Guillermo del Toro spent several years shaping a film project called ‘Dark Universe’ based on DC Comics’ mystical characters, most of whom existed under its Vertigo imprint.  Del Toro’s project later became ‘Justice League Dark’ when DC rebooted its line of comics and lumped a number of their mystical characters into a rag tag team under that banner.  But after all that time, the busy del Toro realized he would not be available to film this movie under the time constraints demanded of parent company Warner Brothers, who were moving forward with a cinematic universe populated by the heroes and villains of DC Comics.  Sadly, the director left the project, which was believed to have been shelved, but like one of the movie’s reported stars, Deadman, the project has arisen under the guidance of producer Scott Rudin, who hopes to begin filming next year!

Photo credit: Everett Collection /

Del Toro remains attached as a producer, despite not directing the picture.  Rudin is currently seeking a director, but it appears he is using the same script that del Toro planned to, while making some adjustments– presumably nothing too drastic if he plans to start shooting soon.

The existing script “involves a series of ancient tomes stolen by a madman hellbent on the destruction of humanity. When he learns of this, occult detective John Constantine seeks out a group of heroes that specialize in the mystic and arcane in order to save the world. “

Del Toro had planned to utilize Swamp Thing, Deadman, Zatanna, and Etrigan The Demon.  One character from the ‘Justice League Dark’ comic book, The Enchantress, makes her film debut in next year’s ‘Suicide Squad’ played by Cara Delevigne.  Just as ‘Suicide Squad’ introduces a darker side of the DC Universe– the villains– from the big name heroes in ‘Batman V Superman’ and the subsequent ‘Justice League’ movies, ‘Justice League Dark’ introduces the element of mysticism.

The Enchantress’ role in ‘Suicide Squad’ is something of a mystery as she is the least visible in the released video clips.  It may be that her presence in that film could set the stage for ‘Justice League Dark’ as Warner Brothers plans for these characters to appear in other films.

‘Constantine’ headlined his own show on NBC last fall, but the show was not renewed for a second season.  Even so, the lead character, played by Matt Ryan, will guest appear on ‘Arrow’ this season.  Keanu Reeves played the supernatural detective in the 2005 movie of the same name.  ‘Swamp Thing’ appeared in two live action films, one in 1982 and the other in 1989, as well as a TV series which began in 1990 and ran for three seasons and a short-lived animated series in 1991.

Are you excited that ‘Justice League Dark’ is not only back on track, but on the fast track?  Does it matter that del Toro won’t be directing?

Source: Tracking Board