With bright and shiny fare like Aquaman and Shazam! lighting up the rearview mirror, the DCEU is once again about to get a little bit…darker. According to Deadline, J.J. Abrams‘ production banner Bad Robot, as part of a new deal with Warner Media, will develop films and TV series based on DC Comics’ Justice League Dark. Talks are apparently at their earliest stages and word is still out if Abrams himself would be directly involved, but Bad Robot Head of Motion Pictures Hannah Minghella and Head of Television Ben Stephenson will reportedly soon start taking meetings to decide which characters from the JLD will anchor their own projects.
Justice League Dark is a relatively new addition to DC’s 86-year history, first popping up in 2011’s Justice League Dark #1 by writer Peter Milligan and artist Mikel Janin. The crew is made from the more occult corner of DC’s universe, taking on missions a little too overtly supernatural for the original Justice League. The team’s constantly-revolving line-up includes names like the mystical chain-smoker John Constantine, flora-creature Swamp Thing, fortune-teller Madame Xanadu, the actual ghost name Deadman, a vampire named Andrew Bennett, the magician Zatanna, and Frankenstein’s monster.
It’s an interesting choice coming off of Abrams’ divisive-but-billion-dollar-worthy Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, considering Warner Bros’ past dives into JLD characters haven’t proven fruitful. (Besides, of course, Constantine starring Keanu Reeves, which banked about $233 million worldwide all the way back in 2005. Bring him back!) The attempt to adapt the John Constantine character to TV on NBC in 2014 was a one-season miss, although Matt Ryan‘s charming version of the character still shows up in the CW’s Arrowverse. The Swamp Thing series created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson also only lasted one season for DC Universe, despite favorable reviews.
A Justice League Dark live-action film written by Guillermo del Toro has also, in classic del Toro fashion, been floating around un-made at WB for years, although no word if that factors in at all.