ByMatt Kranis, writer at Creators.co
President of the Salacious Crumb Fan Club. Staff Writer at Movie Pilot. Twitter: @Matt_Kranis
Matt Kranis

Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment are just three films deep into their DC Extended Universe, but that isn't stopping them from looking towards the future. We've heard a lot about upcoming flicks like Wonder Woman, The Flash and Justice League, but one project that's flown under the radar is Dark Universe.

The long-discussed movie — centered on the supernatural side of the DCEU — has been in development for years, with Guillermo Del Toro previously attached to direct. But he dropped out of the film last year, leaving many curious about its future. Thankfully, it sounds like DC and Warner Bros. are making some major steps in the project's development by bringing on a new director.

Get ready for 2017's Justice League with our trailer breakdown below:

According to Variety, director Doug Liman has been tapped to helm the film, which is said to feature a team-up between magic users and supernatural characters including John Constantine, Deadman, Zatanna, Swamp Thing and Etrigan the Demon. Of course, comics fans will be familiar with the concept, which served as the basis for DC Comics's Justice League Dark series.

Dark Universe will reportedly have a "major role" in the DCEU, and considering the characters's comic book histories we wouldn't be surprised to see the film be a major game-changer. So, we're gearing up for Dark Universe with a look at how the film will integrate into the DCEU at large.

Will The Team Be Associated With The Justice League?

Zatanna leads the team into battle. (via DC Comics)
Zatanna leads the team into battle. (via DC Comics)

Many have referred to the film as Justice League Dark given its obvious similarities to the comic book series, though that might be a little misleading. In the comics, Justice League Dark was just a codename given to the group, one that wasn't bestowed to them by the actual League. In fact, the team had little to do with the official Justice League outside of comic book mega-event crossovers like Trinity War and Forever Evil.

DC already has a challenge in assembling its heroes in Justice League, and as such we expect the Dark Universe crew to have little to do with their more superheroic counterparts. Instead, we expect Liman and company to take an approach similar to Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, carving out a new corner of the DCEU for a strange group of new heroes.

A New World Of Magic

The inclusion of Enchantress in Suicide Squad already brought a big dose of magic to the DCEU, but it was overshadowed by traditional superpowered action and gun-blazing violence. However, Dark Universe is guaranteed to bring magic to the forefront of the DCEU.

John Constantine and Zatanna during DC's New 52. (via DC Comics)
John Constantine and Zatanna during DC's New 52. (via DC Comics)

Justice League Dark saw the team come together to face supernatural threats that average heroes just couldn't handle. Its pretty safe to assume they'll have the same mission in Dark Universe, and those supernatural threats are bound to include a bit of magic. We also know that Constantine and Zatanna will be featured in the movie, and they just happen to be two of DC's most popular magic users.

A focus on magic and the supernatural will be key in Dark Universe's integration into the DCEU because it will give the movie its own unique flavor. We don't expect this to be a standard superhero flick, and bringing on magical elements seen in the likes of both the fantasy and horror genres will really help the movie stand out in DC's ever-expanding film series.

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The Introduction Of The Multiverse?

DC Comics have always been dedicated to the concept of a Multiverse, with parallel worlds housing dangerous elements and different versions of iconic characters. We're sure to see the Multiverse concept play out with the upcoming Flashpoint event on DC's CW television shows, but Dark Universe could actually bring the Multiverse to the movies.

Etrigan the Demon, Swamp Thing and Deadman. (via DC Comics)
Etrigan the Demon, Swamp Thing and Deadman. (via DC Comics)

The film's team has plenty of connections to other worlds and the mysteries of our own. Unsurprisingly, the demon Etrigan calls Hell his home, while Deadman is a ghost whose early stories included ties to a fictitious Hindu god called Rama Kushna. Meanwhile, Swamp Thing is an Earth elemental forever bound to maintain the planets natural order. And of course, Zatanna and Constantine's magical adventures have brought them both to the edges of reality. This crew has seen things most superheroes could never imagine, and their ties to the secret forces that bind realities could be key in introducing the Multiverse to the DCEU. We might just see them sent on an adventure into a new universe that threatens our own.

Could We See DC's Most Powerful Characters?

With their various ties to the secrets of the DC Universe, the Dark Universe team is likely to get on the radar of some very powerful people — and we're not talking about the Justice League.

The Spectre and the Phantom Stranger chat with their creator. (via DC Comics)
The Spectre and the Phantom Stranger chat with their creator. (via DC Comics)

Some of DC's most powerful characters have traditionally had ties to the supernatural, like the Spectre and the Phantom Stranger. The Spectre is essentially the spirit of vengeance within the DCU, an entity with all the powers of a god that takes on a human host to bring justice to the world. And while his origins are shrouded in mystery, the omnipotent Phantom Stranger is also dedicated to righting wrongs. A spotlight on the stranger side of the DCEU would provide the perfect opportunity to introduce these kinds of characters — ones we typically wouldn't see in a superhero story — setting them up to be powerful allies or dangerous enemies to the heroes of the budding cinematic universe.

The supernatural world of Dark Universe is guaranteed to bring some magical new style to the DCEU. There's no release date for the film yet, but we'll be sure to keep you posted. In the meantime, be sure to catch the team in their upcoming DC animated movie.

What do you want to see happen in Dark Universe? Let us know in the comments below.

[Source: Variety]