DC Universe’s live-action original series Swamp Thing is gearing up to go into murky, muddy production, finally announcing that Andy Bean (It: Chapter 2) will lead the series as Dr. Alec Holland while former Friday the 13th Jason Voorhees actor Derek Mears will portray Holland’s monstrous mutant alter-ego, Swamp Thing.
Here’s the official character description for Holland, courtesy of DC Universe:
“Passionate biologist Alec Holland is caught in the crosshairs of a small town nightmare when he discovers a bizarre local illness may be connected to his work in the swamp. Holland’s discovery leads him into conflict with dark forces, from which he emerges as the elemental hero known as Swamp Thing.”
And here’s the official description for the series’ title creature:
“Emerging from the swamp with a monstrous physique and strange new powers over plant life, the man who was once Alec Holland struggles to hold onto his humanity. When dark forces converge on the town of Marais, Swamp Thing must embrace what he has become in order to defend the town as well as the natural world at large.”
Both Holland and Swamp thing first appeared in the pages of 1972’s Swamp Thing #1 by writer Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson. The dual character’s personality, origin, and abilities have changed over the years—although he’s almost always a Shrek-like, get-outta-mah-swamp type curmudgeon on some level—with Alan Moore‘s iconic book-saving run in the 80’s providing the creature’s most oft-used background, which the TV series seems to be pulling from.
Bean is a pretty solid choice, coming off the appropriately horrific It sequel in which he plays the older version of Stan Uris (played by Wyatt Oleff in the first film). But it’s Mears’ cast that is truly exciting. A hulking physical presence, the actor is perfectly accustomed to bringing a sense of humanity to the decidedly inhuman; in addition to Jason Voorhees, Mears has appeared under prosthetics to play the OG Predator in Shane Black‘s The Predator and Moloc on Fox’s Sleepy Hollow series. (He also played a limo driver in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, which is just kind’ve amazing.)
Swamp Thing will premiere alongside a new batch of original content for DC’s streaming service in 2019 that also includes Doom Patrol and Stargirl. The service already debuted Titans, which you could charitably say I did not enjoy. But Swamp Thing is, at least, highly promising. Not only does the source material actually lend itself to dark, brooding drama, but the series’ pilot was co-written by Ash vs. Evil Dead EP Mark Verheiden and The Nun scribe Gary Dauberman. Len Wiseman—who helmed the pilots for Sleepy Hollow and Lucifer—is set to direct, with The Conjuring Universe architect James Wan attached as producer. That’s just a spooky good time right there.