Joe Manganiello Explains Why Deathstroke Solo Film Was Scrapped

The DC Films world has undergone quite a lot of evolutions in recent years, with a lot of possible film projects surrounding beloved characters being put in and out of development. One of the most unexpected entries on that list was a Deathstroke solo movie, which would be directed by The Raid's Gareth Evans and see Joe Manganiello reprise his role as the iconic assassin. Talk surrounding the movie has stalled essentially to a stop over the years, and according to Manganiello, there was a very specific reason for that.

"When the dust settled, it was not seen as a priority to make a $40 million movie about a villain origin story in which you show the backstory," Manganiello explained during a recent appearance on Josh Horowitz's Happy Sad Confused podcast.

This echoes comments that Evans previously made to ComicBook.com in 2018, revealing that there hadn't been any significant updates on the project.

"I had a phone call which I think was publicized a bit, about Deathstroke with DC. We talked about that before, we had a few conversations," Evans confirmed with ComicBook.com at the time. "One of the guys at DC and at Warner Brothers, one with Joe, who has been on the character for some time now, who is super passionate about that character, by the way. I've never met anyone who knows more about their character."

"Nothing really went beyond those conversations. I haven't heard anything for a really long time," the director noted. "To be honest, every time I see an article written I keep wanting to ask, 'Okay, what is it you guys know that I don't know?' Because I haven't heard anything for a good while yet. So I don't know if that will ever come back full circle at some point. But I know I haven't had any conversation about that project for a long time now."

Still, that hasn't meant that Manganiello's reign as Deathstroke is over, as he is set to reprise his role in HBO Max's Zack Snyder's Justice League. As Manganiello told ComicBook.com late last year, the offer to appear in the "Snyder Cut" came after multiple attempts to see him play the character again.

"There've been so much disappointment over the past four years," Manganiello said. "There were probably seven different Deathstroke projects that were all canceled. So, when you keep getting that phone call over and over again, you have to let it go for your own sanity. So, getting that call from Zack to put the suit back on, it was fun. It was weird, because it's four years later. Four years later. But I had had a lot of thoughts after all those false starts about the character and what I wanted to do with the character. So, when Zack called me up, I got to really put my stink on him in a few different ways that were very satisfying."

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Zack Snyder's Justice League will arrive on Thursday, March 18th, exclusively on HBO Max.