Get ready for some more evidence that the story and cast of Suicide Squad is nowhere near as clear-cut as some may imply. For every confirmed DC Comics villain set to appear in the film, there are just as many mystery roles and actors – and now it seems one major villain may have only been wishful thinking.

The first cast photo released by director David Ayer revealed the inclusion of multiple new faces, including Jim Parrack (True Blood) – who we now hear won’t be playing ‘Deathstroke the Terminator’ after all.

Rumors of Slade Wilson a.k.a. Deathstroke had been swirling for some time, with Ayer’s past collaborator Joe Manganiello emerging as a rumored frontrunner early on. But when the cast photo revealed Parrack, and no Manganiello, Latino-Review‘s El Mayimbe offered word that the former had nabbed the part of Deathstroke.

Now, TheWrap‘s Jeff Sneider revealed on Meet The Movie Press that his own sources say Parrack’s role will be nowhere near as pivotal in DC Comics history. According to Sneider, it’s a role as ‘Jonny Frost’ that Parrack has landed: a character introduced in the “Joker” graphic novel by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo.

Suicide Squad Movie Jonny Frost Joker Suicide Squad: Deathstroke NOT Appearing After All?

The “Joker” story offered up a far grittier, more mature take on the ruthless, homicidal crime boss, told from the perspective of Frost. Beginning the story as merely the man tasked with picking up the Joker from his stint in Arkham, Frost soon rose to become the villain’s right-hand man before plans – as they so often do when the Joker is involved – went awry.

This character obviously seems a less surprising fit for Parrack, especially given his minor but well-executed role in David Ayer’s Fury. Much of what he brought to the WWII-era drama was due to his ability to loom large, and speak sparingly; a similar talent could be applied to the Joker’s driver and muscle, considering the manic energy expected from Jared Leto’s portrayal.

Sneider couldn’t offer more information, and it’s hard to see how Frost could factor into the story, given that the Joker is apparently going to be locked up in Belle Reve prison for a majority of the film. There were early script rumors claiming Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) would attempt a prison break from Arkham, so it’s possible Frost (Parrack) could appear in Gotham City early on – as he implied:

This news is sure to be a disappointment to fans hoping to see any version of Deathstroke, DC’s most lethal assassin and mercenary, on the big screen. But combine this new description with Manganiello’s own admission that the role he was pursuing wasn’t Deathstroke either, and there may have never been truth to the villain’s inclusion at all. The question of whether Manganiello was after the Jonny Frost role, or perhaps Blockbuster may never be known.

Disappointing as this may be, there are more than enough chances for Deathstroke to be alluded to, or possibly even cameo (at this point, WB may have managed to keep the truth entirely under wraps). The good news, however, is that inspiration drawn from Azzarello and Bermejo’s “Joker” is potentially very good news for comic book fans.

Not only is the more mature treatment of Joker perfect for Ayer’s sensibilities (darker, even, than Heath Ledger’s version), but the similar approach to other iconic Batman characters could help explain the presence of some… outlandish villains (inlcuding Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Killer Croc).

Batman Movie Villains Riddler Killer Croc Suicide Squad: Deathstroke NOT Appearing After All?

Bermejo & Azzarello’s take on Riddler and Killer Croc.

Is it possible that Suicide Squad will show events in Gotham City during the film’s proceedings? Could it be some of Joker’s henchmen who arrive to break him out of prison? Or could the film’s conclusion return Joker to Gotham (and his fellow Rogues) as a more concrete means of setting up a standalone Batman movie? Once filming gets under way, set photos may help illuminate this report for those not shy about potential spoilers.

What do you make of this news? Are you disappointed to hear that Deathstroke may not be making an appearance in Suicide Squad (since production has begun with no confirmed reports of an actor in the role)? Or are you relieved to see Parrack helping bring another comic character to life – and all the comic connections that may imply? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman – June 23rd, 2017; Justice League – November 17th, 2017; The Flash – March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman – July 27th, 2018; Shazam – April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 – June 14th, 2019; Cyborg – April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern – June 19th, 2020.

Source: Jeff Sneider, Jim Parrack

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