“Magic Mike XXL” star Joe Manganiello suited up as the DC Comics villain Slade Wilson/Deathstroke in a brief post-credits scene in “Justice League” last month. At the same time “The Raid” director Gareth Evans is developing a film based around the character with Manganiello reprising the role.
It’s a welcome change of news for the actor whose name has been linked to the role for a long time, but his potential casting was put in jeopardy when the plan to have Deathstroke as the villain in “The Batman” solo film seemed to be walked back when that project switched directors.
With the actor now likely return in the near future to the role, he has been given the blessing of the man who has been playing the part for the last six years on The CW’s “Arrow” – Kiwi actor Manu Bennett. Bennett’s interpretation of the former ASIS operative turned mercenary character is considered one of the highlights of the show’s run and speaking at the Heroes & Villains Fan Fest in San Jose this past weekend, he had nothing but praise for his big screen counterpart saying:
“To be honest, when he was announced to do this role, I was very very happy for him. Of course, I was a little bit disappointed that I wouldn’t get to do such a wonderful opportunity of getting onto that big screen with Deathstroke.
But listen, I have had the wonderful opportunity to be a TV actor, and to spend the time it takes to cook a character. And sometimes, I don’t think you get that chance when you’re on the big screen. But as for Joe’s ability to get up there and do this character, I’m behind him, I hope, as much as everybody else is behind him.
We have a word in Maori, called ‘tatoko’, which means to give somebody your best feeling of support. And I give Joe my best feeling of support, and I hope he gets up there and does a [frick]ing great job.”
It’s not sure when we’ll get to see Manganiello’s Deathstroke on screen and in which of the films with no dates yet set for production on either the Evans or Matt Reeves directed DCEU films.