting wasted....I will never forgive WB's catastrophic mismanagement of the DCEU.
oldnoname
oldnoname - 2/22/2024, 10:41 AM
Dang I really wish this one worked out. Especially when Gareth was still attached.
WEAPONXOXOXO
WEAPONXOXOXO - 2/22/2024, 1:07 PM
The problem is Zack was always trying to throw in things for the next movie and the next movie and the next next next movie. Rather than just focusing on the one he was presently filming and making it right. I just want them to take baby steps and start with a good/great SuperMan movie and then lets see.

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