Once upon a time, Joe Manganiello was slated to play the legendary mercenary Deathstroke in a standalone film to be directed by THE RAID’s Gareth Evans, but beyond a post-credit appearance in JUSTICE LEAGUE, it would seem that Manganiello’s tenure as Deathstroke was tragically short.
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While speaking with Yahoo UK about his Gangs of London TV series, Gareth Evans touched upon the Deathstroke film. “I was actually quite enthused and excited about [Deathstroke] back in the day, when it was first pitched to me,” Evans said. “I met with them, and talked to them about it, and was certainly attached to it at a certain point.” Now that the DCEU seems to be going in a different direction, the chances of Joe Manganiello reprising the role in a future DC movie looks slim, and Evans said that he spoke with the actor a while back to lament on the fact that the movie didn’t happen. As far as what type of film the Deathstroke movie would have been, Evans said it would have been a lean and mean origin story.
The plan was, I wanted to tell something that would be 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… Back then, I was massively influenced by the noir films coming out of South Korea, so that was my pitch. 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.
Evans also said that the film would have featured the tightly choreographed fight scenes which he’s become known for, just with a more stylized flair. “We had ideas of the kind of style that we would have gone for with that, which would have married some of the more grounded style that I have,” Evans said, “but then because of the world of it, it would allow me to be a bit more flamboyant and a bit more stylised. We could have taken it in some really interesting areas. We had some pretty bold ideas there that could have been really visceral and really fun.” Oh, what could have been.
Gareth Evans‘ Gangs of London debuted last week, telling the story of London being torn apart by the turbulent power struggles of its international gangs and the sudden power vacuum that’s created when the head of London’s most powerful crime family is assassinated. Evans co-created the series as well as directed and co-wrote several episodes.