The rumors and teases concerning Suicide Squad just keep on coming. After the movie’s main villain was seemingly revealed (and potentially the film’s twist ending with it), yet another character from the pages of DC Comics has grabbed the spotlight, with Deathstroke the Terminator seeming more and more likely to be making his debut in Suicide Squad.
That in itself may not be a bombshell, as it was months ago that the first rumblings of a role for Deathstroke – to be played by director David Ayer’s past collaborator Joe Manganiello – surfaced. It sounds like the True Blood star may have the part in the bag, set to bring a memorable menace and “insane” action to the film’s larger action setpieces.
Manganiello’s involvement was less than shocking considering how many DC Comics roles he’s been rumored for, not to mention his clear desire to work with the Sabotage director once again. Now Latino-Review claims Terminator: Genisys star Jason Clarke – previously offered the part of Slade Wilson – is no longer in the running, and that Joel Kinnaman (Robocop) had tested for the role before signing on as team supervisor Rick Flag.
That leaves Manganiello as the frontrunner despite what seems to be some hesitance on the studio’s part. But if Warner Bros. is looking for a physically imposing, grizzled killer-for-hire, then most DC Comics fans would be able to get behind Manganiello in the part (currently being played by Manu Bennett on Arrow).
Skilled in virtually every weapon and martial art known to man, Deathstroke is typically regarded as the deadliest killer in the DC Comics universe (a title passed between more than a few, admittedly). Though his origins saw him injected with a serum resulting in enhanced strength, agility, and mental acuity, modern incarnations have been a bit more grounded, showing Slade Wilson to simply be the most well-trained, finely-honed assassin alive.
With Ayer’s tendency toward gritty, street-level action, a pre-superhuman version of Deathstroke seemed most likely, and LR‘s sources confirm that’s the case. Apparently acting as a hired gun for Suicide Squad‘s villains, Deathstroke will be using both blades and bullets in the field – rumored to take down the entire Squad all on his own.
When he appears in the film, the sources say, he will do so with both eyes intact, but sporting a modern version of his combat uniform (signature mask included). Playing a large role in both of the movie’s major action scenes (presumably the Squad’s central mission and the rumored ‘prison riot finale’), Wilson’s costume is built with stealth in mind, based on actual US military gear. In other words: expect some compromises, as opposed to his traditional armor plating and chainmail.
Given the total lack of casting news for what is presumed to be a not-insignificant number of enemy forces (if the recent rumor is to believed), and a larger role implied for Deathstroke, fans may also begin to wonder if David Ayer’s script re-writes haven’t just found a place for Deathstroke, but shaped him to be the primary villain for the Squad in the field.
Filming is expected to get under way in weeks, yet the sources still stop short of confirming that Manganiello has the part. With Clarke already offered the role but declining due to scheduling conflicts, and Manganiello apparently already having dropped out of Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens, the casting remains in flux.
We’ll keep you posted on more Deathstroke details as they arrive, but for now, what do you think of Joe Manganiello in the role? Would you like to see him introduced in Suicide Squad to appear in other DC films, or are you mainly concerned with seeing the villain done right the first time? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Suicide Squad hits theaters August 5, 2016.