Deathstroke Joe Manganiello Portrayal Out Of The New DC
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James Gunn Advises Joe Manganiello To “Release” His Aspirations As Deathstroke

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BY February 21, 2024

Joe Manganiello played Deathstroke in a short cameo within the DC Extended Universe.

The actor won’t be reprising his role as Deathstroke anytime soon, as reported by ComicBook. In a recent interview, the actor shared that he had discussed the possibility of returning to the role with James Gunn for the new DC Universe. However, the Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker advised him to “let go” of his hopes to play the character again. Gunn, working with Peter Safran, aims to create a fresh direction for the DC brand, establishing connections across movies, TV series, and video games. Manganiello acknowledged that his time as Deathstroke has officially concluded.

Joe Manganiello Comments Regarding His Deathstroke Portrayal

“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 that, when they were dismantling the DCEU, that went to the wayside as well. 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’.”

Joe Manganiello’s portrayal of Deathstroke was limited, with the actor taking on the role of Slade Wilson in a post-credits scene in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. While Manganiello reprised the role in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, his appearance was brief, and Deathstroke never had a chance to showcase his character in the DC Extended Universe fully. Originally planned as the main antagonist for a Batman movie starring Ben Affleck, the project never materialized. Unfortunately for Manganiello, the opportunity to portray the villain in the franchise’s new direction is not on the horizon.

Gunn and Safran are collaborating to shape a fresh DC Universe, commencing with this year’s Creature Commandos animated series. After its Max premiere, the franchise will make its way to the big screen with next summer’s Superman: Legacy, featuring David Corenswet as the new Man of Steel. Following these adventures, audiences can anticipate titles like Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow and the second season of Peacemaker as part of Gunn and Safran’s efforts to revitalize the series. The DC Extended Universe concluded with the release of last year’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

James Gunn and His Lack of Transparency at the Head of DC Films

So far, James Gunn has faced criticism from some fans and industry observers for what they perceive as a lack of transparency in his approach to the new vision of the DC Extended Universe. Some argue that the filmmaker has significantly altered key elements of the franchise and has taken a less predictable approach than the previous vision. The changes have stirred some controversy, with concerns about Gunn not being upfront with fans and steering the DC Universe in a direction that diverges from expectations.

Even though Joe Manganiello won’t reprise his role as Deathstroke in the DC Universe, he has remained actively engaged in diverse projects since his portrayal of the character in Justice League. Last year, he played Reggie in The Kill Room, a comedy depicting a thief’s transformation into an unexpectedly acclaimed artist. Prior to that, Manganiello assumed the role of Tomm Schultz in Moonhaven, a dystopian TV series centered around a community forced to relocate to the Moon after Earth’s devastation. Despite the brief stint as Deathstroke in the DCEU, Manganiello continues to explore new opportunities as the Warner Bros. franchise takes a different direction.

Featured Image Via Warner Bros. Pictures


Pop Culture

I am a circus aerialist influenced by Dick Grayson and Spider-Man. Fortunate to write about the characters that inspired me. I also have a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in International Trade.

DeathstrokeJames GunnJoe Manganiello

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