Swamp Thing actor Derek Mears praises the #SaveSwampThing movement. The R-rated, horror-themed show debuted on DC Universe as its third live-action series. While both Titans and Doom Patrol exist within the same universe, Swamp Thing very much exists as a standalone. Premiering on May 31, the show seemed to be an immediate hit with fans and critics alike. Unfortunately, with the second episode yet to be released, the show was canceled. James Wan, who directed Aquaman for the big screen and served as a producer on the show, was as in the dark as fans regarding the decision. Likewise, Mears called the cancellation "such a heartbreaker".
Swamp Thing tells the story of Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed), who returns to her home town to investigate a mysterious virus. Working with Alec Holland (Andy Bean), they find themselves instead beset by both megalomaniacal and supernatural forces after Holland is seemingly killed and reborn as the titular Swamp Thing. Though Bean plays the character's human counterpart, Mears is the one who inhabits the costume as Holland's elemental alter ego. Despite the show's cancellation, the episodes continue to air each week, with the latest introducing yet another comic book nemesis.
Fans have been characteristically vocal with each new episode, calling for Warner Bros. to either reverse their decision or for Swamp Thing to be resurrected via another platform like Netflix, through which the aforementioned Titans airs internationally. In an interview with Screen Rant, Mears discussed the reaction and ongoing campaign. Complimented on the first four episodes and told of people's excitement to see how the show wraps up and hopefully lives on, Mears had this to say:
"That would be lovely. I had to kind of let go as an artist because I can't control any of that and I can just think the cup is half full because we did get to do the vision that James Wan originally had for doing a hard R horror drama for adults. And I'm very happy with that."
The subject of the #SaveSwampThing movement, which emerged immediately after the series' cancellation, then came up. Expected to only grow louder with each new, positively-received episode, Mears was asked whether he followed the online campaign. Here's what he had to say:
"I like to go through it and - I've never been a part of something, anything I create or I'm a part of, I always expect 50% are going to like it, 50% are going to like it because it's art and it's subjective, but I haven't been a part of something where the majority of the response is being embraced and loved by the fans. Being that I love it, I'll go in and check some of the hashtags and see what people are saying. The thing that I love about everyone trying to do the save Swamp Thing hashtag is that they kind of police their own going "don't be a jerk about it. We're going to be polite and we're not going to bash people, but we're going to move forward and try to make this a movement." I'm like, that mindset alone just tells me the quality of people that will watch the show and makes me want to reach out or work harder to pacify them because they have the right mindset and that should be rewarded and it's a positive one and not a destructive one and I applaud that."
Vocal and social media support for TV shows and various other areas of fandom have become more pronounced in recent years. Very few cancelled shows fail to receive some type of revival campaign. DC fans are even more dedicated than most, as evidenced by the ongoing efforts to see Zack Snyder's original version of Justice League released. Likewise, DC fans have seemingly perfected the art of channeling something positive into their campaigns alongside their initial intentions. While Swamp Thing fans are trying to remain polite and positive with their efforts, 'Snyder Cut' fans recently added a charitable component to theirs, with the latest crowdfunding campaign also aiming to support suicide prevention charities.
It remains unclear just what exactly led to Swamp Thing's cancellation. Equally, it remains to be seen whether fan's efforts will yield similar results to those achieved by the fandoms for Lucifer and Veronica Mars. The news that there was a three-year plan, leading to a potential Justice League Dark series will no doubt only spur fans on. Whatever the case, there remains over half the season left to go. As such, despite a reportedly satisfying ending, that leaves time for the #SaveSwampThing fan campaign to continue.
Swamp Thing is currently available for streaming on DC Universe.