Justice League Dark: Ben Mendelsohn Rumored to Play the Villain

Justice League Dark loses Guillermo del Toro as director

Rumors about the creation of a Justice League Dark film have been swirling since 2012. With the overall success of comic book movies, Warner Brothers was hoping Guillermo del Toro would put a new spin on the genre by directing a superhero film containing some of DC Comics' favorite supernatural characters.

Three years later we have a completed script, Scott Rudin (The Grand Budapest Hotel) as producer, and a potential 2016 production schedule. Justice League Dark will reportedly be lead by the character John Constantine, a cynical British magician and detective who specializes in the occult - having had some close encounters with both Heaven and Hell. Though he mostly worked with human counterparts in his previous on-screen incarnations (most recently in the short-lived NBC series Constantine), the new film brings the anti-hero con man together with a team of supernatural beings (like Swamp Thing).

The film is still on the lookout for a new director after del Toro bowed out, and it now appears the final selection will also affect who steps into the main villain role in the film. Heroic Hollywood reports the latest rumor that Ben Mendelsohn is being courted to play Anton Arcane, an evil scientist and magician who first appeared in DC comics as an enemy of Swamp Thing. The actor is supposedly basing his commitment on who is eventually chosen to helm the movie.

The character Arcane is obsessed with immortality, causing him to experiment with both resurrection and possession of the dead. His biogenetic dabbling created a horde of deformed synthetic monsters called "Un-Men." Arcane has only appeared on the big screen in one previous franchise, played by Louis Jourdan in Wes Craven's Swamp Thing and follow-up The Return of Swamp Thing.

Mendelsohn most recently starred in Netflix original series Bloodline, as Danny Rayburn. Moviegoers may also known him from movies like The Dark Knight Rises and The Place Beyond the Pines; he also has a role in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. He could be joined in Justice League Dark by Colin Farrell, whom we reported is being considered for Constantine. Other rumored casting choices include Ron Pearlman as Swamp Thing, Ewan McGregor as Jason Blood/Etrigan The Demon, and Monica Belluci as Madame Xanadu.

Ben Mendelsohn in Killing Them Softly

The original script by del Toro involved The Justice League Dark battling with an unknown supernatural enemy:

"While the film’s plot has generally been kept under lock and key, we’re hearing that it involves a series of ancient tomes stolen by a madman hellbent on the destruction of humanity. When he learns of this, occult detective John Constantine seeks out a group of heroes that specialize in the mystic and arcane in order to save the world."

It's unclear yet if Arcane will be that madman or be associated with the team in another way. The assembled cast list looks impressive so far, but since it's all still rumors it's hard to guess yet at how well this will all come together.

Justice League Dark is rumored to begin production in 2016 with no release date currently set.

Source: Heroic Hollywood

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