Scoop Claims Joe Manganiello And James Gunn Are Good Friends, Actor Will Be Deathstroke In DCU

Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke in Justice League (2017), Warner Bros. Pictures

We have further claims of yet another character James Gunn won’t recast for his DCU. The character and the actor concerned, whom we have heard a few positive updates about, are Deathstroke and the man who played him in Justice League, Joe Manganiello. The actor has been in limbo with the other DCEU players but may get a second chance.

Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke in Justice League (2017), Warner Bros. Pictures

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One thing he never got was much of a chance to develop his iteration of the assassin beyond The Snyder Cut and Gunn might take pity on him, and grant him a reprieve. The reason for that allegedly is that Gunn is a fan of Manganiello. More than that, the two are said to be good friends.

The source for this is the prolific X scooper MyTimeToShineHello who answered “He’s James Gunn BFF so yes,” when asked if Manganiello would ever be Slade Wilson again.

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As wishful and anonymously sourced as that comment arguably is, MTTSH isn’t the first person to make this claim. YouTuber Syl Abdul’s sources told him the same thing, which we reported.

Abdul stated back in July, “As I was hearing Cavill was out, Ben was out, Gal was out, I was hearing [at] the same time that Margot Robbie was in along with Joe Manganiello.”

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The only thing getting in the way here is Manganiello’s affordability. His asking price might be too high for Warner Bros. Discovery who are reportedly urging Gunn to hire cheap actors for his fresh start. That is part of why Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck aren’t coming back, and Gal Gadot might join them.

Manganiello’s portrayal of Slade Wilson might also be too strongly associated with Ben Affleck’s The Batman script in which he was the villain taking his rage out on the entire Bat Family and Bruce Wayne personally. Hence, Justice League and Zack Snyder’s Justice League is the only film Slade has been in over the last three years. Every other project slotted for him was scrapped.

Joe Manganiello as Slade in Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021), HBO Max

This was true of The Suicide Squad according to some reports. Initial drafts had Slade either a part of or leading the team, but Gunn preferred to give audiences more misfit characters never seen on screen before such as Bloodsport and The Javelin. His choice may have been a creative one and nothing personal against Manganiello.

Gunn appears to be still sorting out where the DCU begins. If it doesn’t start with The Suicide Squad, it should take off from Peacemaker. Whatever the case, Gunn could give Manganiello a call once he has figured everything out.

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