We know that Arrow season 6 is going to feature the return of Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson / Deathstroke, and that’s a cause for some celebration! However, making that happen was apparently not a sure thing, and it is a little bit more challenging getting this character on the show as opposed to some others from the comics.
What are the problems? Well, it turns out that there are actually quite a few, with one of the biggest ones being simply that DC Comics was not altogether willing to turn over some of their most iconic properties to the TV show universe. This is why you didn’t see Harley Quinn on Arrow, and also why we lost Deadshot and Amanda Waller earlier on in the show’s run. Getting Deathstroke back was a delicate process all its own. Speaking on that subject (per Collider), executive producer Marc Guggenheim made it clear why in part we didn’t see Bennett as the character for a while:
“DC control these characters. We went through a period where DC said, ‘We’ve got plans for Deathstroke that don’t include Arrow.’ That changed at the end of this [past season] … we knew we were going to Lian Yu and we had to see Slade Wilson, so I went to DC and said, ‘Listen, I know you guys have plans for him and, you know, that’s all cool, but you’ve got to give us this one because we can’t go to Lian Yu and not see Slade Wilson.’ As part of those conversations we also were like ‘and he’ll also need to be in the season premiere of season 6 because that ties into, you know, our plans, and it would be really great if [we could tell] a Slade Wilson-centric story. We’ve never truly done that.’ So we’re doing a cool two-parter, episodes five and sixthis year and the flashbacks will be from Slade’s perspective and it’s very much a Slade / Oliver two hander. It’s always great having Manu on the show … we just have to operate within the requirements of DC.”
So there you have it: Arrow can use Deathstroke, but they also have to be careful and diplomatic about how they use him and also with what frequency. Are they a little too overprotective with some of their properties? It’s a good subject for discussion at CarterMatt, but we would argue this: If DC is okay with having characters effectively appear in multiple different comic series at the same time, why are they so concerned about them being in both TV and feature films? They could be completely different iterations, and with that it just seems like more of a good thing. Sure, some people may unfairly compare the two, but that’s already happening in its own way with The Flash. You might as well let it happen with Deathstroke, as well.
Other Deathstroke news if you missed it…
Bennett is actually filming his two-part flashback story at the moment! If you head over here, you can read more about who is playing the character’s son. (Photo: The CW.)