Now that superhero team-up movies are a billion dollar business (see: The Avengers), you can expect to see a barrage of them at the box office over the next five years. Guardians of the Galaxy is scheduled for 2014, The Avengers 2 and Justice League are already set for 2015, and Fox is in the process of creating a “shared universe” with X-Men and the Fantastic Four reboot. Are there plans for a future team-up between the two teams? Probably.
And on top of all that, now there’s a rumor suggesting that Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim) might be directing a superhero team-up movie called Heaven Sent that would feature DC Comics’ most well known supernatural characters – Swamp Thing, Constantine, Deadman, The Spectre, Phantom Stranger, Zatanna, Etrigan the Demon, and more.
According to Latino Review, Pacific Rim is testing so well for Warner Bros. that the studio wants to get Guillermo del Toro attached to one of their other properties A.S.A.P. And apparently, del Toro wants to do his own version of The Avengers – though perhaps the Justice League, as the original superhero team-up comic book, would be a more apt comparison – and that means getting all the aforementioned supernatural “superheroes” together under the same cinematic umbrella.
The report goes on to say that Warner Bros.’ lawyers are hard at work making sure that they have all the rights to all the characters before they move forward with the film.
(As always, a healthy amount of skepticism when considering this report is probably a good idea, though it’s worth pointing out that Latino Review was right on more than one occasion with regard to the Marvel movies – including its revelation that Thanos was working with Loki in The Avengers.)
The concept for Heaven Sent sounds an awful lot like the Justice League Dark book that was launched with The New 52 last September – a supernatural superhero team-up starring Constantine, Zatanna, Shade the Changing Man, Deadman, Madame Xanadu, Enchantress, Black Orchid, and a few others. In fact, it sounds so much like that book that I’d be shocked if del Toro’s title – Heaven Sent – weren’t changed to something with more immediate brand recognition. (Is Heaven Sent a romantic comedy about an angel (Katherine Heigl) who goes to New York City and falls in love with a tough-talking cab driver (Danny Devito)? Because that’s what it sounds like.)
The DC reboot saw the return of characters like Constantine and Swamp Thing – in his own book, no less – to the the main DC Universe after years of being exclusive to the critically-acclaimed Vertigo line. Both properties have already been adapted as major motion pictures: Wes Craven made Swamp Thing in 1982 (it was followed by a sequel) and Constantine was adapted in 2005 with Keanu Reeves as the titular character (a strange choice for a grizzled British character with blond hair).
Guillermo del Toro, of course, is no stranger to directing superhero films, having made Blade 2 in 2002 before moving on to Hellboy and its sequel – all three of which were supernatural team-up films, to some degree. He’s also involved with the development of the Hulk TV show for Marvel and recently spoke about being interested in working with “monstrous” (or supernatural) superheroes:
“The thing is that I’m not a superhero guy. I like monsters, and when the monster is a superhero, it’s a byproduct. Like Hellboy, the Hulk, Man-Thing, Swamp Thing, Sandman, Constantine, Demon, Dr. Strange, Spectre, Deadman. Those are the superheroes I followed as a kid religiously. I loved when the superhero genre crosses with horror. Morbius. Those are the guys I gravitated towards. Blade. So for me, to be interested in doing a superhero movie, it would need to be on the dark side or a Jack Kirby property. Kamandi, Demon, Mr. Miracle – I love any Kirby.
“Over the years, when Avi Arad was in charge of Marvel, I often had the discussions with him. I came very close to doing ‘Thor’ because I really wanted to bring the Norse mythology… It’s something I’m very attracted to. Create the giants and create the more fantastical version of that. But it’s not like I have many meetings with studios discussing superhero movies. They come to me. Normally I pass, respectfully or not. They like it, that we have a very quick response. I was very attracted to doing ‘The Wolverine’ in Japan, because that’s my favorite chapter in the story of Wolverine. But I’m not a superhero guy. It’s very hard for me to… It’s one thing to like something and another to marry it for two, three years.”
Check that out – del Toro explicitly referenced being interested in Swamp Thing, Constantine, Demon, Spectre, and Deadman just three months ago. If that doesn’t lend credence to this Heaven Sent rumor, I don’t know what does.
Hopefully, if Heaven Sent does get made – and if it’s successful at the box office – we’ll see more unconventional and supernatural “superhero” films from both Marvel and DC. Obviously, a Doctor Strange film from Marvel could be excellent, but I’d be particularly interested in seeing Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory adapted to the big – or small – screen. Hell, his version of Frankenstein is good to go as is.
Are you interested in del Toro directing Heaven Sent (if that is indeed what it ends up being called), Screen Ranters? Let us know in the comments.
Guillermo del Toro’s next film, Pacific Rim, hits theaters July 12th, 2013.
Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.
Source: Latino Review