Long before Warner Bros. unveiled their plans for a comprehensive shared DC Comics movie universe with characters like Batman and Superman, fan-favorite auteur Guillermo del Toro was in the process of putting a Justice League Dark adaptation together. Though that film was NOT included on WB's slate of upcoming comic book movies, it's still expected to be a part of the overarching franchise - and del Toro recently turned his finished script to the studio for review.
However, as films like Batman V Superman and Justice League are understandably top priorities, concrete progress on Justice League Dark (casting, filming dates, etc.) has been slow to come around. In the meantime, del Toro has been adding more and more projects to his busy schedule (like Pacific Rim 2), leading him to doubt that he'll be able to call the shots on Justice League Dark when that film is ready to be made.
While speaking with IGN, del Toro states that his continued involvement "all depends on the calendar" of the various parties. The film's inclusion in a larger shared cinematic universe could be the biggest road block, as del Toro believes that development makes it very difficult for him to commit to anything right now:
"You cannot say, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it after I do this,’ or ‘I have the first season of 'The Strain.' ['Justice League Dark'] needs to fall into the plan of the DC Universe."
Currently, it's unknown where in WB's plan Justice League Dark would fall. In addition to the 10 films that were officially dated last year, the studio is also in the early stages of developing new solo Superman and Batman films that will be released prior to 2020. That makes 12 huge, time consuming productions for the studio (in addition to several non-comic book films) - meaning that it may be difficult for them to find room (or the money) for del Toro's proposed entry into their blossoming universe.
That said, fans still holding out hope the filmmaker will get his chance to play in sandbox shouldn't get too discouraged just yet, as del Toro went on to say that he still has a strong desire to make the movie should the opportunity present itself:
"If I can do it, I would love to do it. And I think the screenplay and the characters are very solid."
And in all honestly, it may still be plausible that del Toro gets this chance. Even though he is attached to several in-development projects, the only one that has a scheduled release date right now is Pacific Rim 2, which is coming out in spring 2017. In movie terms, that means he'll have some free time in his planner shortly (unless something else goes on the fast track) and would be able to handle directing responsibilities on Justice League Dark - if that's what WB has in mind. Of course, since the status of this film is still largely up in the air, it wouldn't be too shocking for del Toro to line a new film up once he's done with Pacific Rim 2 either, as he bides his time for Justice League Dark.
For our part, hopefully this can all work out and del Toro will become a part of the DC movie universe shortly. The director has made a name for himself by crafting some visually stunning environments displaying the high amounts of creativity that make his films stand out from the crowd. As comic book movies become all the more frequent in the next few years, having a unique voice like del Toro's behind the project would be a welcome development - since history suggest he'd be able to do something special with this supernatural-based material.
We'll keep you updated on Justice League Dark as more information becomes available.