Slade Wilson/Deathstroke has arguably been DC’s best television villain to date, serving as an incredible big bad for Arrow‘s second season. He returned in an episode of season three, which has underwhelmed many fans – even actor Manu Bennett himself. Despite Bennett’s reluctance to return to the role again, there has been hope that he eventually will – something most recently expressed by series star Stephen Amell.
Unfortunately, it looks like Deathstroke won’t be back anytime soon, if ever. When asked on Tumblr if there are any plans to bring Slade back this season, producer Marc Guggenheim revealed that DC Entertainment has other plans for the character. “The character of Slade Wilson is currently tied up in another DC project.” This contradicts an interview that Guggenheim gave last year, saying that Deathstroke isn’t off the table. But it looks like plans have changed.
(On a side note, if you’re hoping to see Walter Steele return to Arrow this season, Guggenheim says that is “more likely.” So, we’ll see.)
Over the years, DC has kept many characters from appearing on Arrow, as well as its sister shows The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, due to involvement with other film or TV projects. The studio has big screen plans for the likes of Green Lantern and Blue Beetle, while A-listers such as Batman and Superman have been reserved almost entirely for the films – except for Gotham and Supergirl.
So, based on Guggenheim’s comments here, we may be seeing Deathstroke somewhere other than Arrow in the near future. Could he be popping up in another television series? Or will he make an appearance in the DC Extended Universe? Regarding the latter, Deathstroke was rumored to be appearing in Suicide Squad. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but the Deathstroke character surely has plenty of big screen potential.
Speaking of Suicide Squad, that movie has been credited with kicking some characters off of Arrow. One of these is Deadshot, who was killed off last season – shortly after Will Smith was cast as the cinematic version. And, just last week, Amanda Waller was killed, just before her DCEU debut later this year. However, Guggenheim has claimed that DC did not “mandate” Waller’s death. So, there’s that.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about Deathstroke’s exit from Arrow. He was an outstanding adversary in season two, and while his season three episode was disappointing, I always thought they could redeem him later on. At the same time, however, Warner Bros. could put out a truly great movie version of Deathstroke that rivals, if not surpasses, Manu Bennett’s take.
What do you think of this news?