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Despite Justice League Dark encountering problems over the past year, this week has seen a lot of news regarding its development. First there the potential casting tidbits regarding its main characters, including Colin Farrell being the frontrunner to play John Constantine. Then it was reported that Swamp Thing villain Anton Arcane will be the movie’s main antagonist, possibly to be played by Ben Mendelsohn. Now there’s word on the folks Warner Bros are looking at to replace Guillermo del Toro as director.
Right now the main candidates for the job are Big Bad Wolves duo Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado, followed by the Evil Dead remake director Fede Alvarez. None of them have been officially offered the job yet, but as JoBlo notes, their experience with the "dark and macabre genre" has caught the eyes of the Warner Bros brass. While Keshales and Papushado don’t have any upcoming projects announced, Alvarez just finished shooting 2016’s A Man in the Dark, and is set to helm the theatrical adaptation of the video game Dante’s Inferno, though that doesn’t have a release date yet.
Justice League Dark was del Toro’s personal project stretching back as early as 2012, and in addition to intending to direct, he also wrote the screenplay. However, after multiple delays, he was forced to leave drop out in June order to focus on other projects. Keshales, Navot and Alvarez are all relative newcomers to directing, but they do make interesting candidates. As you can tell by their credits, both sets of directors clearly know how to handle horror, and for a movie like Justice League Dark, that’s key.
This is a movie that’s going to be steeped in magic and the supernatural, and like the stories from the comics, that’s going to result in the heroes dealing with creatures and phenomena that would freak out any normal person. All this being said, fans shouldn’t expect Justice League Dark to be extremely frightening. Given the DC Extended Universe is aiming for a PG-13 rating on all its releases, it’s doubtful will see any shocking gore or numerous obscenities. If anything, it will be akin to what Marvel is doing with Doctor Strange.
Like the original New 52 comic book series, Justice League Dark will follow a team of mystical heroes who battle otherworldly forces that the regular Justice League can’t handle. The main protagonist will reportedly include John Constantine, Zatanna, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Etrigan the Demon and Madame Xanadu. Aside from Shazam (and possibly Wonder Woman), it will likely be the main way moviegoers see magic unleashed in the DCEU.
Justice League Dark is rumored to start production in 2016, and we’ll keep you apprised on any news regarding its release date or creative additions.