Del Toro Talks ‘Justice League Dark’; Feels DC Films & TV Can Coexist

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Justice League Dark Constantine TV Show Del Toro Talks Justice League Dark; Feels DC Films & TV Can Coexist

The mythology and characters who make up the group known as Justice League Dark tend to get overlooked by the mainstream crowd, left to fester in a dark, we corner of DC Comics. But make no mistake: the roster of characters have their fans – and Guillermo Del Toro is one of them.

Even if DC and Warner Bros. have made it clear that they’re not rushing any risky films into production, the director is still trying to make his project a reality. As far as he’s concerned, the studio’s plans for bringing comic book heroes to television don’t necessarily have to interfere with his own.

It seems to have happened so slowly, many DC Comics fans may not have noticed just how heavily Warner Bros. has emphasized TV over film for upcoming adaptations; Arrow is still going strong on The CW, with The Flash set to join him, while Batman’s pal Commissioner Jim Gordon will also be hitting the small screen in Gotham Central. The shows have yet to interfere with plans for their big screen counterparts, but many have felt it’s just a matter of time.

John Constantine Hellblazer TV Series Del Toro Talks Justice League Dark; Feels DC Films & TV Can Coexist

But the final straw came when NBC announced a Constantine TV series from David S. Goyer – named for John Constantine, the star of the “Hellblazer” comics and a central member of “Justice League Dark.” Many viewed the announcement as a sign that WB had cooled on Del Toro’s promising (but lagging) script in favor of a small screen adaptation.

Speaking with IGN Del Toro claims that’s not the case, and that as far as he’s concerned, there’s no reason why his adaptation of DC’s supernatural characters has to be the only one available to fans:

“We talked about it at DC and Warners, and I feel confident that the two properties can exist at the same time… I think that DC is trying to create a great universe of characters, and expand it and make it clear to the audience that it’s a landscape of characters, and not just one that’s dependent on one or two characters.”

Once the immediate sense of relief has passed (try not to think about the fact that a Constantine TV series on NBC will probably lean closer to the Keanu Reeves’ film than the comic) there are a few positives to take away from Del Toro’s comments, both for this project in particular and WB and DC’s future as a whole.

For starters, it’s nice to know that Del Toro was consulted by DC and WB about the idea of adapting such a core figure to a TV series; besides cementing the fact that the film really is in development (in some way), the consultation also hints that the studio is as interested in Del Toro making Justice League Dark as he is in making it a reality. Since the director of Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Pacific Rim insists he’s “not a superhero guy,” studio executives seem to know exactly what kind of director they need to do the occult and supernatural story justice (no pun intended).

Justice Leauge Dark Featuring Constantine and Deadman Del Toro Talks Justice League Dark; Feels DC Films & TV Can Coexist

Beyond that, Del Toro’s insistence that WB and DC are spreading their characters across a “landscape” of platforms, not relying solely on Batman and Superman is worth a bit of emphasis. Fans may be clamoring for a Justice League film, and using the absence of one to accuse the companies of not respecting either their characters or fans (or “giving up” in the face of Marvel’s movie universe). But that implies that movies are a greater source of quality and talent than television – and that’s simply no longer the case.

Say what you will about Warner Bros.’ lack of superhero features (although that seems like an understandable stance after their misstep with Green Lantern), but at present, the company is in the process of giving their fans Arrow, The Flash, Gotham Central, Constantine, and has still refused to give up on a Wonder Woman origin series.

Fans can get upset if they feel that iconic characters landing a TV series makes a feature film less likely, of course. But if Del Toro – who’s actually developing a film featuring a character set to appear on TV – doesn’t think that’s the case, we’re inclined to take his word for it. And eagerly await his take.

What’s your take on the idea? Do you share Del Toro’s optimism that fans will be more than happy to accept two versions of their favorite heroes? Or think that too many different versions will make actual movies harder to sell? Sound off in the comments.


Justice League Dark (formerly titled Heaven Sent) is still in early development.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: IGN

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
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  1. I’m glad to hear they’re still on top of Justice League Dark, it seems like a really interesting mythology to explore on the big screen. I’m also hoping it’s included in the Man of Steel universe. Since Goyer has worked on Man of Steel and now working on Constantine, he may have a better understanding of both sides and can may be see a unique and intriguing way to connect Del Toro’s JLD film and Snyder’s MOS universe.

  2. Del Toro should be kept extremely far away from anymore superhero franchise

    • You might be in the minority on that.

  3. I’m perfectly willing to accept two different versions. In a way, we already do that if you watch the animated shows as well. I think it’s rather fun to figure out which aspects of the characters attract you to them. Marvel has proven that syncing different versions to be more similar isn’t always the best option. Take Hawkeye for example. I think Jeremy Renner’s version is great, but I loved the snarky, hot-headed, purple-garbed Hawkeye in Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as well. In comes Avengers Assemble with the characters more closely reflecting the movie versions and suddenly Hawkeye is no longer as interesting. That’s part of the fun of comics. Different writers, different artists bring in fresh and new ideas of what makes Batman, Batman and what makes Thor, Thor.

