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James Gunn Reportedly Planning to Bring Back Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke to DCU

DCEU heroes & villains may assemble one last time for a showdown

James Gunn and Peter Safran’s time holding free rein over the DC universe is closing in on them. In a week’s time, the co-CEOs will present the blueprint of their plans to David Zaslav and the world, thus sealing their fate at the company and the direction of the DCU for the foreseeable future. But until that time, stories and theories abound all over, with news outlets touting rumors veiled as faux truths.

Some of those rumors have been painstakingly deconstructed by fans still waiting for the tiniest sliver of information from the DC chiefs who in turn have neither confirmed nor denied whether the reports are actually true.

James Gunn Deathstroke Joe Manganiello
DCEU characters could be revived to tie up some loose threads in DCU

Also read: DCU Reportedly Bringing Back Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke as a Member of Amanda Waller’s Checkmate

As massive cancellations, rewrites, and pauses in production — essentially, an overall halt has been called into effect during the period of James Gunn’s concentrated world-building, some trusted information gatherers have delivered their own reports and their theories posit that some characters who were otherwise thought lost to the DCU shake-up may yet be brought back into the fold.

James Gunn’s Plans Could Revive SnyderVerse Deathstroke

For the entirety of the past decade, the contentious debate over the existence and authenticity of the SnyderVerse has taken center stage in the world of comic book live-action worldbuilding. At first, it was the magnificence of that universe that stunned fans into silence. And then the director’s exit spurred them into screams of protests, echoes of which have yet to stop reverberating. But to move forward without the sins of the father following DC around like a shadow, James Gunn needs to decidedly cut all ties with the Zack Snyder creations.

But what of characters who haven’t intricately been mixed up in the controversial arc of the former DCEU? Reports suggest that the evolution of DCEU into the now-active DCU may close out the SnyderVerse chapter by moving them forward into the future. As such an aged Batfleck Bruce Wayne will need to pass down the mantle to his biogenetic son, Terrence McGinnis Wayne, more commonly known as Terry McGinnis.

Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke in DCEU
Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke in DCEU

Also read: Joe Manganiello Reportedly Returning as Deathstroke Alongside Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck, Fans Convinced Batman vs. Deathstroke Happening Soon

Other theories suggest that the very last scene of the SnyderVerse (discounting the dystopian apocalyptic Knightmare episode) that introduced a very agreeable Deathstroke (played by Joe Manganiello) could be brought back to close out the epic showdown with Ben Affleck‘s Batman — an arc that was perhaps already in the works in the solo Batfleck movie which in turn never materialized. Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns worked on the script and set it to be directed by Affleck.

Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke Could Be Essential to DCU

If a new slate is what James Gunn is vying for, then surely the entire universe, its still-in-motion arcs, and actors would need to be eradicated in its entirety, including his own creations — The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker since both have ties to characters that are weighted down by the DCEU (re: Harley Quinn and Amanda Waller). But if that does not come to pass, given how Black Adam being the first DCU film proudly featured its extensive roster of DCEU characters, then Joe Manganiello stands a much better chance of doing good in the new chronology of events.

Deathstroke meets Lex Luthor in ZSJL
Deathstroke meets Lex Luthor in Justice League Snyder’s Cut (2021)

Also read: 6 Ways Deathstroke Is A Better Well-Oiled Fighting Machine Than Batman

For one, his Deathstroke could close out the Batfleck chapter for good, given how the latter has been a subject of much controversy of late. It’s already clear that the DC Universe Bible needs Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman at the helm. Gal Gadot has already been secured. The question now redirects itself to whether the inclusion of Manganiello can redeem the Batman arc like Ezra Miller‘s Flashpoint plans to redeem the entire SnyderVerse.

All will be revealed in a week’s time. But until then — Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom premiere theatrically on 17 March, 16 June, and 25 December 2023 respectively.

Source: Heat Vision

Written by Diya Majumdar

At 25, Diya Majumdar is inching closer to getting to the bottom of every film and television's history in existence. Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, DU, her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema, with more than 800 published articles on Fandomwire. She is a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh and boasts of being an avid painter of all their troubled works.