Swamp Thing - the latest live-action TV series developed exclusively for the DC Universe streaming service - boasts an impressive cast. In fact, virtually every major actor affiliated with the show has some previous experience acting in a comic book adaptation or working within the horror genre. This is important, as the original Swamp Thing comics were an unusual mixture of science-horror and superheroes, and executive producer James Wan appears to be sticking close to the source material.
The Swamp Thing comics centered upon a scientist who was transformed into a half-man, half-plant creature and became a protector of the innocent. Later writers would develop a whole new mythology around the character, revising the Swamp Thing into a wholly original being who had merely absorbed the memories of the dying scientist while being brought into existence as a guardian of the natural world. This newfound status as an elemental also greatly enhanced the Swamp Thing's powers, allowing him to communicate with other plants and control them through a mystic force called The Green.
Based upon the first two episodes, it seems that the Swamp Thing series is sticking to its original concept, with the Swamp Thing being a super-strong, extra-durable creature incapable of speech. However, the cast of characters features several classic Swamp Thing villains from the age in which his status as the guardian of the Green was revealed. It seems likely that the monster will evolve as the first season progresses and he will not be the only character forever changed by his contact with the swamps of Marais. Here are all the familiar faces in the Swamp Thing cast.
Andy Bean is Dr. Alec Holland
A brilliant biologist with dreams of solving world hunger, Dr. Alec Holland and his wife Linda made tremendous progress towards that goal with their invention of a bio-restorative formula that enabled plant growth. Unfortunately, a criminal organization called the Conclave found out about their serum and tried to kill the two scientists after they refused to sell their secrets. Caught in a bomb blast and doused with his formula, Dr. Holland fell into the swamp that hid their lab and underwent a nightmarish transformation into a half-man/half-plant giant.
The DC Universe version of Dr. Alec Holland undergoes the same transformation in the pilot, but under different circumstances. This version of Alec Holland is employed by the Sunderland Corporation to map the swamps around Marais, Louisiana and discovers a mutagen in the water that seems to accelerate plant growth. He joins forces with the CDC investigators trying to find the source of a strange new disease and stumbles across evidence of some of the local boatmen being hired to illegally dump something in the swamp near the places he discovered the mutagen. This leads to Dr. Holland being shot by a mysterious figure and falling into the swamp after his boat is blown up.
Best known for his role as FBI Agent Greg Knox in the series Power, Andy Bean plays Dr. Alec Holland in the pilot and is scheduled to appear in every episode of Swamp Thing's ten-episode season 1. Bean will also be appearing in It: Chapter Two later this year as the adult Stanley Uris.
Derek Mears is Swamp Thing
The DC Universe version of Swamp Thing has roots in the classic version of the character created by writer Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson. Originally, the Swamp Thing was largely mute and had no powers beyond being super-strong, nigh-invulnerable and having a healing factor that let him regrow broken limbs. The full range of powers he is best known for, including plant control, came later.
Acclaimed for his work as an actor and stuntman, Derek Mears is the man in the Swamp Thing suit. Mears first gained fandom notice playing Jason Voorhees in the 2009 Friday the 13th remake and as the Classic Predator in Predators. This is not his first time portraying a comic book character either, having played the villainous Dwarfstar during season 4 of The Flash.
Crystal Reed is Dr. Abby Arcane
Abigail Arcane was groomed from a young age to continue her family's legacy of dark magic by her sinister uncle, Anton. The empathetic young woman's nature pushed her to study medicine instead, running a clinic for the people in the village near their ancestral home of Castle Arcane in Transylvania. She would journey to America in the company of Matt Cable, after her uncle's apparent death battling the Swamp Thing while trying to take control of his body. She would later find herself falling in love with the monster's kind nature, despite his monstrous form.
The DC Universe version of Abby Arcane is radically different from her comic book counterpart. An American by birth, born in the small town of Marais, Louisiana, this Abby Arcane is a medical doctor employed by the Center for Disease Control. Her past is just as troubled as that of the Abby Arcane in the comics, however, and she reluctantly returns to Marais only after receiving word of a strange disease infecting the townsfolk.
Dr. Abby Arcane is played by Crystal Reed, who is perhaps best known for her dual roles as Allison Argent and Marie-Jeanne Valet in MTV's Teen Wolf. This is not her first time being involved in a DC Comics production, having played the role of Sofia Falcone on Gotham.
Henderson Wade is Matt Cable
In the Swamp Thing comics, Matt Cable was an Interpol agent assigned to protect the Hollands as they completed the work on their bio-restorative formula. When they were killed by the Conclave, Matt became obsessed with avenging their deaths and hunting down the Swamp Thing that was seen immediately after the Hollands' lab was destroyed. He would later discover that the Swamp Thing apparently was Alec Holland and befriended the monster.
The DC Universe version of Matt Cable is another character whose background has been changed from the original Swamp Thing comics. This version of Matt Cable is still a lawman but he's a sheriff in Marais rather than an Interpol agent. He is also a childhood friend of Abby Arcane, but he still fills the same role he held in the comics - trying to protect Abby and getting in way over his head while doing so.
Henderson Wade has experience working in comic book adaptations and playing a lawman. He is most famous for playing the role of Sheriff Michael Minetta in Riverdale. He is also fondly remembered as Marine Cpt. Utt in The Last Ship.
Maria Sten is Liz Tremayne
Introduced into the second volume of the Swamp Thing monthly comic book, Liz Tremayne was a famous journalist and host of a tabloid news program. She began investigating the rumors of the Swamp Thing's existence, eventually writing a book about the urban legends that had developed around him. She would later befriend Swamp Thing, as well as Abby Arcane and Matt Cable.
