In a recent interview with Total Film about newly released supernatural horror Mama, of which he is producer, Guillermo del Toro discussed his upcoming adaptation of DC Comics’ series Justice League Dark, currently in pre-production.
For the uninitiated, Justice League Dark is a title started in 2011 that centers on a team comprised of the more supernatural of DCs characters. The line-up includes the likes of John Constantine, Shade the Changing Man, Zatanna, and Black Orchid.
Del Toro spoke of approaching the film as an origin story that would “use the origins that are proper to each character”:
I love the idea of Jason Blood as a paladin and a knight…. I love the entire Constantine mythology, the Dead Man mythology, the Alex Holland Swamp Thing mythology. These are really rich things to well, and to dig.
Of the long (theoretically infinite) process towards production, Del Toro had this to say:
I am going to be presenting my storyline to DC and Warners of where I want to take this universe. We do have a writer, but until that is firmed up, I have to keep it a secret. I hope it happens. It’s going really really well. It’s like meeting old friends. I grew up with Demon Etrigan, with Swamp Thing, with Deadman, so these are characters that are near and dear to my heart.
Justice League Dark is clearly a passion project for Del Toro, as, admittedly, all his projects seem to be. Whether or not DC are willing to invest heavily in a team of as-yet unproven heroes remains to be seen – in the last thirty years, only John Constantine has appeared on film and the 2005 incarnation starring Keanue Reeves bore little resemblance to the blond-haired, foul-mouthed Liverpudlian of comic lore. Also, with a regular Justice League film in the pipeline, they may well decide against doubling down with a team of, ultimately, less well-known heroes.
It depends largely, one supposes, on Del Toro’s upcoming directorial effort, Pacific Rim, which features soldiers in colossal mecha suits battling against enormous monsters from the depths of the ocean. With a budget of somewhere between 200 million and a quarter of a billion dollars, it could have the potential to kill or birth any number of Del Toro’s mooted future projects.
So, if you really like the sound of Justice League Dark, or Del Toro’s long-awaited adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness – or just fancy seeing Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Oscar nominee Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, and various other actors from TV and film, including five-time Del Toro collaborator Ron Perlman, pound the crap out of enormous crustaceans, Pacific Rim is out on July 2nd in 3D and IMAX 3D. Hoorah!