‘The Raid’ Director in Talks for ‘Deathstroke’ Movie

DC Comics

Gareth Evans, who delivered two beloved action films with The Raid: Redemption and The Raid 2, could soon be at the helm of a big-screen DC Comics adaptation.

Ben Affleck was originally to bring the character of Deathstroke aka Slade Wilson – arguably the most lethal assassin in DC comics – to the screen in The Batman, which he was going to direct from a script he had co-written. Joe Manganiello was cast in the role. And then things took a turn: Affleck stepped down as director and new helmer Matt Reeves (Dawn/War for the Planet of the Apes) opted to go with a new screenplay.

While there’s no official word as yet as to whether Manganiello’s Deathstroke will still be taking on Affleck’s Batman in the Caped Crusader’s next solo outing, it appears the assassin is getting an even bigger spotlight than initially thought. The Wrap is reporting that Evans has crafted an enticing Deathstroke pitch that impressed DC execs enough that they want to go ahead with a spinoff film, and Evans is in talks to write and direct it. Furthermore, it seems Manganiello is still attached to the role.

Here’s the quick video of Deathstroke that Affleck teased fans with in August 2016:

If you’ve watched either Raid film, or his less-seen 2009 film Merantau, you’ll know Evans is highly skilled in the art of capturing combat and moody face offs. He could be downright perfect for this. But before we (hopefully) see what he has to offer in the DC universe, we’ll be receiving his Netflix film Apostle, a thriller about a man who attempts to rescue his kidnapped sister from a religious cult. That one will drop sometime in 2018.

The character of Deathstroke first made an appearance in The New Teen Titans in 1980. The mercenary and assassin was initially created as a one-time baddie to take on the Teen Titans, but the character proved so popular that he became a highly important recurring character in DC comics. He was given his own run in ’91, in a four-part series that saw him actually defeat Batman in combat. Deathstroke has evolved into more of an antihero, although the latest comic take – DC’s “Rebirth” initiative – has him as quite the cold-hearted merc.

New Zealand actor Manu Bennett has played Deathstroke for long arcs in The CW series Arrow.

Stay tuned for what unfolds here.

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