Rumors of Gareth Evans' Deathstroke movie may have been greatly exaggerated. It was first reported, just shy of a year ago, that The Raid director had been tapped to develop a movie centered on the DC Comics mercenary, with Joe Manganiello set to star. There haven't been too many updates provided since the news broke and there may be a very good reason for that. According to Evans, he's no longer developing the movie at all and was never that deeply involved in the first place.
During a recent interview, Gareth Evans provided an update on the status of the Deathstroke movie. Based on what he had to say, it sounds like the movie isn't happening at all. At the very least, it sounds like he's not going to be the one making it. Here's what Evans had to say about it.
"I had a phone call which I think was publicized a bit, about Deathstroke with DC. We talked about that before, we had a few conversations. One of the guys at DC and at Warner Brothers, one with Joe, who has been on the character for some time now, who is super passionate about that character, by the way. I've never met anyone who knows more about their character...Nothing really went beyond those conversations. I haven't heard anything for a really long time. To be honest, every time I see an article written I keep wanting to ask, 'Okay, what is it you guys know that I don't know?' Because I haven't heard anything for a good while yet. So I don't know if that will ever come back full circle at some point. But I know I haven't had any conversation about that project for a long time now."
So that would seem to be that. At least for now. Joe Manganiello may very well still be attached to the role of Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke, who appeared last year in a post-credit scene at the end of Justice League. Beyond that, there's been no indication when the character could pop up again. He was originally intended to be the main villain in The Batman, back when Ben Affleck was still going to direct.
Speaking of Justice League, it's largely the commercial failure of that movie, and the lukewarm response from fans and critics, that could ultimately put the nail in the coffin of the Deathstroke movie. Warner Bros. has since shifted strategy and is taking a very different approach to the DC universe. But even so, based on what Gareth Evans had to say in the interview, as he further explains, he was really only doing preliminary research in the first place.
"I was feeling my way around it and did a bit of research and read a couple of those comic books. I started to dig in to the origin stories. I like to figure out what the origin of a character is and what shapes them, what paints them as a personality. There's been a few iterations, actually, of his origin, which is interesting to see. There was the original way his character was created and then there's been a few creative licenses taken in terms of how he lost his eye, for example, and stuff like that. So, it was an interesting sort of experience."
Warner Bros. is gearing up to shoot Birds of Prey early next year and they are currently in production on Wonder Woman 1984, as well as the Joker origin movie. Shazam has also already been filmed and other movies such as The Batman, which is set to be directed by Matt Reeves, and Suicide Squad 2, seem like sure things at this point. And beyond that, the studio is no longer interested in putting the cart before the horse. This news was first reported by Comicbook.com.