Cancelled Deathstroke Film from DCEU Might See Release, but with a Twist

Despite his brief appearance on screen, Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke movie might still see the light of day in a different format. The DCEU might not be entirely finished yet, with Manganiello’s Deathstroke film potentially materializing, albeit in a manner different from what audiences initially expected. With the conclusion of the DCEU movie timeline in 2023, marked by Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, several planned films never made it to release, joining the dozen others stuck in development limbo.

Manganiello’s portrayal of Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke, was a significant addition to the DCEU villain roster. However, amidst changes at Warner Bros. and DC Films, Manganiello’s Deathstroke became a casualty, despite ambitious plans for the character in the franchise. Nonetheless, there’s hope yet for Slade’s story.

While Manganiello’s solo Deathstroke movie never materialized for the big screen, there are discussions about bringing Slade’s tale to life in comic form. In a recent interview with Comic Book, Manganiello disclosed talks with DC Comics’ current president and publisher Jim Lee regarding a graphic novel series based on the Deathstroke script Manganiello had penned years ago. This adaptation into the comic realm could see Slade’s story fitting within DC’s Elseworlds brand in the future.

Deathstroke wielding two swords in a blue and orange masked costume against a dark city backdrop.

Manganiello’s journey with the DCEU and Deathstroke spans various projects and potential appearances:

  • Justice League (Theatrical Cut): Slade made a brief appearance confronting Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor.
  • Zack Snyder’s Justice League: Included the original 2017 scene along with new material for the Knightmare timeline.
  • Gareth Evans’ Deathstroke: A solo movie announced in 2017 but never materialized.
  • Ben Affleck’s The Batman: Slade was considered as the main antagonist before the movie’s standalone reboot.
  • Gavin O’Connor’s Suicide Squad 2: Early drafts had Deathstroke before James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.
  • 5-7 Deathstroke Movie Projects: According to Manganiello, Warner Bros. had multiple projects centered on Slade at one point.

While Manganiello has moved on from his brief stint as Deathstroke, the future of Slade in the DC Universe remains uncertain. With potential for a different actor to take on the role, Manganiello could still find a place in the DC Universe portraying a different character. Though the character may have one final chapter in comic form, the hopes for a Deathstroke film in the DCEU remain among the missed opportunities for the franchise.

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