    • True, but Avengers Assemble pretty much crapped the bed royally after EMH. I can watch almost anything Marvel or DC, but I turned it off half way through the first episode. Then, I tried the next episode and watched maybe 2 minutes.

      • Yes, Avengers Assemble as a whole is such a step down from EMH.

        • I believe that is something we can all agree on. I’m going to just say that probably less than 1% prefers Avengers Assemble, and that is probably for the animation, not the substance. Whoever made this decision should be fired and shunned from ever working again in the comic or entertainment industry.

  4. I think that all of DC/WB projects going forward should be in the same continuity.

  5. They can’t even get Justice League made, how are they ever going to do Dark? I think Del Toro can do it and I would love to see his take on guys like Deadman, Swamp Thing, Zatanna and everybody but this thing will probably never come through. At least not anytime soon, I just can’t see it happening. If Justice League Dark gets made before Justice League, then somethings wrong with the world.

    • I think Dark is a MUCH easier film to get in to production that Justice League, if only for the scale and lack of baggage.

  6. Just make hellboy 3…..

    • Or Pacific Rim 2. But Hellboy 3 first, long overdue.

      • No more Pacific Rim, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a clichéd filled film. It was terrible, nothing hung straight on it. The scientists bits didn’t seem to be the same movie as the action bits. The acting all round was hammy.

        Even the plot made no sense.

        If the sword can kill them so easy, why aren’t you using it more?

        It was a load of old tripe. We sat and laughed at it through most of it.

        Would love a HB3 tho!

        • I dunno, Pacific Rim is the best movie I’ve seen in 2013 (so far). I’d say it’s the best I’ve seen in several years but then Dredd came out last year and I thought that was brilliant too.

  7. I dont know the comic and its probably a really cool world and characters… but is Warner really planning to have two movies with Justice League in the tittle around the same time?

    taking into account JL sequels and all… ¿?

    seems unlikely, Id say

  8. So WB/DC think it’s better to have Flash, Wonder Woman on tv & say they still excist in the same universe? I think that would be lazy & risk taking if those two among other popular heros didn’t shine on the big screen.

    Both Batman & Superman franchises had duds that were released in theaters.

    • Not sure what you’re saying: DC and WB are saying that the TV versions can be separate, since it’s a big landscape of adaptations. The more, the merrier, it seems to them.

  9. I’m a huge DC fan but my spirit is beginning to feel a bit crushed after years of faith going unrewarded in regard to their shared universe. Do we have ANY information as to what’s what yet? I just need to know if TV arrow and the Flash are in the MOS universe at minimum. Has there been a confirmation of a plan anywhere? Warners are being such timid cowards about this whole thing, I can’t believe how poor their decision making has been (and I say that as a big supporter of Batfleck). Why is this so difficult to nail!

    • They haven’t said but I’m sure Arrow and Man of Steel are completely separate. I know where you’re coming from bro, we live in a world where Marvel will be bringing out Ant-Man before DC makes Wonder Woman. Who knows, WB hasn’t said much, but most likely everything they will do in the future will be completely Batman/Superman related. I’m predicting after Batman vs Superman, we’ll get a Man of Steel 3 and a new Batman trilogy starring Ben Affleck. And maybe in one of those movies, if we’re lucky, we might get a reference to one new character.

      • Well it’s a good thing I love marvel equally. If I was a Marvel bashing DC loyalist I’d have every reason to feel jealous right now. How is having separate versions of characters a good idea? How is Joe Public supposed to identify or engage with any of this material if it’s completely confusing and impenetrable right from the offset? 2 versions of Constantine? Please, the comics themselves can barely sustain one version let alone two.

      • I’ll wager there’ll be Silver Sable, Dawkhawk, terror Inc, nightmask, starbrand, power pack, sleepwalker, squirrel girl and NFL super pro movies before we see a Wonder Woman movie. Makes me mad I tells ya!!

    • Is there a particular reason that knowing if they share the same world is so important? Not attacking or anything, but aside from the Avengers team-up, iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2 all seem to be existing completely separate from one another.

      The only consistently shared property seems to be Agents of SHIELD, and its attempts to reference more than one property always seem clunky to me.

      Would it actually bug you if DC and WB just made standalone films for all of their heroes without saying one way or the other that they’re sharing the same world, just focusing on one at a time?

      • @andrew dyce. I’m happy enough for them to be standalone. I’m just the type of fanboy who doesn’t want any contradictions. Multiple versions of characters would make me crazy as I need everything to make sense to me. First world problems here for sure! None the less, I just want some concrete DC creative direction.. I’m definitely one of those deluded fools who yearn for the continuation of the Nolan stuff (and even the Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern) regardless of tone, into the DCCU. I’m def in support of Affleck though. I just wish DC were a little more courageous I guess.

