Doug Liman says he’d be open to returning to DC, either for Justice League Dark or another intriguing project – under the right circumstances. The director of The Bourne Identity, Edge of Tomorrow and American Made has had several run-ins with the comic book-based superhero genre, having first been attached to Gambit, which he left in August 2016 to work on Dark Universe (the then-current title for Justice League Dark), only to later part ways with DC early last year.
A supernatural, horror-tinged team, the possibility of a Justice League Dark movie has been on the cards at Warner Bros. since before the DCEU began. Initially, Guillermo del Toro was attached to write and possibly direct, but left in mid-2015. Liman stepped up but left in May 2017 due to an incomplete script and to work on next movie Chaos Walking. While it’s now lost two key creatives, the film still remains on DC’s prospective slate, indicating that even in light of all the post-Justice League adjustments happening at Warner Bros., it’s still planned to happen.
In fact, with all those changes, it wouldn’t be surprising if some lost directors could return. When Screen Rant recently talked with Liman about his new Jumper-based YouTube Red series Impulse, we asked about his continued interest in the film and franchise, to which Liman sounded optimistic.
You mentioned you’ve been offered and attached to superhero films in the past, and last year obviously you left Justice League Dark. There have been some big changes at DC since then – there’s new leadership and Walter Hamada, who’s doing it now, has a big horror background. So I wondered if there’s any chance or any interest on your part of returning to that movie, or any other DC movie given how so much has changed over there?
I would be open to it. I have a very kind of contrarian approach to how I make things and I don’t want to do them the way other people have done them. You know, Impulse is an original take on superpower as you can imagine and still be satisfying. Because obviously there’s some things – you can be original and artsy and not… Part of the reason cliches exist is because they’re satisfying to the audience so my challenge as a filmmaker has always been to do something that’s really original and still totally satisfying on a big commercial level, which I feel we’ve done with Impulse and I’d be really interested in doing that within the DC world if the right piece of material comes along.
Since Liman’s departure from Dark, a lot has changed at DC Films. The box office failure of Justice League has led to a major change in direction, with Walter Hamada, who previously worked magic with The Conjuring and IT, taking over creative direction. This has provided the DCEU with some much-needed leadership, hopefully suggesting a change of fortunes and greater filmmaker freedom; studio meddling has been a long-cited problem for directors, with the likes of Suicide Squad and Justice League changed heavily in post-production and many films, such as Dark and The Flash, going through several creatives while still languishing in development hell.
Liman is ultimately non-committal about the possibility of a return but makes clear he’d be open to it should the right project come along. The barriers appear to be logistic; he’s definitely aware of the wide scope of superhero storytelling, with his new show Impulse serving as a more grounded take on superpowers (in this case teleportation), and, aftr all, left Dark due to development hang-ups.
If he were to return to DC Films or Justice League Dark specifically, however, it wouldn’t be for a couple of years, with it recently revealed Edge of Tomorrow 2 has a production start date and could be Liman’s next movie.
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