Manu Bennett Returning to ARROW

Written by Andrew Pollard Tuesday, 11 April 2017

TV News

It’s seemed for a little while now that the chances of Manu Bennett returning to Arrow were minimal at best, but now comes the surprising (and welcome!) news that Bennett is returning to the fold as fan favourite Slade Wilson, aka the nefarious Deathstroke.

What made those chances slim were the fact that Bennett hasn’t exactly talked well about the show since he last appeared briefly back in Season 3. Never one to sugarcoat things, the New Zealander has spoken out over the handling of the Slade character. For Bennett, he thought that Deathstroke was ultimately mishandled in how he was taken down, particularly during that brief Season 3 appearance in which he was handily and easily bested by Oliver and Thea Queen. Added to that, Joe Manganiello has been confirmed to play Deathstroke opposite Ben Affleck's Dark Knight in The Batman, and The CW has previously had to kill off characters who were being lined up for the big screen DCEU - such as Amanda Waller and Deadshot.

Seemingly all is well, though, and Bennett’s Arrow return is one that will excite many fans, with his depiction of Slade Wilson seen as one of the greatest live-action incarnations of a comic book villain to date. Season 2 of Arrow was something special, and key to that was Slade’s descent into becoming Deathstroke.

The Green Arrow himself, Stephen Amell, revealed the news of Bennett’s return via his Twitter page:


Story-wise, Deathstroke was locked up in an A.R.G.U.S. holding facility on Lian Yu at the end of Season 3, and then Bennett’s Wilson made that brief appearance in the following season. Since then, Deathstroke has appeared in hallucinations, although those appearances didn’t have Manu Bennett under the rogue’s villainous garb. Additionally, Arrow’s sister show, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, also featured a different take on Deathstroke – Slade’s son Grant Wilson – when the titular Legends team visited a future Star City that saw a one-armed, weathered Oliver Green hiding from the world.

This return of an old favourite could well be tied to executive producer Wendy Mericle’s recent comments in which she told EW, “The alliances are going to be very surprising. You’re not going to believe who Oliver is working with to defeat Prometheus. It’s going to be really emotional. It’s going to be all about Oliver’s family, but not the family we’re thinking of right now. It’s going to end in a giant explosion, but not where we think it’s going to end, and the emotional punch is going to be bigger than the actual part of the bombs going off.”

Here’s hoping that Bennett’s return to Arrow is more than just a one-off appearance towards the end of the show’s current fifth season, and that we can see more of Slade Wilson in the already-confirmed Season 6.

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