Guillermo del Toro, the special effects genius who gave us Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy 2 (still one of the best choreographed final fights I’ve ever seen) is apparently moving forward with plans for a movie tentatively titled Dark Universe.
He’s at the stage of looking for a writer right now for the script, and has let it slip that this film will include Swamp Thing, John Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman, and Spectre (among others, but he’s stated that giving a full roster will likely ruin some of the plot surprises).
While this is of course huge news for fans of these characters (and there’s plenty of those, for sure), this is even bigger news for DC properties in general. It’s no mystery that DC has languished for years under the oppressive weight of Marvel properties, trying to get solid movie fanbase but stumbling with poorly constructed films like Green Lantern and Superman Returns.
Man of Steel certainly looks like it may break the I’m-not-Batman-but-I’m-still-good mold, but it’s still Superman. It’s still a character that everyone knows, and more importantly that everyone has an opinion on. What Dark Universe can do for DC is draw in a new fanbase, getting people who were genuinely unfamiliar with the characters on screen interested in finding out more about them and heading down to the local comic shop to do some research.
This isn’t to say that the future of DC movies rests solely on del Torro’s shoulders. This is just a huge opportunity, and it’s good to know that it’s in the hands of a talented and proven director who can get some excitement brewing even at this stage in production. DC has a plethora of underused characters who, should Dark Universe be successful, can maybe finally get their shot in the spotlight. Hey, if Rocket Raccoon can be a movie star, why not Animal Man?
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