Keanu Reeves is the kind of actor that deserves to embody a classic iteration of a comic character. There is an argument to be made that he already did that with Constantine – a flat-out great movie that deserves some respect – but the actor has managed to evade popularity in the comic book cinema genre for all the years he has been working. Well, a new rumor might signal the end of that.
According to insider Daniel Richtman (via We Got This Covered), Keanu Reeves is possibly being pursued by Warner Bros./DC to play the role of Deathstroke a.k.a. Slade Joseph Wilson. What makes this news somewhat seismic is that Deathstroke already made an appearance in Justice League during a post-credits scene. In that sequence, he was portrayed by Joe Manganiello. So, does this mean that DC is looking to replace Joe Manganiello?
Not necessarily. Richtman says that this news about Keanu Reeves possibly becoming the new cinematic incarnation of Deathstroke “doesn’t mean Joe [Manganiello] can’t come back.” With the DC films about to introduce the multiverse in their upcoming The Flash movie, it is possible that there could be multiple Deathstrokes running around in different franchises. That sounds like it might be a touch confusing but Marvel is about to do the same thing with their cinematic universe. It looks like audiences are going to get their first real dose of multiverse shenanigans in comic book movies from both major outlets.
Maybe even more crucial is what this news could mean for a potential Constantine 2. There have been rumors that Keanu Reeves and Constantine director Francis Lawrence have been trying to see if they can get a sequel off the ground, and there have even been rumors about what the story surrounding that sequel would be. Richtman says that this potential Deathstroke casting would also allow for any Constantine sequel, so that’s certainly a relief for those of us hoping to see Reeves back in the role one last time.
Frankly, this rumor about Keanu Reeves taking on the mantle of Deathstroke sounds a little more pie-in-the-sky than anything substantial. We know that Marvel has been continuously courting the actor for a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Perhaps DC is trying to make a counter-offer by seeing what role Reeves would be most interested in from their library of characters. It is possible he was the one that mentioned liking the character of Deathstroke and DC said they would consider it. That could be as far as this news goes.
If it does end up being true, Keanu Reeves would be portraying a powerful enemy of the DC superhero canon. Deathstroke is a master tactician and has the ability to learn his enemies’ movements so perfectly that he will never be caught off-guard by the same maneuver twice. It sounds like an apt character for the actor who has brought John Wick to life. We will have to wait and see if he actually ends up donning the orange and black outfit of Deathstroke in a future DC film.