Looks like there’s still some magic at Warner Bros. as the studio hasn’t given up yet on bringing the more supernatural side of DC Comics to life on the big screen. Specifically Justice League Dark, a project that would have united the magical heavyweights in their cinematic universe as they tackled a threat too dark for the regular Justice League to handle.
Originally Guillermo Del Toro was slotted into that project to both write and direct it. Plans for that fell through though, with Justice League Dark apparently properly scuppered. But that’s nothing that a little bit of necromancy can’t solve, as Warner Bros. has revived the project with Del Toro’s original title Dark Universe in order to avoid any confusion with the upcoming Justice League, and tapping Doug Liman to direct according to Variety.
According to that original scoop, Michael Gilio will write the script although how much of Del Toro’s work will be salvaged, is unclear. WB has also drafted Oscar-winning producer Scott Rudin to help on the production side, with THR reporting that Del Toro will also be on board in the same capacity. But it’s Liman as the director of this flick that’s a real win here.
If you don’t recognise the name, he’s the man responsible for directing The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow. Films which showcased fantastic visuals with a very gritty sense of realism. Other films like Mr and Mrs Smith also prove that Liman can handle some fun action on the side as well, something that WB has realised lately as they seek to not make their movies two hour adverts for Prozac.
Variety notes that the lineup for Dark Universe includes John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Zatanna, and Etrigan the Demon as the primary cast. The chain-smoking mage John Constantine was of course brought to life before on-screen: Firstly by Keanu Reeves in the 2005 movie Constantine, and then more recently – and whole lot more faithfully – by Matt Ryan in both the short-lived Constantine TV series and CW’s Arrow.
It’s great news for Warner Bros. and Dark Universe then, but terrible news for that other comic book movie that Liman was supposed to direct starring Channing Tatum: Gambit. Filming on that Marvel movie for Fox was supposed to finally get underway at the end of this year, but another delay is most likely on the horizon for it as Liman has now dropped out of that production in a “mutual parting of ways”. Gambit has already suffered numerous delays as Liman was actually the replacement director for Rupert Wyatt, who also dropped out of the X-Men spinoff.
THR is reporting that Fox are still intent on starting production in January though, working off Josh Zetumer’s already completed script. This means that you can probably expect an announcement about a new director pretty soon.
As for Dark Universe, it’s uncertain how his new development will impact the recent news that WB were also developing a Justice League Dark animated feature. Whether that movie is still in the pipeline or not, Dark Universe will be added to an already packed slate of films in the DC Cinematic Universe, joining Zack Snyder’s Justice League, James Wan’s Aquaman, Wonder Woman from Patty Jenkins and Rick Famuiwa’s The Flash. Not to mention the slated Cyborg solo movie, Ben Affleck’s unscheduled Batman solo film, the Green Lantern Corps movie, and the recently reported Man of Steel sequel.
Last Updated: August 25, 2016
August 25, 2016 at 11:40
I hope Doug Liman’s gambit pays off…
August 25, 2016 at 11:48
I’ve lost count on how many projects Del Toro starts and then drops. Jeez, what’s with that guy?!? When he actually releases something, it’s so awesome.