Warner Bros. Pictures already has its mainstream Justice League universe in the pipeline with the impending Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice leading into the two-part Justice League movie, but one project that’s been discussed for years now without seeing much progress is the unofficially titled Justice League Dark — a film that would feature DC Comics’ occult-themed heroes and villains. After several years spent developing a script for the film, Guillermo del Toro departed the project, leading many to believe it would never find its way to the big screen.
However, a new report indicates that the studio is actually closing in on a new director (or directors) for the film.
While the report remains unconfirmed at this point, movie news site JoBlo states that the studio has narrowed down the list of potential directors for the film — which it says will likely be titled Dark Universe instead of Justice League Dark — to the filmmakers behind two well-regarded thrillers. One of the directors reportedly in the mix is Fede Alvarez, the director of the 2013 remake of Evil Dead. The studio is also said to be considering Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado, the directing duo responsible for the intense, 2013 thriller Big Bad Wolves.
Dark Universe is expected to put the spotlight on some of the lesser-known heroes and villains of the DC Comics universe whose adventures typically involve magic or supernatural elements of some sort. The project was nicknamed “Justice League Dark” after the comic book series of the same name that ran from November 2011 through March 2015.
Among the characters rumored to have a role in the film are occult detective John Constantine, who was featured in a short-lived television series of his own recently, and Swamp Thing, a multimedia sensation who was the subject of two live-action movies, a live-action television series, and an animated series to go along with his long-running comic book series and other projects. The film will also reportedly feature the villain Anton Arcane, the antihero demon Etrigan, and the sorceress Zatanna, as well as Madame Xanadu and the body-swapping spirit Deadman.
At this point, there’s been nothing officially confirmed regarding the film’s development despite Del Toro’s willingness to discuss his script for it over the last few years. Casting rumors abound for the aforementioned roles, but until both the project’s development and its director are confirmed, there’s little chance of any actors signing on for the film.