DC’s Swamp Thing TV series will be dark, violent, and mature-rated. The show was announced as part of the new slate of programs for the company’s streaming service, DC Universe, which is set to launch this month on September 15, Batman Day. Swamp Thing will premiere sometime in 2019, along with Doom Patrol and Young Justice: Outsiders. The first original series to air on the network will be another show aimed at mature audiences, Titans, which is set to drop October 12.
Created by comics legends Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, Swamp Thing made his debut in 1971. Alec Holland was a brilliant scientist whose lab was sabotaged when he refused to sell his “bio-restorative formula”. After his body was ravaged by burning chemicals, Alec dove into the nearby swamp in a desperate attempt to survive. He lived to tell the tale, but emerged more plant than man. Much of the upcoming series will reportedly focus on Abby Arcane, Alec’s closest confident and sometimes love interest. The project has begun to take shape, but it’s unknown if Alec will be a human/plant hybrid or simply a plant who believes himself to be a man.
In an interview with /Film, writer Gary Dauberman has revealed that the series will not only be dark and scary, but will also draw heavily from Alan Moore’s seminal run on the comic.
“We always set out to make Swamp Thing as hard R as we could and go graphic with the violence, with the adult themes and make it as scary as possible. Because we’re doing it through the DC streaming service, they really pushed us, although they didn’t have to push hard, for us to go as extreme as we could. We really took our inspiration from the Alan Moore run in Swamp Thing, this landmark I think run. Fans of that series will know it gets pretty weird and extreme and scary. We really wanted to live up to that standard that Moore set up back in the ‘80s.”
This isn’t Swamp Thing’s first foray into movies or television. The character was at the center of two feature films. The first, directed by Wes Craven, was released in 1982 and the sequel hit theaters in ’89. Aside from that, Alec Holland has already been the subject of his own TV show which aired from ’90-93. Every attempt to adapt the material thus far has been incredibly campy. Swamp Thing has always worked best either as the straightforward horror comic created by Wein and Wrightson or Alan Moore’s run, which completely redefined the character by steeping the book in existential philosophy.
From what has been revealed so far about the series, it seems that the team behind it has every intention of doing the source material justice. The show will be produced by James Wan’s Atomic Monster and the pilot will be directed by Underworld creator Len Wiseman. Mark Verheiden and Gary Dauberman will handle the writing duties. Teen Wolf actress Crystal Reed has landed the lead role of Abby and Maria Sten recently joined the cast as Liz Tremayne. Only time will tell if this adaptation of the character will be succesful, but fans of the comics will be grateful to hear that those involved are taking Swamp Thing seriously.