Arrow Season 6: Manu Bennett Talks His Return to Deathstroke

When it was teased that Manu Bennett was going to return for the season five finale of Arrow, it opened up a lot of questions. The last time the actor had been on the show was in a brief appearance in season three and he didn't seem to have been very fond of the way the character of Slade Wilson, AKA Deathstroke: The Terminator, had been treated. In an interview in 2015, Bennett said:

I think Deathstroke had a lot of possibilities with Arrow but, I think they took it in the wrong direction. I think they should have honored the Marv Wolfman character who was literally unstoppable. I read the DC comic books and thought Deathstroke was so bad arse because they make it that nobody can stop him. He's not even super-powered, he is just a mercenary. It took the Justice League to defeat him; it took an army to take him on. In Arrow, it took a while for Oliver to prove his point, but [season three] was just a beating of Slade, adding insult to injury.

Arrow Season 6
Image courtesy of The CW

This made it sound a lot like Bennett was done with the character. Even when word came out, Bennett took to social media and denied the news, trolling fans that it was just going to be a guy in the suit again — something the show has done a couple times since season three. Eventually, though, the truth was discovered, and Bennett appeared in the last two episodes as Wilson with the Mirakuru clearly out of his system. Word then came out that not only would Bennett be back for the season six premiere, but he would also return for two other episodes early on in the season. Those episodes involved Slade and Oliver (Stephen Amell) looking for Slade's missing son.

This weekend at the Heroes & Villains Fanfest in San Jose, Bennett was asked about coming back to the series and the character:

I'm lucky because of all of the Slade origin story stuff. Every time we add on a little bit of a layer here and there it helps kind of draw that story out. Sometimes I'm missing Arrow and there's been times when it's been a year and a half between getting back out there to film with Oliver and the cast… Stephen… but they made a really good job out of this last couple of episodes and that they humanized Slade rather than demonized the character was just such a relief for me. I've always been of the idea that Deathstroke from the DC Comics, Marv Wolfman's character, has more integrity just being a crazy Mirakuru guy. Being able to sink myself back into the legend of Deathstroke and bring out some of the characters like his son, and a mention of his other son and a mention of his wife and whatnot gives us now the scope to open up to potentially other parts that could be explored.

It sounds like Bennett is much happier with the character's appearance this time and would be open to returning for more. You can watch the full panel he did along with Arrow actors Rick Gonzalez and Echo Kellum below.

Arrow airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.

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About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.
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