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When DC announced their feature film plans through 2020, two previously confirmed titles were not on that list: Neil Gaiman's Sandman and Justice League Dark. As of last week, we'd heard word that Justice League Dark had a screenplay handed into the suits at Warner Bros, and it looks like our first details about how the film will fit into the universe at large are coming in now. How well is Guillermo del Toro's entry into the DC Comics film canon going to gel with everyone else? Apparently, very well.
Screen Rant has Guillermo del Toro on record in the statement below as saying that while he isn't as involved with Universal's Frankenstein as some would hope for, his Justice League Dark is going to put him into the business of shared universe filming.
"Right now the only sort of shared universe project I’m working on is Dark Universe for Warners, you know, for DC, which is Swamp Thing, Demon, Deadman, Zatanna. It’s a very different universe."
That same Screen Rant piece has also confirmed that the upcoming Sandman adaptation will not be a part of the shared DC Universe, which to be honest makes perfect sense. The Vertigo property doesn't really connect that closely to any of the DC heroes used in the Justice League universe, as opposed to the Justice League Dark heroes who span both Vertigo and DC's comic universes and directly cross paths with the Justice League proper.
The resurgence of Justice League Dark's presence in the DC Continuum is a good sign that Warner Bros wants to start off with as diverse of a slate as Marvel has developed with their Phase 2 and 3 playbook. Beginning with a full gallery of diverse heroes to choose from gives Warner Bros the advantage that they won't have to worry too much about burning through their Superman or Batman reboots too quickly. Even better still, the fact that Constantine is already making itself known through its NBC incarnation means that there is already an easy entry point for the less-experienced DC fan to join in on the darker fun.
Hopefully some further details about the Justice League Dark script will start to leak out in the months ahead. With no production date set, and a cast far from being selected, a couple of details here and there would help keep public interest piqued for what could be the Guardians Of The Galaxy for DC's Cinematic Continuum. As for Guillermo del Toro, you can see his work in theaters next October with Crimson Peak, which will be followed by Pacific Rim 2 in April 2017. With those projects in mind, it sounds like Justice League Dark will hit at some point in 2020 or beyond. Perhaps now's a good time to sign your local "Keep Constaintine on NBC" petition.