Once upon a time, director Guillermo del Toro was deep into development on a big screen adaptation of Justice League Dark for Warner Bros. Even after del Toro left the film in order to work on Pacific Rim Uprising, work continued on bringing his vision to the screen. That vision would have featured DC Comics’ characters John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Etrigan the Demon and Zatanna, along with appearances from others such as Doctor Fate and Detective Chimp and was far enough along in development that a great deal of concept art was generated for the project.
Obviously, the film never came together with several directors opting for other projects instead. Earlier this year, JJ Abrams announced plans to develop Justice League Dark characters for a series of projects on HBO Max but those plans seem to have already materialized as well, causing fans of the characters to wonder if they’ll ever find their way together on screen.
However, the silver lining there is that without Justice League Dark ever having been made by anyone, the option for del Toro to pick the project back up remains. While nobody is suggesting that any of the others who passed would have done poorly, it’s hard to imagine many creatives better for the job than del Toro. In a recent interview with Comic Book, the question of whether or not the director had any interest in revisiting the project now that there was a new team of visionaries in place at DC. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound promising.
Oh, I don’t know. My love for Swamp Thing, The Demon, knows no bounds, but I don’t know. You don’t get a manicure from a big machine, that’s what I learn, you lose a few fingers. So I don’t know if I want a manicure from a big machine. As Danny Glover would say, “I’m too old for this shit”.Guillermo del Toro
That’s certainly not a no, but it also isn’t a yes. Perhaps a sit down with DC Studios co-heads James Gunn and Peter Safran might turn del Toro around on this, but given all the uncertainty surrounding the future of the newly minted studio, there’s no telling if Justice League Dark is in the plans now or ever will be.