The live-action Justice League Dark movie that was in development during the 2010s will remain one of those great what-ifs in comic book cinema history.
Doug Liman, director of Jumper and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, was attached to the project until it was finally scrapped and we caught glimpses of how uncompromisingly dark and preternatural his vision for the film would’ve been via some striking concept art.
But before the film passed to his hands, venerated Hellboy and Pacific Rim director Guillermo Del Toro was in charge and he has opened up about what he had in mind for the JLD.
He told the Happy Sad Confused podcast about the characters he was most interested in using and what iterations.
One of those lost projects I’ll always wonder about. Here’s @RealGDT on JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK.
Full video at https://t.co/e84WokCDhq
— Josh Horowitz (@joshuahorowitz) December 23, 2021
As one would expect, Constantine and Swamp Thing were locks for the group in a story draft greatly inspired by Alan Moore. And close behind them was Deadman Boston Brand and an exploratory arc of how his body-hopping works.
“I took a little bit of the opening of the Alan Moore Constantine. And I took the dynamics between Abby [Arcane] and Swamp Thing, and I took the sort of revelatory moments when Deadman gets into a body, how he would experience the consciousness of that being,” he says.
Del Toro confirmed he had two more Justice League Dark favorites up his sleeve. “And one of my [all-time’s] favorites is the demon Etrigan,” he said. “I love that character. Zatanna is really, for me, another character that is really effortlessly powerful and interesting.”
He added, “Trying to mix that with Klarion the Witch Boy…I was a DC guy.”
Warner Bros. ultimately brought the ax down on the Justice League Dark movie for the time being and eventually, DC Universe’s original series Swamp Thing met the same fate, preventing a JLD from forming in a second season.
They since came to an agreement with J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot to make Justice League Dark content for HBO Max including Zatanna, Deadman, Constantine, and Madame Xanadu solo films that don’t have premiere dates yet.
Would you rather see GDT’s JLD instead of the Abrams version? Comment below.