The DCEU was an interesting place a few years ago. A whole stream of projects were lined up as Warner Brothers was looking to move forward and expand it’s universe following 2017’s Justice League. While we did get the likes of Wonder Woman and Aquaman following this, the DCEU has now been re-shaped to be something else, and with the likes of Joker and The Batman on the horizon, it’s morphed considerably from what we first thought it would have been.
One project that had been announced, and which I was incredibly excited for, was an adaptation of Deathstroke, which would follow the devil-may-care mercenary in his own adventures and which was going to be directed by action cinema-auteur Gareth Evans!
Evans made a name for himself as an unstoppable filmmaking force with his work on The Raid and The Raid 2: Berandal and the idea of him taking on a Deathstroke film, which was to star Joe Manganiello, after he made a cameo in Justice League and who was going to headline Ben Affleck’s solo Batman film as the lead villain before Affleck vacated the project, as the titular mercenary is something we’d only dreamed about.
With Evans unique vision and Manganiello’s alpha-male talent we could have gotten something incredible, but alas it wasn’t to be.
In promoting his new crime series, Gangs of London, which has been sweeping televisions screens, Evans opened up about what he was going to do with Deathstroke.
As reported by ScreenRant, Evans said that he was excited about the project and that it would have been “a lean story, that would be kind of an origin of that character. Something that felt like it could be 100 minutes or 110 minutes long, max – not to go over the two hour period with it.”
Evans also suggested that he was going for a real noir-film style quality, and that he was heavily influenced by South Korean crime cinema, especially their noir-driven thrillers, which he was hoping to re-create in the DCEU. Evans said, “I was like, these films are amazing: the texture, and the tones of colours, the grit and the aggression of them is super interesting to use to tell Deathstroke’s story.”
However it was not to be and the future and fate of a solo Deathstroke film is still very much up in the air, and at this point in time is not likely to ever see the light of day.
In my mind this is a real pity as I think the combination of Evans and Manganiello would make for a dynamite action film, and something that action junkies would flood to.
Who knows, maybe we’ll see it one day, but until we can only dream about what might have been.