Justice League Spoilers below!
DC has been a little weird with their characters ever since they started their own interconnected DC film universe. It’s understandable to not connect the film universe with the CW Arrowverse, but it’s a little jarring sometimes to see two completely different Barry Allens. DC allows that to happen, but they’ve mysteriously made the decision to pull certain characters from Arrow in order to focus on movies. For instance, DC famously pulled the Suicide Squad from Arrow in season 2 once David Ayer’s Suicide Squad went into production.
It seems that was the case with Deathstroke as well. They had permission to use Deathstroke… then, they didn’t. And then, they did. But now that Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke has appeared in Justice League, Arrow lost permission to use him again.
Discussing Film nabbed an interview with co-showrunner Marc Guggenheim at ACE Comic-Con, where he admitted the change in Deathstroke’s status:
Just Renting Them
These are DC’s characters, we’re just renting them ya know, so we use the characters that they tell us we can use when we can use them, and we work around whatever limitations that places us … For a time they were saying ‘you can’t use Deathstroke’, and that changed and we were able to have Slade Wilson back on the show, and now we’re back to ‘you can’t use him’. They’re working on the feature film version, it really is sort of now that you’ve got obviously Slade, spoiler alert, Deathstroke appears at the end of the Justice League movie
It’s pretty understandable until you realize Superman has been on Supergirl and Flash has his own show. If we’re going with the same analogy that Guggenheim presented, maybe the Flash has been leased out for the foreseeable future and DC cannot intervene. Or they just take characters that they believe will not affect plot. It’s hard to say exactly what’s going on over there these days.
The story of Deathstroke’s debut in the DC film universe has been turbulent at best. Affleck released test footage of the character when he was still attached to write and direct a solo Batman movie. Since Affleck’s departure from the director’s chair and Matt Reeves’ hiring, Deathstroke’s appearance had been cast in doubt. Even Manganiello wasn’t sure until it was revealed that Matt Reeves was starting from scratch. It seemed that that was the final nail in the coffin of a big screen Deathstroke. That is, until he appeared in the post-credits scene of Justice League. Aside from a possible live-action Legion of Doom, there were also rumors of a Deathstroke movie headed by The Raid director Gareth Evans.
Regardless, it’s bad news for fans of Manu Bennett’s Deathstroke and good news for folks who want to see Joe Manganiello take on the eye patch.
What do you think? Are you excited about Manganiello’s Deathstroke? Or are you more upset that Manu Bennett’s Deathstroke won’t be appearing on the show for the foreseeable future?