  10. Are we supposed to be listening to Del Toro after that ‘flop’ at least here in the US called Pacific Rim?

    • “flop”? So money made outside the us is no good?

      Pacific Rim grossed 407 million world wide which is very impressive for a original film… Not to mention the dvd/bluray sales will most likely be phenomenal… Besides, Box office results do not determine quality…

      • Show him sales, box office figures etc all you want but according to Hollywood, if you didn’t make much in the US, you’re considered a flop. Which is a damn shame when good movies like PR should’ve been much bigger hits in the US than they actually were.

        At least the rest of the world has a good taste in movies.

        • Pacific Rim was garbage.

      • Im’ with the King. That film will definitely get a sequel based on global gross, and the sheer number of studios focusing on China proves that global box office is quickly becoming just as important for the future of the industry.

  11. Am i the only one that realizes that every movie by del toro besides pans labrynth was extremely terrible.

    • I’d say his english language movies are vastly inferior to the one’s filmed in his native tongue. If you haven’t seen ‘The Devil’s Backbone’ or ‘Chronos’ it’s important that you do before you judge him too harshly. I believe, like Tim Burton, Del Toro powerful aesthetic often compensates for his shortcomings as a storyteller. Even his worst movies have very powerful imagery.

      • Weirdly, I saw The Devil’s Backbone earlier this year for the first time and felt it was pretty slow and dull compared to most of his other work (other than Blade 2, I thought that was crap too).

        • I love how divisive this year has been thus far. I thought Pacific Rim was by far his weakest movie to date. I’m looking forward to seeing it again on bluray (maybe it’s a grower).

          1. Pans labyrinth.
          2. The devil’s backbone
          3. Chronos
          4. Hellboy
          5. Blade 2
          6. hellboy: the golden army
          7. Mimic
          8. Pacific rim

  12. there’s no depth with his flicks, it’s all superficial

    • That’s what the viewing public seems to enjoy nowadays, so depth should not be an issue.

  13. having del toro do a movie is like having ben affleck do batman, oh wait.

    • So what you’re saying is that it’s a great idea then?

      • +1

  14. I feel like De Toro doesn’t attract enough people to his movies to be enthused with franchise. For instance I hated Hell Boy and it didn’t make much money. But some people (movie buffs mostly) really loved that and everything else he craps out.

    I’m not saying he’s terrible, but I am saying most people don’t like him. And it’s surprising that someone with so little appeal still has work.

  15. Well since Del Toro’s remake of The Incredible Hulk tv show starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferigno was put on hold, maybe they could get him to direct The Incredible Hulk 2?

  16. listen to lex22, del toro is a better director than me but compared to to real directors he sucks

  17. think of a djl movie with the same filmography as hellboy

  18. just so every ones clear, i’m still pissed about affleck As batman
    not even punctuation can help

    • So don’t watch then while the rest of us mature adults will enjoy the movie and feel smug when the rest of the world jumps on the bandwagon after we all felt happy about the casting choice right when it was made.

      • Most people were on the bandwagon against Affleck being cast as Batman.

        • No, they were not…they simply had not considered him.

          • Yes they were. Against, not considering the actor does not matter. A lot of people didn’t want Affleck in the role, still don’t.

            • No…MOST people were not against Affleck. A LOT is not the same as MOST. There are still a lot who do not agree with his casting, BUT there are also a lot who are quite happy having him in the role (including me).

              In any event, he IS the next Batman. It’s just that simple.

              • True, I think MOST people (on the Earth) didn’t really care one way or the other. And MOST people thought that Thor and Iron Man were second-rate heroes, so…

  19. Know what I’d like to see?

    A TV show about John that show his origins and early adventures and then a del Toro movie about the JLD as a group.

    I’d be ok with the New 52 Constantine, even though I grew up with Hellblazer showing him as the only comic book character that aged along with the books (he was in his 60s by the time they cancelled his title wasn’t he?)

  20. This TV series will be a sad effort , Hellblazer is one of the best DC comics out there, John Constantine was modelled on Sting, the keanu Reeves American version was dire, I for one will not watch this rubbish.

    If AMC did an adult UK version then maybe…..otherwise the dark humour and graphic nature will be lost. Might as well make it an animated cartoon….

    • Cartoons ARE animated.

  21. I would interested in watching a Justice league Dark movie But it should not come out before a Justice League movie that would be Blasphemy. I was hoping DC would announce something soon. if they had any sense they would announce something next month to take the wind out of Thor 2 premiere.

    At least let us know officially who the villains for the MOS 2 sequel will be

  22. Hansel and Gretel was better than Whack Rim.

    • Not even close.

  23. Well,if they don’t use the same actors from Arrow tv show,then DCE/WB will have eggs on their faces.