Great comic book heroes tend to be shaped by great villains, and Arrow is no exception. With Season 2 of the series the show’s writers swung for the fences, pitting Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) up against one of the deadliest men in the DC Comics universe: Deathstroke a.k.a. Slade Wilson. With that supervillain now stepping aside for Ra’s al Ghul himself, actor Manu Bennett hints that fans haven’t seen the last of Deathstroke – not if the showrunners get their way, that is.
Anyone who followed along with Oliver Queen’s battle against Wilson’s forces knows that the superhuman killer got what was coming to him. But even if Wilson ended up return to ‘the island,’ dwelling alone in an ARGUS super-max facility, he’s still left with a pulse. Not to mention one heck of a grudge.
Since Deathstroke’s story is clearly far from over (and could have been ended if the showrunners wished), and fans know that a man like Slade Wilson should never be counted out, some fans have hoped for his return. When asked about the possibility by ComicBook.com, Bennett spoke candidly. While he may not have a return date set, those running the Arrow/Flash universe made their long term wishes clear:
“Realistically, when we talk about storyline, they threw me into a really interesting place: Purgatory. You know, I’m left at the end shaking the bars, going ‘I keep my promises, kid.’ And I think I meant it. So I don’t think that they are just going to let that voice subside into the vast abyss… But at this stage, I don’t know. They said at the end of the season last year, they said: ‘Look, we want you back. We want you back.’ But there’s been no indication yet of how they’ll go about that at any point in time, right now.”
It shouldn’t be too hard to see why (or how) Deathstroke could be brought back into future stories. The writers already introduced Amanda Waller’s team of criminal operatives (known to fans as the Suicide Squad), and while Wilson may have some solitary confinement ahead of him, a return in service to Waller would be in line with the comics. The bottom line: when a villain like Deathstroke is left alive promising revenge, it’s safe to assume the show’s writers have a plan.
Regardless, the show’s producers have promised that Arrow Season 3 will feature fewer superpowers in favor of a more grounded approach. So if Deathstroke really will be returning, it won’t be immediately. And it may not even be to Starling City at all, with The CW confirming that more spinoff shows are being discussed.
For now, Bennett seems pleased to hand the reins over to Matt Nable (Riddick), the man set to bring Ra’s al Ghul, leader of the League of Assassins to life. And it just so happen that Nable and Bennett are no strangers, having both worked on the Australian miniseries Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms):
“I know that Matt Nable — who’s an Australian actor I worked with on the Sons of Anarchy kind-of-biker series [Bikie Wars] last year, maybe just the year before in Australia — just got cast as Ra’s Al Ghul. I mean this guy was playing the head of the biker gang that I was in. I was the tough guy in the biker gang, but he was the head. And he’s got such an intensity to him.
“I don’t know man, if it ever comes down to him and me facing off in a scene… ‘whew.’ I mean Stephen Amell is really going to have to bring it to the fire at that stage. It’s going to be two Aussies, it’s going to be an Aussie and New Zealander… I look forward to that. Matt Nable is a great actor.”
Since the minds controlling the future of Arrow have expressed their wishes to bring Bennett back, it seems inevitable for it to happen at some time. But a villain like Ra’s al Ghul – while not strictly ‘superhuman’ – isn’t one that is quickly dealt with either. And if The CW’s Deathstroke has anywhere near the same staying power as that of the comics, then he’ll be making life harder for law enforcement for years to come.
Are you looking forward to a possible return of Deathstroke, or did you feel like the villain ran his course, and was right to make way for new antagonists? Does Bennett’s endorsement of Matt Nable raise your hopes for the TV version of Ra’s al Ghul? Sound off in the comments.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce for updates on Arrow as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.
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