The Raid’s Gareth Evans in talks to direct Deathstroke movie

The Raid’s Gareth Evans in talks to direct Deathstroke movie

0 comments 📅26 October 2017, 19:25

Welsh director Gareth Evans – the man who gave the world the Indonesian martial arts and action epic, The Raid: Redemption (2011) – is in early discussions to write and direct the DC extended universe Deathstroke movie, according to Hollywood trade rag, The Wrap.

Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike, True Blood) signed on to play the villainous assassin last September, but much has changed since then. Zack Snyder was replaced by Joss Whedon on directing Justice League (where the character may have been first seen) and Matt Reeves replaced Ben Affleck on directing a solo Batman film where the character may have been the main antagonist. Reeves shelved Affleck’s script and started over. However, Evans who initially passed on directing Justice League Dark, impressed DC executives with his Deathstroke pitch that the company decided to go forward with a spinoff film.

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.

Deathstroke – in essence, Deadpool meets Deadshot

Slade Wilson was 16 years old when he first enlisted in the US Army, having lied about his age. After serving a stint in Korea, he was later assigned to Camp Washington where he had been promoted to the rank of Major. In the early 1960s, he met Captain Adeline Kane who was tasked with training young soldiers in new fighting techniques in anticipation of brewing troubles taking place in Vietnam. Kane was amazed at how skilled Wilson was and how quickly he adapted to modern conventions of warfare. She immediately fell in love with him, and realized that he was without a doubt the most able-bodied combatant she had ever encountered. She offered to privately train Wilson in guerrilla warfare. In less than a year, he mastered every fighting form presented to him and was soon promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Six months later, Kane and he were married and she became pregnant with their first child. The war in Vietnam began to escalate and Wilson was shipped overseas.

Chosen for a secret experiment, the Army imbued him with enhanced physical powers in an attempt to create metahuman super soldiers for the US military. Deathstroke became a mercenary soon after the experiment when he defied orders and rescued his friend and former SAS operative Wintergreen who had been sent on a suicide mission by a commanding officer with a grudge. A criminal named the Jackal took his younger son Joseph hostage to force Wilson to divulge the name of a client who had hired him as an assassin. He refused, claiming it was against his personal honor code.Wilson attacked and killed the kidnappers at the rendezvous, but unfortunately, Joseph was badly injured.

Gareth Evans, who single handedly redefined the quality action movie genre

After taking him to the hospital, Wilson’s wife was enraged at his endangerment of her son and tried to kill Wilson by shooting him, but only managed to destroy his right eye. Afterward, his confidence in his physical abilities was such that he made no secret of his impaired vision, marked by his mask which has a black, featureless half covering his lost eye. Without his mask, Wilson wears an eyepatch.

The character became so popular that in 1991 that DC gave him his own series, in which he fought Batman for the first time. In the four-part series City of Assassins, Deathstroke takes on more of an antihero approach as he uses brutal, Punisher-esque tactics to go after a Gotham City mob boss. His hunt puts him on a collision course with Batman, whom Deathstroke later defeats in combat. Later, the two form an uneasy alliance to root out a masked assassin who killed one of Commissioner Gordon’s men.

No deals have been set yet and with the shifting state of the DCEU, it’s unclear where exactly he would first be introduced. Presumably, since he’s a Batman antagonist, he would be need an introduction in a larger profile film since he’s not a character like Deadpool whose personality and attitude can demand an audience. Not yet anyway.

Joe Manganiello, arguably Men’s Health magazine’s all-time favourite cover boy

However, he’s not a complete non-entity. He’s appeared in Batman video games, and, most notably, as an antagonist on Arrow, played by Manu Bennett. He’s a character whose popularity is arguably on the rise, but not to the point where a filmmaker wouldn’t have room to help define the character for a larger audience.

The problem is this: back in the day, DC borrowed a little from Marvel and Marvel borrowed a little from DC, but it was all OK – for the most part. It was still about writing comics and having fun. Thing is though, Deathstroke aka Slade Wilson sounds a lot like Deadpool aka Wade Wilson and Deadshot aka Floyd Lawton. Now, Deadshot first appeared in DC’s Batman #59 (June 1950), Deadpool first appeared in Marvel’s The New Mutants #98 (February 1991) and Deathstroke’s been around since 1980 – and they are of course quite different. But to today’s modern, millennial, fickle, dollar-spending, cinema-going audience – who don’t have to rely on reading comic books for their only source of entertainment and have thousands of TV channels to chose from, not just a few – these could all sound a little similar, which might hurt their box office takings. There is a real danger of too much and sadly, it’s a case of who got there first and did a better job, rather than which character has been around the longest, especially since each franchise is worth $billions now.

Evans’ new movie, Apostle, is slated to arrive on Netflix sometime next year. Manganiello may pop up in Justice League, but he’ll definitely be seen alongside Dwayne Johnson in Rampage, which opens in April.

Related stories
New Justice League Trailer Goes For Sombre Tone (Then The Flash Appears…)
CW Releases Poster For Constantine Animated Series
VIDEO Justice League Stars On Their Costumes – With Cool Behind-The-Scenes Clips
New Justice League Character Portraits
Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 2 launches September 26

No Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first one to write a comment

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.