How Justice League Dark Will Be Different From Other Comic Book Movies

Justice League Dark Deadman John Constantine Zatanna

In the golden age of comic book movies, we've seen many superhero teams arrive on the big screen -- from Bryan Singer's original X-Men to Joss Whedon's Avengers to David Ayer's Suicide Squad. Each brought its own unique flavor to the field, and director Doug Liman has promised to fall right in line with that legacy making the upcoming Justice League Dark -- specifically by making what he describes as a uniquely personal and small blockbuster. Speaking with the filmmaker this weekend, he told me,

I think people will be surprised how character driven and how intimate Justice League Dark is -- in kind of a field of bloated comic book movies. We've found a way to do something that's actually really personal and small, and that's my goal. [My new movie] The Wall is about character. The scenario allows me to dive into what I think is... I just love people! I love putting people in crazy situations. For John Constantine, we have an amazing set-up for him for Justice League Dark that's really human.

I had the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with Doug Liman yesterday during the Los Angeles press day for The Wall, and used my last question to ask him about his approach to his first comic book movie. Drawing a parallel between Justice League Dark and his new film -- which is entirely set in one location and features only three characters -- Liman explained that audiences may be taken aback by just how personal and tight the DC Comics film will be.

Justice League Dark is a movie that has been in development for a long time, but made a major change and took a big step forward last summer. While Guillermo del Toro had spent many years working on the project, he wound up stepping away, leading Doug Liman to take the reins in August 2016. While it's possible that things have changed, it was previously reported that the roster of "heroes" will include John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Zatanna and Etrigan the Demon. What remains unclear is the mysterious plot that the group will be facing -- but I have to say that when I heard Doug Liman's approach, I couldn't help but internally think about a haunted house set-up.

It sounds as though Justice League Dark will be a perfect balance in scale for Doug Liman, who has made a wide variety of movies in the course of his long career. While he started by making smaller features like Swingers and Go, he has since made a name for himself with blockbusters like The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Edge of Tomorrow. Liman's comments suggest his take will allow the best of both worlds, and hopefully we'll soon get to see his vision come to life.

Unfortunately, there is a distinct lack of specificity in that arena, as Warner Bros. has not yet revealed a release date for Justice League Dark. That being said, you can be sure that it's a project that we are following closely, so stay tuned for more updates, and look for The Wall in theaters this Friday, May 12th.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.