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Deathstroke in doubt? Gareth Evans says movie talks haven’t happened ‘for a really long time’

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Oct 4, 2018, 1:13 PM EDT

The DC Extended Universe movie churn yields talk of a lot of intriguing projects, some of which get put on the fast track, even as others seem to languish before ever getting the green light. 

Such may be the case with the Deathstroke spinoff movie, first rumored just ahead of the 2017 premiere of Justice League, and given fresh momentum when Joe Mangianello introduced the character to the DCEU in the movie’s post-credits scene. 

But director Gareth Evans, who was linked with the reported project late last year, recently said Deathstroke hasn’t been on his immediate radar for a long time, and that — despite his admiration for the passion Mangianello brings to the role — there’s been no discussion between himself and DC about pursuing it beyond the “few conversations” the parties had in the run-up to the release of Justice League.

“I had a phone call which I think was publicized a bit, about Deathstroke with DC. We talked about that before, we had a few conversations,” Evans told, confiding that he’d done an early bit of comic book delving in order to bone up on the character.

But, he added, there’s been no discussion of moving forward with development on a Deathstroke standalone since last fall’s flurry of buzz, which he said quickly died down behind the scenes in spite of Mangianello’s ongoing enthusiasm to bring the character to life.

"Nothing really went beyond those conversations,” he said. “I haven't heard anything for a really long time…To be honest, every time I see an article written I keep wanting to ask, 'Okay, what is it you guys know that I don't know?' Because I haven't heard anything for a good while yet.”

While that doesn’t slam the door on the idea that DC still has Deathstroke stenciled in as part of its long-range plans, it definitely appears to take the wind out of any hype that the movie is nearing the green light stage. Evans said he doesn’t know if talks on the project “will ever come back full circle at some point,” so it still sounds as if anything can happen.

Evans himself hasn’t exactly had a ton of free time to take on extra work recently anyway: The Raid director has been toiling for the past year on Netflix’s upcoming horror film Apostle, which is set to hit the streaming service on Oct. 12.