Filmmaker Doug Liman is a tough director to pin down. With a filmography that ranges from Swingers to The Bourne Identity to Edge of Tomorrow, he’s proven incredibly versatile while also carrying an unmistakable “Liman-esque” quality throughout all of his films. So when Liman became attached to direct the DCEU film Justice League Dark, things got interesting. The Justice League Dark property has been in development at Warner Bros. for a few years with Guillermo del Toro scripting a previous take, and it promises to be an interesting addition to the DCEU in that it tackles the more supernatural elements of the DC universe.
Liman signed on to direct Justice League Dark last August, but since then we haven’t heard a ton about the film. So when Collider’s own Christina Radish recently spoke with Liman in anticipation of his new film The Wall, she asked the director if it’s something he’s still working on:
“Yeah. I have a really amazing take on it, that is in keeping with my approach to superheroes. Jason Bourne is a superhero, of sorts. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena, in The Wall, are superheroes. They’re very grounded, but the amount of training and stuff that soldiers bring to the field, they’re like Iron Man. If they open up another pouch, they’ve got another thing. It’s amazing, how resourceful they are and how much stuff they bring into the field. They’re like superheroes. So, I’m really excited, with Justice League Dark, to actually look at what it’s like if I actually tackle a real superhero, but it’s not gonna look that different from my other superheroes.”
However, while Warner Bros. is ramping up its DC projects, Liman says he’s not sure when the film will go into production:
“I have to have a passionate connection to my films, which I do with Justice League Dark. I have a way into the story that’s personal, the way I have a connection to The Wall. Not that I’ve ever been a soldier or been in the field, but the level of perseverance and the fact that Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena just keep picking themselves up when all seems lost, I feel a connection to that. I feel like I have a little understanding of that because, in my own way, I’ve had moments of despair and that all is lost, and I’ve picked myself back up. I feel a real connection to Justice League Dark. But part of my process is that, when I finish a movie, the movies I choose to do after it are guided by the experience I had on the previous movie. I chose Mr. & Mrs. Smith specifically ‘cause I had just made The Bourne Identity and made a film that glamorized being an action hero, and I wanted to make the exact opposite. I wanted to make a movie that glamorized maintaining a marriage, and that made the action hero part seem easy and made the marriage part seem hard. The Wall is a reaction to Edge of Tomorrow, where I was like, ‘I don’t need time travel and aliens to take a hero and pin them down in an impossible situation. I can do it in a much simpler way.’ And that was The Wall. The paint is still wet on The Wall. I’m not sure what I’m going to take away from it, and therefore what I’m gonna want to do next.”
That’s a curious approach but it certainly explains Liman’s versatility behind the camera. And with Warner Bros. mulling a number of DC projects currently in the works like The Flash, Suicide Squad 2, and Gotham City Sirens, it sounds like they’re giving Liman room to ensure he makes the best version of the film he can. Whether that means he tackles Edge of Tomorrow 2 first or moves into Justice League Dark later this year is unclear, but a new Doug Liman film is a new Doug Liman film, so I’m game regardless.
Look for more from our interview with Liman on Collider soon.