If you've been in the dark (pun intended) about whether or not DC Comics and Warner Brothers are moving ahead with the Justice League Dark film, then there's a little bit of light at the end of this tunnel. Last week, Forbes announced that the film, tentatively titled Dark Universe, which was outlined and maybe written by Guillermo Del Toro (almost two years ago, he said he has a secret writer working on it), is completed and in the hands of Warner Brothers. We may know i the next few days whether or not this is going to move forward, even though it was never included in Warner Bros slate of DC movie announcements.
There are a few rumors going around as well. There is supposedly a director attached, although there's no names out on the web yet and supposedly, the Dark Universe team will consist of John Constantine, Swamp Thing, The Demon, Deadman, The Spectre, and others. There's no real confirmation of this yet. However, what makes now the right time to bring the darker side of DC comics to the big screen?
For those who are unfamiliar with Justice League Dark they are the superhero team that covers the mystical side of the DCU, the stuff the Justice League doesn't know about or can't handle. It's led by John Constantine, DCU's resident sarcastic magician and features a slew of interesting characters that all have their finger on the pulse of the mysticism community.
Now that the door for super-hero films is wide open, film companies are finally realizing that it just doesn't have to be Superman or Spider-Man on the big screen. One of the biggest films of the summer was Guardians of the Galaxy, a C-list Marvel team of no-name characters, to the mainstream audience, but that didn't matter. People went to it in droves. Film-goers are more accepting of comic book films and more willing to go and check them out.
As far as a JLD film goes, there is a large segment of people that would love a super-powered film with a darker edge. Shows like The Walking Dead and The Strain are doing well and there's not much to be happy about with what happens to those characters within those worlds. There's also a little show on NBC called Constantine, which people seem to be enjoying, but not watching for a plethora of reasons which are all on NBC's head. Aside from the world of comic books, shows like Grimm and Sleepy Hollow are tonally similar to what a JLD film could be and once again, people enjoy the gritty, dark, and mythical, even on the small screen. Dare I bring up American Horror Story?
Obviously, a Justice League Dark film would not be as adult as AHS, but the man behind the outline of the script and the fact a broader audience knows who Constantine is over Ant-Man (No offense, Ant Man), should be enough of a reason to push forward with a film like this. A JLD film feels like something the world wants but doesn't know it yet.
An interesting thought would be, in the realm of casting, would be to keep Matt Ryan on as John Constantine for the film. Chances of this happening are slim to nil, but we haven't seen a Warner Bros show cross into the cinematic universe yet, but this could work, since Constantine is not part of the same universe as Arrow or Flash. It wouldn't be hard to plop him into his own film. However, this probably won't happen and we probably won't see Ryan as Constantine.
While the rumor stated above has John Constantine, Swamp Thing, The Demon, Deadman, The Spectre, plus some others as the team in the film, there's a lot of characters on the team that could make this a strong film. Obviously, John Constantine has to be in the film, but also adding Zatanna into the mix is a must. Their on-again, off-again relationship could make for an interesting tea dynamic, since we haven't seen teammates together in a relationship in the grand scheme of comic book films. With them would be Deadman because he brings the ghostly element to the group and a bit of trickery when in combat. Next up, you could go with Andrew Bennett, for a little strength or leave Swamp Thing in there as well. Heck, you could even keep on Frankenstein. For the last position on the team, I say go with one of the newer characters on the team: Nightmare Nurse. While this team doesn't have the vast reverses that the Justice League has, there's still a lot to choose from.
While a Justice League Dark film may sound a bit out there to comic book readers, the time is right for the film and it could really work well. With Guilllermo Del Toro pushing for this film and having the script completed, that's a good sign that things could really work out in favor of the fans and people who just want to see a great film. It's time for something from the darker side of comics to make it to the big screen and JLD is a great property to lead the way.
What do you guys think of the JLD film and which characters would you want to see on the team? Leave us a comment below and we'll check in on it when we find our way out of the House of Mystery.