Doug Liman exits his second comic book movie in as many attempts, leaving Justice League Dark without a director. The announcement of Liman coming aboard this DCEU project came immediately as it was revealed he stepped away from Fox’s Gambit starring Channing Tatum. Since that point, Justice League Dark has been a project that appeared to be on the back burner for Warner Bros. with more high-profile characters lining up their big screen franchises.
With that happening behind the scenes, Liman has continued to fill his plate with various projects including Chaos Walking starring Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland. The film recently announced it will begin shooting this year and keep Liman busy for the foreseeable future, which has now led to Liman leaving Justice League Dark.
Variety broke the news of Liman’s departure citing the scheduling conflicts between Liman’s involvement with Chaos Walking and WB’s interest in getting JLD off the ground sooner rather than later as the reason. Rather than wait for Liman’s schedule to clear, WB has reportedly already begun meeting with possible replacements for a film that “will play a major role in the new D.C. Cinematic Universe” according to Variety.
This is not terribly surprising news, but certainly not the kind that fans want to hear. The timing is also curious as Liman has recently been discussing his interest in the superhero team and his personal connection to the characters and their stories. However, it appears WB is interested in making the film soon and did not want to wait for Liman to finish his other obligations before Justice League Dark begins moving forward.
Justice League Dark has the potential to be an incredibly unique comic book movie, but the longer it goes before entering production, the better the chance is that something else can pull off what WB hopes will come with this property. As it is set to star characters like John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Zatanna, Etrigan the Demon, and Deadman, it could have a similar effect on the character’s popularity that Suicide Squad or Guardians of the Galaxy had on theirs.
While this is under different circumstances than the previously departed directors in the DCEU, it once again marks another director to leave the young universe. He joins the likes of Seth Grahame-Smith, Rick Famiyuwa, Ben Affleck, and Michelle MacLaren. It also comes right on the heels of Zack Snyder’s tragic leave of absence from Justice League. However, this appears to be an exit that was amicable between Liman and WB that will hopefully result in Justice League Dark coming to theaters sooner.