Guillermo del Toro Dishes Details on Developing 'Justice League Dark'
Just last fall, we learned that Guillermo del Toro had another developing project in his ever-growing future slate that would bring him back to the world of comic books. Along with Hellboy 3 being a possibility, del Toro has also been developing a project once called Heaven Sent, though it's more commonly being referred to Justice League Dark. As comic book fans might deduce, the film would bring DC Comics characters like Deadman, The Spectre, Swamp Thing, Constantine Hellblazer, Phantom Stranger, Zatanna, Zatara, Sargon and Etrigan the Demon all together in a single film. Thankfully, a fan at WonderCon asked del Toro about the project, and he dished some details on the characters and story.
When asked about Justice League Dark (also called Dark Universe), del Toro said:
On 'Justice League Dark,' or 'Dark Universe,' what we’re doing is we finished the bible. Then we’re going to start the screenplay with a writer we hope we can announce very soon.
What I’m doing is the lead character that guides us through that is Constantine. Blonde. He is basically trying to recruit these guys. On Etrigan, I’m using Jason Blood in the time of Merlin. We get to their origin through the story. We don’t make the origin story at the top. We find it out as they each have mysteries to solve. Swamp Thing is at peace with who he is, but Deadman still needs to figure out who shot him. It’s all woven in. When I was a kid, my two favorite characters in the whole DC Universe were Etrigan and Swamp Thing, so I’m in heaven.
If you didn't follow some of that, ComingSoon clarifies, "the story would feature Jason Blood's history with Merlin and the Knights of King Arthur, bringing a threat to present day." And that's John Constantine, a slightly different version than the one Keanu Reeves' played, recruiting this team to save the world from this threat. And what might that threat be? Well, it seems interesting that del Toro says that he's in heaven, because Superhero Hype has an interesting theory on how the story might play out. They reference a specific storyline from one of the Justice League Dark members' comic history and it ties pretty well into what del Toro said at WonderCon. Here's their explanation of a potential plot for the film:
In June of 1985, issue #37 of the award winning and ever popular “Saga of the Swamp Thing” was published. Written by a quite hairy and hermit-like man named Alan Moore, the comic introduced a character that would go on to be the longest running Vertigo series and the focus of a feature film, John Constantine Hellblazer. This issue also planted the seeds of a monstrous storyline that Moore would tackle down the road. Throughout the course of the next eleven issues, Constantine would meet with the Swamp Thing to discuss his full potential as an avatar of the green, to show him the things he is capable of doing, and to make him see how much bigger the world around him really is.
This "Swamp Thing" storyline took place during a comic book event called “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” which saw the destruction of many different planes and universes. The destruction of all these worlds is the catalyst here and is what a continuously mentioned cult called “The Brujería” use as their opportunity to awaken “The Great Darkness.” Still with me? Remember back to when this Del Toro project was first rumored and it was called “Heaven Sent”? Guess what the target of The Brujería and The Great Darkness actually is? It's not Earth like what Swamp Thing first thought, it's Heaven. The cult plans to destroy Heaven.
This is why the team is formed. Constantine and Swamp Thing spend much of the set-up issues wandering the world (both the physical and other worldly planes) locating and convincing characters to help them stop The Brujería. Along the way they recruit Deadman, The Phantom Stranger, The Spectre, Etrigan the Demon, Dr. Fate, Zatanna, Zatara, Sargon the Sorcerer, Dr. Occult, and Mento to help them (of which most of these have been mentioned by Del Toro as being a part of the cast). Together they all band together as a group of unlikely heroes charged with saving Heaven, and with a band of angels in tow they are indeed “Heaven Sent.”
That sounds pretty damn epic, and perfect for someone like del Toro to bring to life. In addition, the greatest part is that we don't get the traditional origin stories for all these characters like we're used to seeing on the big screen. Instead we learn about their past as this big even unfolds and they have to work together. This is something DC has been struggling with as they attempt to get the regular Justice League off the ground without more than half of the team members being introduced on the big screen yet. However, before everyone gets too excited, del Toro did say they're just getting ready to start writing a script and that he will direct Crimson Peak as his next project. Either way, we can't wait to hear more. Sound cool?