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Arrow: Deathstroke actor not invited back for final season

Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson/Deathstroke in Arrow.
Manu Bennett, who played Slade Wilson/Deathstroke, has not be invited to reprise his role in Arrow’s upcoming final season. Pic credit: The CW

With so many actors from Arrow’s past returning for the show’s eighth and final season, fans have wondered if Manu Bennett who played Slade Wilson/Deathstroke on and off for multiple seasons would be making an appearance.

In a recent Instagram post, the actor himself dashed those hopes.

In his revealing message, Bennett wrote that although many had asked him if he’s returning to Arrow, “there’s been no invitation & another guy has the mask in Teen Titans.”

Bennett is referring to Esai Morales who will play Deathstroke when the DC Universe series Titans returns for its second season later in the year.

Bennett goes on to say that instead of waiting around for an offer he isn’t sure will come,  he’s decided to take a role on another CW series, Pandora. It’s a role that reminds Bennett of the iconic Blade Runner character Roy Batty.

Pandora is a summer series that has already started airing so it’s unclear which episodes Bennett will appear in or how large his role will be.

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Lots of actors in my position are waiting in line, high rolling for the big bucks but I'm going to place a small bet on my next role. People keep asking if I'm coming back on Arrow & there's been no invitation & another guy has the mask in Teen Titans so instead of holding my breath, I'm accepting another crossover on CW, to an underdog series called Pandora. They've received some Rotten Tomato flack, which almost put me off, but honestly, I like these challenges, have worn critics bs before & if your gut tells you to act, then act. The role CW have offered me, reminds me a bit of Roy Batty, one of my favourite misinterpreted villains, played by the difinitive actor Rutger Hauer. No way I can repeat "Like tears in rain" but I can certainly put my own take, my job, into the performance of LEONE BOKK, described as "Bobba Fett" meets "Man With No Name" meets "Kraven the Hunter" meets "Cable". It's a dramatic premise I simply can't ignore & so jumping on a plane in an hour to fly to Bulgaria to join this production & cast. Obviously this show doesn't have anywhere near the budget of Bladerunner, but I've experienced the hard work of productions & emergence of underground shows that were forced to learn whilst cutting their teeth. My acting teacher, Sandra Lee Patterson, drilled into me one valuable lesson, there are no small roles, just small actors. #leonebokk @thecw @thecwpandora @cw_arrow

A post shared by Manu Bennett (@manubennett) on

Despite Arrowverse’s popularity, the characters its series can use are still carefully controlled by DC.

Given Deathstroke’s upcoming arc on Titans, the company may be unwilling to allow the character to appear on Arrow for its final season even though it’s granted permission in the past.

The news will be disappointing for fans as Bennett’s Deathstroke is considered one of the best villains to ever appear on Arrow. In fact, according to, at the recent Television Critics Association summer press tour, David Ramsey who plays John Diggle/Spartan on Arrow pointed to Bennett as his favorite guest star on the series.

Ramsey said,

 “I loved Manu as Deathstroke. I just loved what he brought to it. And also, he was such a huge part of Season 2, and I thought Season 2 was our strongest season.”

Bennett’s presence will be missed as Arrow wraps up its eight-season run.

Arrow’s final season will air on Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW. The season premieres on October 15.

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