Way back in 2016 when the DC Extended Universe was still in its infancy, actor Joe Manganiello was brought on board to portray the character of Slade Wilson, a.k.a. the mercenary Deathstroke.
The studio seemingly had big plans for Manganiello and the character; initially cast as the villain for Ben Affleck’s incarnation of The Batman, he was soon added to the cast of Justice League, while The Raid helmer Gareth Evans was brought on board to develop a solo Deathstroke movie.
However, despite shooting a post-credits scene for Justice League, the other two projects failed to materialise and after being considered for an appearance in the Suicide Squad sequel, it wasn’t until late last year than Manganiello got to don the eye-patch once again – albeit briefly – for reshoots on Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Speaking to the Happy Sad Confused podcast in the build up to the release of The Snyder Cut, Manganiello spoke about the abandoned projects, including his own proposed solo film: “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,” said Manganiello. “There were four or five different versions of Suicide Squad 2 that I was put on hold for, for dates, waiting for one actor to free up and we were going to go. Then, they re-did the end credits sequence to tease a Justice League 2 Injustice League for the bad guys that didn’t happen, clearly.”
The actor went into more detail during an interview with Vanity Fair, stating that: “There was incarnation after incarnation of Suicide Squad II, involving me versus [Will Smith’s character] Deadshot. So I went through a couple of years of that. And when the last one didn’t go, then you just put it away. And you just say, ‘It’s over. That was it. I went through five flaming hoops, and it’s not happening. We’re putting it down.’ And then Zack calls you up and says, ‘Okay, let’s go.'”
While it remains to be seen in we’ll see any more in-canon appearances from Manganiello’s Slade Wilson, fans will be able to catch him as part of Zack Snyder’s Justice League from this Thursday.
In ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE, determined to ensure Superman’s (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) aligns forces with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united, Batman (Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and The Flash (Ezra Miller) may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad, and Darkseid, and their dreadful intentions.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is directed by Zack Snyder and features Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, Robin Wright as General Antiope, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, Amber Heard as Mera, Joe Morton as Silas Stone, Willem Dafoe as Vulko, Ciaran Hinds as Steppenwolf, Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke, Harry Lennix as Martian Manhunter, Kiersey Clemons as Iris West, Zheng Kai as Ryan Choi, Peter Guinness as DeSaad, Ray Porter as Darkseid, and Jared Leto as The Joker.