‘Deathstroke’: Gareth Evans Talks The “Lean, Visceral” Superhero Flick He Never Got To Make

The idea of Gareth Evans (The Raid), one of the best action directors in the world, headed to the DCEU for a Deathstroke movie was, I guess, too good to be true. With Joe Manganiello set for the lead, and debuting in the post-credits of Justice League, it had tremendous potential to be unlike anything we’ve seen from Warner Bros. superhero movies. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be, but Evans revealed to YahooUK a little bit of what he had planned for DC’s baddest assassin.

“I’ve spoken to Joe Manganiello, who was attached to star as Deathstroke,” Evans said. “I spoke to him a while back, and we both lamented the fact that it didn’t happen. But yeah, I don’t really have much more than that, in terms of anything lately on it.”

“The plan was, I wanted to tell something that would be a lean story, that would be kind of an origin of that character. Something that felt like it could be 100 minutes or 110 minutes long, max – not to go over the two hour period with it.”

As anybody who has seen The Raid or its incredible sequel, he brings a brutally realistic style, flavored by Indonesian action flicks. How would that have worked in a superhero setting, though? Or would he have tried something different?

“Back then, I was massively influenced by the noir films coming out of South Korea, so that was my pitch. I was like, these films are amazing: the texture, and the tones of colours, the grit and the aggression of them is super interesting to use to tell Deathstroke’s story.”

“We had ideas of the kind of style that we would have gone for with that, which would have married some of the more grounded style that I have, but then because of the world of it, it would allow me to be a bit more flamboyant and a bit more stylised. We could have taken it in some really interesting areas.”

Damn, man. So much potential that I hope Warner Bros. doesn’t let go to waste. Deathstroke was to have a much larger role in Zack Snyder’s uncut version of Justice League, and Manganiello has been a supporter of the Snyder Cut’s release. When Joss Whedon’s version of the film bombed, Warner Bros. went in a completely different direction.

Evans still holds out some hope his Deathstroke movie will come together in the future…

“We had some pretty bold ideas there that could have been really visceral and really fun. But, yeah, I don’t know. Who knows? They might come back again in five or ten years time, you never know.”

Evans’ latest is crime drama series Gangs of London, which debuted on Cinemax last week.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.