One of the first images of the upcoming Batman film to leak out was an image of the character Deathstroke, set to be played by actor Joe Manganiello. When Matt Reeves took the reins from Ben Affleck, though, he threw the existing script – Deathstroke included – out the window. But Deathstroke is a tough guy – one of the few men tough enough to go toe-to-toe with the Dark Knight. He’s going to rise again, but this time in his own solo film.
The Wrap reports that Gareth Evans, who directed Indonesian martial arts thriller The Raid is in talks to make the movie and write the script, with Manganiello set to star as the one-eyed assassin.
Evans reportedly pitched a Deathstroke film to DC, and the company liked what he had in mind.
This is the latest in a list of planned villain-centric movies from DC, including movies focused on Shazam nemesis Black Adam (starring Dwayne Johnson), a Suicide Squad sequel, a “super dark” Joker origin story executive-produced by Martin Scorsese, and a Joker-and-Harley crime-love story. That’s a whole lot of villainy.
In the comics, Deathstroke (real name Slade Wilson) has been a nemesis for Batman and the Teen Titans since he appeared back in 1980. He’s most recently been portrayed on-screen by Manu Bennett in Arrow, and his very existence is mocked mercilessly by the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool (real name Wade Wilson).
The ink hasn’t hit paper on this project yet, but with Evans at the helm, I’m interested. The Raid is one of my favorite beat’em up movies in recent memory, alongside stuff like Chocolat and Ong-Bak, and I’d love to see Evans bring Deathstroke to life on the big screen. No release date or timeframe is set for this, but you can bet on a 2020 date at the very earliest.