Joe Manganiello Describes His Grounded Deathstroke Movie and Building Slade Wilson's Backstory

Fans got their first glimpse of Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke in the post-credits scene of [...]

Fans got their first glimpse of Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke in the post-credits scene of Justice League back in 2017, which was meant to set the stage for the character to appear in a Batman standalone film and possibly earn his own spin-off film, with the actor recently detailing how much time he spent developing Slade Wilson's backstory. In the years since the debut of Justice League, the nature of the DC Extended Universe has largely changed, focusing on independent outings as opposed to interconnected narratives, yet Manganiello's passion for the character makes it hard to rule out a return to the role.

"The studio was very much enthralled by all of the research that I was doing. I was starting to build the character out and pitch them ideas and I built a backstory," Manganiello recently shared with "Because I think a lot of times the comic book stories of Deathstroke are very, very far-fetched, they're very superhero-ish, where Deathstroke's holding a submarine over his head and throwing it, and I wanted Deathstroke to be human and grounded."

He continued, "And so I started with: he was a part of the American military. Okay, well, what part? What branch? What would he have done? Where would he have been? What did his wife do? And then, of course, the League of Shadows influence? And why does he carry a sword? And how do you learn how to use a sword? Most military guys don't mess around with katanas, it's just not what they do. So that part of the story needed to build out, and so I was really grounding it and they really, you know they loved it. I worked on that for six months."

Having directed films like 300 and Watchmen, Warner Bros. enlisting Zack Snyder to craft their superhero franchise seemed like it had limitless potential, but with multiple films in the franchise earning disappointing critical reviews and with Snyder himself leaving Justice League due to a family tragedy, the studio almost entirely reimagined the franchise's future. Years ago, however, multiple DCEU projects seemed like certainties, including a Deathstroke movie from The Raid director Gareth Evans.

"At the end of that six-month period, I wound up having a two-hour long Skype call with Gareth Evans, which I've talked about before, and Gareth entered into negotiations with the studio to make a stripped-down version of Deathstroke that was almost, like, imagine Deathstroke In The Raid, a revenge film with Slade," Manganiello confirmed. "The mask, the patch, how he lost his son, the whole deal."

With Manganiello having filmed an extra scene for Zack Snyder's Justice League, fans are still hoping to see Deathstroke return at some point in the franchise's future.

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