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Given the amount of "noise" being generated out of Marvel Studios lately, their rivals at DC Comics – at least on the film side of the industry – have been quiet. Oh, sure, they have Zack Snyder’s Batman-Superman team up on track for 2015, and that’s been producing sporadic bubbles of gossip and hearsay involving cameos and/or costume designs. But from an outsider’s perspective, it doesn’t look like DC is doing much to keep up with the Phases and Netflix deals being signed at Marvel.
Leave it to an "insider," then, to confirm that Warner Bros. and DC are deep into their own discussions and developments to keep pace with Marvel – with one of those projects being Guillermo Del Toro’s long-in-development Justice League Dark. In an interview with Cinefilos.ir (and picked up by ComingSoon), Del Toro went on the record to say that he’s still in active development on the project, and that it’s one small piece of a very large "DC universe." Oh, why don’t I let him explain it:
"We're still on [Justice League Dark], writing, and hopefully it will happen but there are no developments that are new. We're still at Warner Bros., they are making plans for the entire DC universe. 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."
Wow. It’s a snippet of a conversation, but if Del Toro knows what he’s talking about (and there’s no reason to believe that he doesn’t), the Warner Bros. and DC really are making moves behind the scenes to mirror the expanding strategies of Marvel Studios. Del Toro mentions movies and TV. Does that mean lesser-known members of the JLA could develop their own TV programs, like Arrow or Smallville? And where will Justice League Dark fit in?
For those who might not know, Dark started in 2011, and was an alternate team to the classic JLA that consisted of supernatural heroes like John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Shade, the Changing Man and Zatanna. They dealt with supernatural, bizarre cases that were outside the realm of the normal JLA. And given Del Toro’s cinematic track record with creature features like Pan’s Labyrinth or the Hellboy movies, you can understand why he’s an ideal fit to bring a movie adaptation of the book to the big screen.
Now, I don’t believe it makes sense to introduce the JLD before a Justice League of America has been established. And maybe that’s what Snyder is hoping to do with his Batman-Superman movie … especially if those Wonder Woman rumors are true. But once the JLA is set, expect Warner/DC to put the foot on the gas, meaning Del Toro and his team will need to be ready to plunge into production.