James Gunn Broke Joe Manganiello’s DC Dreams

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Updated

joe manganiello deathstroke
  • James Gunn told Joe Manganiello to let go of his DC dream.
  • Joe Manganiello won’t return as Deathstroke in the new DCU.
  • Manganiello had a small cameo as the supervillain in the Justice League film.
  • If Deathstroke has a place in James Gunn’s DC, the role won’t go to Joe Manganiello.

When Joe Manganiello asked James Gunn about reprising his role as Deathstroke in the new DCU, the Guardians of the Galaxy director told the actor to take a page out of Elsa of Arendelle’s book and “let it go.” Gunn is determined to almost entirely recast every character from the old DCEU. So, despite being buddies with Manganiello, if Gunn includes Deathstroke in his new universe, the role will likely go to a new actor.

James Gunn Told Joe Manganiello To Let It Go

james gunn dc superman

Joe Manganiello revealed that discussions regarding the potential return of Deathstroke had taken place between him and James Gunn, particularly in light of Jim Lee’s interest in adapting Manganiello’s Deathstroke origin screenplay into a graphic novel series. However, with the reimagining of the DC Universe underway, Gunn advised Manganiello to “let it go,” signaling the end of his involvement with the character.

Joe Manganiello Played Deathstroke In The Justice League Movie

Joe Manganiello’s stint as Deathstroke was unfortunately brief, with his appearances in both the theatrical and Snyder Cut versions of Justice League failing to provide the character the opportunity to truly shine in the DCEU. Originally intended as the primary antagonist in a Batman film featuring Ben Affleck, plans for the movie were shelved, leaving Manganiello’s future in the franchise uncertain. Now, after almost a decade, James Gunn has confirmed a (bleak) direction for the character and established that Manganiello’s Deathstroke has hit the end of the line.

No Hard Feelings

joe manganiello

Joe Manganiello expressed his camaraderie with James Gunn, stating, “James is my buddy,” and shared insights into the shift in direction for the DC Universe. Gunn, alongside producer Peter Safran, is spearheading efforts to revitalize the DC franchise with a fresh vision, encompassing films, television series, and video games. Their collaboration aims to breathe new life into the DC Universe, with upcoming projects such as Creature Commandos and Superman: Legacy slated to mark the beginning of this new era.

Joe Manganiello’s Recent And Upcoming Roles

Despite James Gunn shutting the door on any future Deathstroke involvement, Joe Manganiello remains proactive in his career, engaging in diverse projects beyond the realm of superheroes. Recent endeavors include his role as Reggie in The Kill Room, a comedy centered around a thief’s unexpected transformation into a respected artist, and his portrayal of Tomm Schultz in Moonhaven, a dystopian TV series exploring life on the Moon following Earth’s devastation.

The actor also has a handful of projects in the pipeline, including an appearance in a comedy called Nonnas, starring Vince Vaughn, which follows a man who opens a restaurant and hires a group of grandmothers as chefs. Joe Manganiello will also appear in an episode of Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, a TV series set to come out this summer. Meanwhile, James Gunn is remaining as busy as ever with the new DC films, as well as two non-superhero projects in the works: Coyote Vs Acme and Starsky & Huch.

Will Deathstroke Have A Place In The New DCU?

While it was clear that Joe Manganiello was passionate about Deathstroke and no doubt disappointed that his journey with that character has come to an end, the actor is already moving on to explore new opportunities. Meanwhile, fans can’t wait to see what James Gunn and Peter Safran come up with for the new DCU, hoping it’s something worth the years of anticipation.