If you had asked me yesterday to name one director I would love to see take on a superhero film, it would have been Gareth Evans, director of The Raid: Redemption and The Raid 2. Today, I am here to tell you that dreams do come true. The Wrap reports that Evans is in early discussions to write and direct a film featuring DC Comics’ Deathstroke. Let’s break down this exciting news!
First of all, who is Deathstroke? He is an assassin/supervillain in DC Comics. Deathstroke, also known as Slade Joseph Wilson, can access 90% of his brain capacity, boasts superhuman strength and agility, and is a master in both martial arts and swordplay. Basically, he could beat up your dad real good (even if your dad happens to be Batman). Deathstroke first appeared on the page in The New Teen Titans back in 1980. Since then he has had his own comic, multiple animated series appearances and played a part on The CW’s Arrow.
Last summer Ben Affleck tweeted some test footage of Deathstroke making a badass entrance. At that time the plan was for Deathstroke to face off against Gotham’s finest in The Batman. The idea was scrapped after Affleck stepped down from the director’s chair and Matt Reeves climbed aboard. The very thought of Deathstroke joining the Justice League Universe had comic fans trembling with anticipation. It’s clear that the idea is still very much alive. Joe Manganiello (True Blood and Magic Mike) played Deathstroke in the test footage and is still attached to star.
What excites me the most about this project is Gareth Evans calling the shots. About ten years ago the Welsh filmmaker was hired as a freelance director on a documentary about pencak silat, a class of Indonesian martial arts. This temporary gig changed the course of his career. Evans fell in love with the unique fighting style and made the Indonesian martial arts film Merantau. The film gave Evans, the cast and crew plenty of experience and some recognition, but it wasn’t until 2012 with the release of The Raid that the team blew up on the international circuit.
I don’t feel hyperbolic saying that Evans changed the action genre forevermore with The Raid. A couple years later he proved it wasn’t a fluke with The Raid 2. If you haven’t seen these incredible films (you should and you can start here) then at least watch the trailer above for a taste of what he brings to the genre. Might Deathstroke be adding some pencak silat to his résumé? Will Warner Bros. follow in Fox’s footsteps in making a violent, “hard R" superhero film? We look forward to finding these answers and more in the coming months! Until then, check out the latest Justice League teaser.