Just as Marvel and Edgar Wright had long been planning an Ant-Man movie before the MCU even began, DC and Guillermo del Toro have been attempting to create a live action version of Justice League Dark for some time. The talks actually predate the birth of the DCEU, but much like Hellboy 3, not a lot has happened in the years since. Surprisingly, recent months have turned both of those projects around. Not only did we learn yesterday that the third Hellboy film is inching forward, but Justice League Dark has been given new life. The live action film lost del Toro, but was rescued by Edge of Tomorrow‘s Doug Liman and WB, who are both keen on crafting the supernatural and unconventional side of the DC film universe.
At the same time, next week will see the release of an animated version of the team that tackles the more mystical and magical threats that the Justice League aren’t capable of handling. It’s all part of DC’s more concerted effort to let their anti-heroes and villains take more of the spotlight. We’ve already seen that with Suicide Squad and the recently announced Gotham City Sirens, and the animated corner of the DC universe looks to be making similar moves.
In November, we got the first trailer for the animated movie, which sees Batman joining forces with the likes of Swamp Thing, Zatanna, and John Constantine (whose own Arrowverse series was just given new animated life). Since then, we’ve had clips of Constantine playing poker with demons and Batman explaining why he doesn’t believe in magic. The clip above, posted by IGN, is our latest look at the film, and showcases Jason Blood and his alter-ego Etrigan the Demon (or Slayer, as he dubs himself in the video).
In the clip, we get to see Blood transform into the rhyming and fire-breathing monster known as Etrigan. Inspired by the look of the 1930s comic strip character Prince Valiant, prolific writer and artist Jack Kirby created Etrigan for 1972’s The Demon. Etrigan is actually the half-brother of Merlin, and is bound to Jason Blood in a rather jerky move of vengeance by the wizard who’s seeking information. Blood, a knight in King Arthur’s court, gains immortality, though it doesn’t always please him. He’s also able to call upon Etrigan, transforming into the demon and gaining a host of magical abilities.
Whether Etrigan will make it into the live action Justice League Dark is unknown, but his appearance in the animated film will certainly excite fans. The clip above also highlights the humor and horror present in the new movie. DC has long been making their animated films more adult-oriented, and the latest installment into the universe doesn’t seem to be changing that given the talking decapitated demon heads. Hopefully, we’ll see a lot more of that when the movie debuts.
Justice League Dark will release digitally on January 24th and on Blu-ray and DVD on February 7th.