The DC Universe version of Liz Tremayne is one of the more heavily adapted characters from the Swamp Thing comics. The comic book version of Liz was a career reporter who worked in multiple media. The DC Universe version is a reporter for the Marais Echo Weekly ("Emphasis on the weekly.") who also works as a bartender to make ends meet.
Liz Tremayne is brought to life by actress Maria Sten. She will be instantly recognized by fans of Channel Zero, where she played the part of Jillian Hope Hodgson. She also played the role of Terry in the 2015 web series Persuasion.
Will Patton is Avery Sunderland
The chief villain of the second volume of Swamp Thing, General Avery Sunderland was President and CEO of the Sunderland Corporation. Sunderland became obsessed with the Swamp Thing and how the plant-man might be exploited to line his pockets. His DC Universe counterpart has not been confirmed as an ex-military man but he is an industrialist whose company practically owns the town of Marais. While he is unaware of the Swamp Thing's existence after the first two episodes, he seems to be as obsessed as his comic book counterpart when it comes to the secrets of Marais' swamps.
A television and film veteran with four decades of experience, Will Patton has a long and distinguished acting career. He most notable recent role was as Officer Hawkins in the 2018 remake of Halloween. Before that, he gave noteworthy performances as Captain Dan Weaver in Falling Skies and Alan Wilson in 24.
Kevin Durand is Dr. Jason Woodrue
Dr. Jason Woodrue has a long association with Swamp Thing, despite having appeared in several other comics series and predating the first appearance of Swamp Thing by a decade. First appearing under the moniker of Plant Master in The Atom #1, Woodrue later used a serum to transform himself into a plant-man in a bid to increase his powers in The Flash #245. It was here that he took up his most famous codename - The Floronic Man. He would also later be revealed to have been responsible for the experiments that turned Dr. Pamela Isley into the Batman villain Poison Ivy.
The DC Universe version of Dr. Woodrue is an equally unethical scientist in the employ of Avery Sunderland. Based on the series' final trailer, it seems that he is responsible for creating the biological accelerant that Dr. Alec Holland discovers in the swamp, though he bitterly denies having anything to do with the people that are getting sick. In the second volume of the Swamp Thing comic, Dr. Woodrue was employed by General Sunderland to perform an autopsy on the apparently dead Swamp Thing, in order to determine what made him tick.
Kevin Durand should look familiar to most Swamp Thing viewers. The actor played Vasiliy Fet in The Strain, Harbard in Vikings and Martin Keamy on Lost. He also lent his voice to both King Zarkon and Commander Mar in Voltron: Legendary Defender.
Michael Beach is Nathan Ellery
Nathan Ellery was the primary villain of the first volume of the Swamp Thing comic. Leader of the criminal organization known as the Conclave, Ellery played at being a respectable businessman and member of high society. It was Ellerly's orders that were responsible for ending the lives of Alec and Linda Holland and he continued to hound Matt Cable and Abby Arcane until the Swamp Thing finally killed him.
The DC Universe version of Nathan Ellery does not appear in the first two episodes of Swamp Thing, though he is described as being a "no-nonsense businessman with a ruthless streak." This seems perfectly in-line with the character's portrayal in the comics. Ellerly will be portrayed by Michael Beach, who was recently seen playing Black Manta's father in the Aquaman movie. DC Comics fans may recognize Beach's voice, as he played the roles of Mister Terrific and Devil Ray in Justice League Unlimited.
Jeryl Prescott is Madame Xanadu
Once known as Nimue, the woman who became known as Madame Xanadu was once a powerful sorceress and the pupil of Merlin. Her efforts to destroy the wizard for his bringing about the fall of Camelot were turned against her, robbing her of any magical power save the ability to foretell the future. She set herself up as an adviser to the powerful, taking the name Madame Xanadu after serving Kublai Khan as his court seer for many years. In time, however, Nimue repented of her wicked past and sought redemption by using her gift of foresight to help those harried by supernatural evils.
The DC Universe version of Madame Xanadu answers to the name Nimue and is blind, as Madame Xanadu was for several years following the Day of Judgement event. Nothing is said of her background when we see her in the second episode, but she is doing tarot readings at a bar when she meets with Maria Sunderland regarding her belief that her daughter's soul is not at peace. This leads to her having a fit of some kind and declaring that there is something in the swamp has caused "a shift between the balance of the light and the dark."
Ian Ziering is Dan Cassidy/Blue Devil
Dan Cassidy was a stuntman and special effects technician with dreams of becoming a big-name actor. His big break came in the form of a B-movie about a fictional superhero called the Blue Devil, for which Cassidy built his masterpiece - an animatronic exoskeleton that enhanced his senses, boosted his strength and was convincing enough to fool a real demon named Nebiros into thinking Cassidy was a rival. Cassidy held his own in the fight that followed, but the magic Nebrios unleashed left him permanently bonded to his suit and cursed to be a "weirdness magnet" that would attract the attention of supernatural evils. Thus did fate cast Dan Cassidy in a role he never expected to play - a real superhero.
The DC Universe version of Dan Cassidy is "Marai's resident movie star", having starred in a B-movie about a superhero called Blue Devil a few years earlier. Cassidy runs Marai's only movie and video game rental shop as a side gig but he always has an autographed poster ready to give anyone who recognizes him or who acts impressed when he reveals that he once starred in a superhero movie. He's also Alec Holland's landlord, and shows up in the second episode when Liz and Abby come asking about looking through his belongings.
To some, Ian Ziering will forever be Steve Sanders from Beverly Hills, 90210. To others, he is Fin Shepard from the Sharknado franchise. However you know him, Ian Zering seems to be a perfect casting choice for the affable Dan Cassidy, though it remains to be seen if he'll be donning a super-suit to do battle with Swamp Thing before the end of season 1.