Joe Manganiello will return as Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke in Zack Snyder’s cut of “Justice League,” according to an individual with knowledge of the project.
Deathstroke first appeared in the post credit scene of 2017’s theatrical cut of “Justice League.” In the full scene, the assassin (aka Slade Wilson) is summoned to the luxury yacht of a returning Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), where the pair set off to form their own band of antiheroes to block the heroics of Wonder Woman, Batman, Aquaman, Cyborg, Superman and The Flash.
Deathstroke was created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. He is a mercenary and assassin who first appeared in “The New Teen Titans” #2 back in 1980. Wizard magazine rated him the 24th greatest villain of all time.
In 2009, Deathstroke was ranked as IGN’s 32nd greatest comic book villain of all time. Deathstroke, also known as Deathstroke the Terminator or simply Slade, is known to be the greatest assassin in all of DC Comics.
The so-called “Snyder Cut” of “Justice League” will be a 4-hour-long, episodic presentation on HBO MAX, created with a budget of around $70 million. And while initial reporting held that no additional filming would occur and new material would largely consist of special effects work, that clearly has changed.
“Justice League” underwent a lot of changes during its original production, most notably when Snyder abruptly exited the movie during post-production, just months ahead of its November 2017 release date. “Avengers” director Joss Whedon was subsequently hired to “finish” the film for Snyder in time for that date, but instead he ended up overseeing extensive reshoots intended to drastically change the story — again, while still gunning for its original release date.
The end result was a film that released on time, but both underperformed at the box office and received a critical drubbing, particularly for half-baked special effects, for instance how obvious it was that Henry Cavill shot a bunch of scenes as Superman with the mustache that he grew for another movie. Soon after, disappointed fans organized a campaign organized around the hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut, intended to convince Warner Bros. to greenlight a release closer to whatever it was Snyder intended.
The effort paid off in May when Warner Bros. announced that Snyder would return to oversee a new cut for release in 2021 on HBO MAX. And while plot details remain vague, Snyder said in July that his version of the 2017 film will contain nothing from Joss Whedon’s reshoots.
Reshoots are currently underway with Ben Affleck, Ray Fisher, and Amber Heard, along with Jared Leto who will return as The Joker.
Joe Manganiello is repped by ICM Partners and Anonymous Content.
HBO MAX had no comment.