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The Real Reason A Deathstroke Solo Film Never Happened

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The DC Extended Universe is a constantly evolving beast, with new projects being announced on a regular basis. Unfortunately, some of those planned movies and television shows get canceled for one reason or another. That's just the nature of the entertainment industry. However, it's still upsetting for fans who want to see their favorite characters on the screen.

One of the more interesting DC projects to disappear into the ether was the Deathstroke movie, which would have starred Joe Manganiello as the titular assassin. Gareth Evans was tapped to direct the film for Warner Bros., which was exciting news as he had previously dazzled action aficionados with The Raid movies. The announcement caused some buzz at the time, but for those involved, the project was never at the top of their list of priorities. 

Manganiello has since revealed the real reason for Deathstroke's cancellation, and fans shouldn't get their hopes up about possibly seeing a solo film about the iconic villain in the foreseeable future.

The Deathstroke movie was never a priority for DC

As ComicBook.com pointed out, Manganiello recently appeared on Josh Horowitz's Happy Sad Confused podcast and explained why Deathstroke never came to fruition. According to the actor, "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's recollection of the events was similar to Evans' experience. The Apostle director told ComicBook.com that he had some brief conversations with a studio executive who was passionate about the character. The project didn't garner any steam after that, and Evans hasn't heard anything about it since. In fact, every time he sees a story about the movie circulating online, he assumes that outlets have been made privy to some information that he's unaware of. While Evans remains open to making Deathstroke if the project is ever resurrected, he isn't getting his hopes up.

Deathstroke still has a future in the DCEU

The Deathstroke movie might never happen, but some of the ideas Manganiello had in mind for the film have found their way into Zack Snyder's upcoming Justice League redo, which will drop on HBO Max on March 18.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a new scene that Snyder shot for the movie will feature Manganiello as the assassin, presumably in a meatier role than his uncredited cameo in the previous version of Justice League. The actor said that his character's haircut in the movie was all his idea, and the goal was to make it seem as if he was on a "warlike, borderline suicide mission."

Manganiello is also optimistic about Deathstroke appearing in other DCEU team-up movies down the line. Hopefully, that will lead to studio executives giving him a solo outing that's helmed by one of the best action directors in the game.