Swamp Thing

We’ve known for over a year now that Warner Brothers was launching a new DC Universe streaming service that would deliver both new and classic programming and that its first two projects would be a live action series ‘Titans’ based on the classic super team the Teen Titans and the animated ‘Young Justice’ Season Three which is… also based on the classic super team the Teen Titans.  Then just last month, WB announced two additional titles, a live-action ‘Swamp Thing’ series and an animated program starring ‘Harley Quinn’.  (They have since also ordered a live-action ‘Doom Patrol’ show that will spin off from ‘Titans’.)

While there has been quite a bit of coverage of the other projects, almost nothing has been revealed about ‘Swamp Thing’.  Now it appears that casting descriptions have surfaced for the two main characters, who are not surprisingly Alec Holland, the titular Swamp Thing, and his beloved Abigail Arcane.

Obviously, the main character is Alec Holland, the man who becomes the Swamp Thing.  Alec is described as a 30 something scientist who works for the mysterious Sunderland Corporation, which is supposedly building a hospital in the fictional town of Houma.  A strange flu strikes Houma and Holland discovers that there is a connection between it and the nearby swamp.  He befriends fellow scientist Abby Arcane and they investigate, but the flu is making the citizens of Houma more aggressive and as Holland and Arcane begin poking around, the townspeople turn against them.  The pair attempt to close off the swamp, but somehow the townspeople rely on it to make a living.

At this point, there is no explanation of how Holland mutates into the Swamp Thing.  It’s also possible that the actor chosen to play Alec Holland will not be the same person to embody the mossy plant elemental.  In the 1982 theatrical ‘Swamp Thing’ movie, Holland was played by Ray Wise, but after his metamorphosis, he was succeeded by Dick Durock who went on to star in the 1989 sequel ‘Return of the Swamp Thing’ and the subsequent TV series which lasted for three seasons from 1990-93.

The Swamp Thing’s lover, Abigail “Abby” Arcane is described as a “30-something intelligent woman, who is a bit of a lone wolf.”  She is an investigator for the Center For Disease Control who was born and raised in Houma and because of that, is dispatched to investigate the mysterious flu.  Her mother died when she was eight-years-old and she grew up in the foster care system.  She is secretive– there is a reason why she fled Houma when she finished high school.  She is also hiding an addiction to pills.  Once she is back in Houma, she is reunited with her high school sweetheart, Matt, now a cop, but when she meets Alec, they discover a chemistry between them.

Heather Locklear as Abigail Arcane in ‘Return of the Swamp Thing’

Once Holland makes his transformation, the duo have a romance that is being compared to ‘The Shape of Water’.  In the comics, Abigail has supernatural powers– empathy, telepathy, and telekinesis.  It’s unknown if she will exhibit these abilities on the show.

In the first ‘Swamp Thing’ movie, Abigail was replaced by a character named Alice Cable, played by Adrienne Barbeau, but she was essentially the same character.  Heather Locklear played Abby in ‘Return of the Swamp Thing’, while Kari Wuhrer portrayed a heavily modified version on the TV series, but only appeared in half of the first season.

In addition to the live action series, that aired on the USA Network, Fox crafted an animated series, which had an accompanying toy line by Kenner.  Neither the cartoon nor the toys lasted very long.  Abigail did appear on the cartoon, but her relationship with Swamp Thing was strictly platonic and she was not included in the toy line.

Anton Arcane from DC’s New 52 reboot

In the comic books and in the previous adaptations, Abigail is the daughter of the Swamp Thing’s mad scientist archenemy Doctor Anton Arcane.  These casting descriptions don’t mention him, but it’s rather unthinkable that he would be omitted from the series.  Louis Jourdan played Dr. Arcane in both movies, while Mark Lindsay Chapman assumed the role on TV.  Arcane was also the villain on the cartoon series and received an action figure in the toy line.  In most interpretations, Arcane himself becomes mutated into a grotesque creature thanks to his own scientific experimentation.

The Swamp Thing was introduced in 1971 in ‘House of Secrets’ #92.  He was created by writer Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson.  Abigail was  introduced in ‘Swamp Thing’ #3 in 1973, also by Wein and Wrightson.  While they spent most of their published history as denizens of the DC Universe, for a period, Swamp Thing’s exploits were published by DC’s sub-imprint Vertigo and no longer considered part of DC’s mainstream continuity.

Mark Verheiden and Gary Dauberman created this series, wrote the pilot and will share the role of showrunner.  ‘Aquaman”s James Wan is serving as executive producer.

Check back for any new casting descriptions and actual castings as things develop.

Source: That Hashtag Show