Despite being announced over over two years ago, progress has been slow on Justice League Dark. Unlike the other officially announced DC films, Warner Bros. hasn’t given the project a release date, and there have been few updates on its progress. Now the film has suffered another major setback with the departure of director Guillermo del Toro.

Included in their report that Vertigo projects (like Sandman) will be released under New Line Cinemas, THR revealed that del Toro is no longer attached to the film. No reason was given for why he left, but the article does mention him being the director of Pacific Rim 2, so it’s possible his busy schedule may have had something to do with it. Unlike del Toro’s other recently vacated film, Silent Hills, Justice League Dark hasn’t been outright cancelled. Instead, Warner Bros. will likely look for another candidate to helm the mystical adventure. Still, this isn’t a good sign for the magical superhero team’s big screen debut. 

The last we heard about Justice League Dark’s development, del Toro, who had been attached to the film since January 2013, said that he had turned in a script revision to Warner Bros. However, he seemed less sure about staying onboard, citing time as an issue. This is the second DC film that’s lost its director this year, following Michelle MacLaren leaving Wonder Woman (though she was replaced by Patty Jenkins). It also follows nearly two months after Constantine, another DC project revolving around magic, was cancelled by NBC after only one season.

Little is known on what to expect from the Justice League Dark, which is based on the team introduced in 2011 as part of DC’s New 52 relaunch. Unlike the regular Justice League, this team deals with otherworldly threats that can’t be met by normal superheroes. Several characters we may see as part of the lineup include John Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman, and Etrigan the Demon. Other team members from the comics have included Swamp Thing, Frankenstein, Madama Xanadu, Black Orchid, and Doctor Mist. It was also hinted that Justice League Dark will take place within the DCCU, though this has yet to be confirmed.

Although del Toro won’t be dipping his toes into the magical side of the DC universe, he’ll be keeping himself busy in the near future. His upcoming projects include Pacific Rim 2 and more episodes of the FX series The Strain. You can catch two of del Toro’s films, Crimson Peak and Rings, in theaters later this year.

Now that del Toro is off Justice League Dark, who would you like to see hired as his replacement? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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