Warner Bros. and DC Films are quickly expanding the DCEU. After releasing both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad this year, they have already finished filming their next two upcoming films – Wonder Woman and Justice League. Throughout this process, multiple other projects have reportedly begun development as well – including the Justice League Dark-based movie Dark Universe, a film DC fans have continued to hear about over the years.
Originally, Guillermo Del Toro was attached to direct, but that job has now turned to Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow). Although the movie does not yet have a release date or any cast members, Liman was asked about his excitement level for this project and what type of movie fans can expect.
IGN recently had the chance to speak to Liman about his new VR series Invisible, but also asked him about Dark Universe. Superhero movies are constantly trying to figure out a way to differentiate themselves from movies that have come before, and this is once again the goal for Liman, as he wants to turn the genre on its head.
“Yeah, I mean first of all, I love those characters, and I love Warner Bros., and I love [producer] Scott Rudin, and it’s — and you know, I get asked to come in and do things that are ‘unconventional.’ If people want conventional, they don’t come to me. It’s why doing Invisible was like right up my alley — because how can you be conventional when there aren’t even conventions that exist? And so you know when Warner Bros. wants to sort of turn the comic book genre on its head, they call me.”
Liman goes on to state that he was very interested in doing a comic book film, which shows as he was attached to Gambit previously. However, Dark Universe has the opportunity to be more in line with Liman’s style. It is is unclear how much of Del Toro’s previous concept and script will stay with Liman’s version of the film, but it appears that both he and the studios want to make it unlike any other comic book movie seen before.
This should not be a problem with the reported story revolving around John Constantine, Etrigan the Demon, Swamp Thing, Deadman, and Zatanna. These characters aren’t so well-known to non-DC comic readers, but that does not mean the movie could not be a hit. Marvel did a very similar thing in Guardians of the Galaxy as they made a movie revolving around a talking tree and a gun wielding raccoon, and now those are two of their most popular characters. This is not to say that Dark Universe will be exactly like Guardians of the Galaxy, but it shows that a great director, cast, and concept can flourish in this genre even without the characters being household names at the time.
Since Liman was only announced to direct Dark Universe two months ago, they are keeping the progress of the film under wraps. Should the script come together quickly, casting could begin shortly after, but DC already has a packed slate through 2020 so they would have to prioritize this movie over other new properties or sequels. While fans wait to see when Dark Universe will come out, they now at least have some idea of what the movie could be.