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Although Justice League Dark doesn’t have a release or new director attached, Warner Bros. is still doing its best to get the movie back on track. Yesterday we learned some casting tidbits about who is being looked to play the lead characters, including Colin Farrell being the frontrunner for John Constantine. Now there’s word on who the movie’s lead villain may be: Swamp Thing antagonist Anton Arcane.
Debuting in 1972, Arcane is without a doubt Swamp Thing’s greatest nemesis, but he’s powerful enough that he could easily be a threat to the entire Justice League Dark on the big screen. According to Heroic Hollywood, Bloodline actor Ben Mendelsohn (seen below) is being eyed for Arcane, but there’s a catch: he’ll only consider taking the role depending on who ends up directing. Guillermo del Toro was originally supposed to helm the movie, but after increasing delays, he dropped out to work on other projects. If Mendelsohn approves of del Toro’s replacement and decides to join Justice League Dark, this will be his second comic movie, having previously played corrupt businessman John Dagget in The Dark Knight Rises.
In the comics, Arcane was a scientist obsessed with finding the secret to immortality. After conducting experiments on corpses, he achieved his goal, but his body was so old by then that he sought a new body to carry him through the ages. When transferring his spirit to his creations, the monstrous Un-Men, failed, he eyed Swamp Thing as a suitable host, which kicked off their feud over the decades. Despite dying many times, Arcane would always return to the land of the living, usually with new magical abilities.
After the New 52 kicked off, Arcane was resurrected as the new avatar of The Black, a.k.a. The Rot, the elemental force connected to death and decay. Using these powers, he tried to destroy The Green (connected to plant life) and The Red (connected to animal life), leading to the Rotworld crossover arc between the Swamp Thing and Animal Man comic series. Arcane is also the uncle of Abigail Arcane, Swamp Thing’s main love interest. In other media, Arcane was previously played by Louis Jourdan in 1982’s Swamp Thing and 1989’s The Return of Swamp Thing.
Like the original New 52 comic, Justice League Dark will follow a team of mystical heroes as they battle otherworldly forces too abstract or unusual for the regular Justice League to handle. The main characters will reportedly include Swamp Thing, John Constantine, Deadman, Zatanna, Etrigan the Demon and Madame Xanadu. Production is rumored to start sometime in 2016 will be in continuity with the rest of the DC Extended Universe.