News has emerged that the Pacific Rim and Hellboy director, Guillermo del Toro, has dropped out of directing the upcoming Justice League Dark movie.
The announcement delivered by The Hollywood Reporter, stated that the movie has not been cancelled, however del Toro's schedule can no longer allow his involvement. Furthermore, Warner Bros. has also announced it is handing over all of its DC Vertigo Imprint comic book movie projects to their sister company, New Line.
According to The Hollywood Reporter's sources, del Toro's work directing Pacific Rim 2 and publicizing upcoming gothic horror Crimson Peak, means he has been forced to drop out of directorial duties for the Justice League Dark. This isn't terribly surprising, as last time he spoke about the project (in April), he did seem to suggest his busy schedule meant he wouldn't begin work on it any time soon.
Given this news, it's still not entirely clear if Justice League Dark is still in pre-production or whether the film has been halted indefinitely. Del Toro often takes a central creative role in developing his movies - he wrote the script for Justice League Dark - suggesting his departure from the movie could be a rather severe blow to the project.
Check out the trailer for Crimson Peak:
As the name suggests, Justice League Dark is an alternative to DC's Justice League and features anti-hero characters such as Constantine, Swamp Thing, Zatanna and Deadman. According to del Toro, his script, which he had been working on since 2012 and handed into Warner Bros. in April this year, would be part of the wider DC Comics' shared universe. Until we hear anything to the contrary, we can presume this script is still the basis of the Justice League Dark movie, even if he will not direct.