Ever since the end of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, it’s been a bit of a wilderness out there for DC Comics fans. Even with the spate of new shows coming up – the Batman-free Gotham, Arrow spinoff Flash – the studio is still lagging behind the Marvel and their decade-long, multi-phase domination of all things film and television. Even so, DC aficionados, do not despair: Guillermo Del Toro is still on for Justice League Dark.
Speaking with Spanish website Cinefilos, the 49-year-old Hellboy director discussed the upcoming film project – based on the New 52 series – and its place in the broader DC universe: “We’re still at Warner Bros., they are making plans… All the superheroes, all the mythologies, and part of that is Justice League Dark. They’re planning on TV, movies, and all the media, so we have to fit into that plan.”
Featuring the likes of Liverpudlian sorcerer John Constantine, plant creature Swamp Thing, “stage” magician Zatanna, and Etrigan The Demon, Justice League Dark are a more eclectic bunch than their mainstream brethren, but their relative obscurity would make them an ideal stopgap till DC brings out the big guns with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice in March 2016 – or an interesting follow-up a la Guardians of the Galaxy.
Even if the property is yet to find its niche, it seems that the Marvel rival is finally preparing to compete on the small screen as well as the large. While DC writer Geoff Johns has expressed doubts that there could be any overlap between Justice League Dark and NBCU’s Constantine – due to premiere this October – the success of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. shows there’s a definite audience for this sort of cross-pollination.
In a recent interview with IGN, Del Toro simply said, “What I made clear to them is that the TV series will not affect the movie and they said that’s okay. They said you can have independence. Now, if we see the TV series and we can mesh with it or cast the same actor depending on where the movie is going, I would be happy to consider that.” In short, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.
In any case, just as Marvel are seeking to introduce magic to their universe through Doctor Strange – due out in 2016 – Justice League Dark would certainly give DC a jump in introducing the supernatural element. It’s unlikely we’ll see JLD before then given the film’s still at scripting stage and Del Toro is busy with Pacific Rim 2, but with Guardians currently tearing up the box office, maybe it’s time to see what DC’s reserve team can do.