The #DCEU movies can be dark, compared to other superhero films, but Doug Liman is going to take them legitimately Dark.
To follow stories featuring flying aliens, rich billionaires with issues, and an Amazonian warrior adapting to the modern world, Warner Bros. will be delving into the supernatural side of the universe with Justice League Dark.
This project, featuring characters like John Constantine, Deadman, Swamp Thing, Zatanna, and Etrigan the Demon, has been in development for a long time. It was first attached to the always-creative Guillermo del Toro, and has an animated direct to video incarnation already:
Once del Toro gave up the director's chair, the film was limbo for a few years until Doug Liman signed on as director in 2016. Scott Rudin and del Toro will still produce, with a script by Michael Gilio (Jolene). Aside from that, details on this new supernatural ride have been scarce (to say the least), which is why fans will be glad to hear that veil of mystery is finally being lifted.
Doug Liman sat down for an interview with CinemaBlend to promote his new film, The Wall. As he's currently involved in two franchises, naturally the topic of Justice League Dark came up. (The film is alternately at times also called Dark Universe, though we'll stick with Justice League Dark here.) The director released two very intriguing bit of information about it.
Get Ready To Scream In The Theater
While superhero films from both Marvel and DC have explored different thematic elements, ranging from dark thrillers to heist comedies, we have yet to see a comic book film that embraces horror. According to Liman, expect Justice League Dark to be the first, as he'll use films like The Exorcist and Carrie as inspiration:
"It's going to have real horror elements, for sure. I love early horror films, be it 'The Exorcist', or 'Carrie', 'The Omen'. In the same way that Bourne Identity, I went back to the '70s paranoia."
Going more in-depth with that answer, the director plans to take advantage of the people that have explored the various elements he plans to bring to the film:
"There's stuff to be mined from the people who have come before me that I'm planning to bring to 'Justice League Dark'. And also the arena, my good friend Simon Kinberg, with 'Deadpool' really pushed the arena. I'm never going to do something that's straight forward, but I'm not going to do something campy either. I have a take on it that isn't like anything else out there. At the end of the day I make character driven movies."
Those diverse elements of horror and supposed quirky storytelling will potentially benefit from another planned aspect of the film.
'Justice League Dark' Will Be Small In Scale
Don't expect Justice League Dark to be a by-the-numbers comic book adventure. Liman talked about just how much the film will be shying away from the typical superhero film elements in favor of heavy character development:
"I think people will be surprised how character driven and how intimate 'Justice League Dark' is - in kind of a field of bloated comic book movies. We've found a way to do something that's actually really personal and small, and that's my goal."
Jumping off from that, he revealed there would be a very interesting exploration of John Constantine's character as a human instead of a monster-hunting anti-hero:
"[My new movie] 'The Wall' is about character. The scenario allows me to dive into what I think is... I just love people! I love putting people in crazy situations. For John Constantine, we have an amazing set-up for him for Justice League Dark that's really human."
Keep in mind, this is still a superhero movie set in the DCEU, so don't expect an indie film. There will probably be eye-popping special effects, fights, and mind-bending worlds. It might be small-scale in comparison to other superhero films, but don't expect a black and white movie with no effects. Still, these details sound like something we've never seen before from a comic book adaptation.
What did you think of Doug Liman's new Justice League Dark details, and do you think the film will live up to its expectations? Let me know in the comments!