Many film projects adapted from DC Comics were lost in the shuffle when Warner Bros. Discovery decided to clean house at DC Films when James Gunn and Peter Safran took over. This included a crossover between ‘Black Adam’ and ‘Man of Steel’ as well as the canceled Batgirl movie. One of the films put on hold was ‘Justice League Dark,’ a film potentially directed by Guillermo del Toro and co-written by ‘M3GaN’ director Gerard Johnstone.
There have been no concrete updates since 2020, but during an interview with ScreenRant, Johnstone revealed that he had worked extensively on the script and dished on some key plot points.
“The status is mainly that IMDB just hasn’t updated that page yet. I was on Justice League Dark,” Johnstone explained. “I’m a big fan of James, and while I was working on Justice League Dark, I was watching Guardians of the Galaxy a lot. Because tonally, it was really similar to what I wanted to do, but also it was a movie that introduced a bunch of new characters in a movie that’s worked.”
When speaking about a potential story arc, Johnstone said he turned to Justice League Dark member John Constantine for some inspiration.
“I had to give myself an education on those comics. And so I did a massive deep dive on all the DC comics, and Constantine [and] all the Hellblazer,” he said. “It’s so funny because they just wanted a script really quickly, but I was like, “I’m just having too much fun reading these comics.” I was getting into the Brujería; the weird little Patagonian cult. And I was like, “I want to do something with the Brujería. These guys are really strange, and weird, and they live in a cave in Patagonia, how cool is that?” I had taken on a script that was really fun, but I think no writer had really been able to invest the necessary time on it to just make it work.”
He also stated that Batman ally Zatanna Zatara would have been the focal point of the film and the main driver of the team.
“But I really was just halfway through the script writing process with that one. But yeah, it was a fun pitch. So Deadman, Swamp Thing, Constantine, Zatanna. I felt like Zatanna was actually the main character, and there was a lot of the conversations and jostling I had with the guys, because they were like, ‘Constantine’s the main character.’ I was like, ‘No, Constantine’s kind of the coolest character. But Zatanna is really the main character.’ Because she’s discovering her magical powers for the first time. But it was fun, man. The characters all went to hell to get Zatanna’s dad,” Johnstone continued.
He concluded by saying he would love to hand it over to James Gunn to add it to the new slate of DCU films.
“I gotta dig it up,” he added. “But it was fun. I had blast writing it. But no, it’s an unfinished work, for sure. I would love to meet James Gunn. I would love to sit down with James Gunn and talk about it, for sure.”
‘Justice League Dark’ was adapted into a 2016 animated film as part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies and would receive a 2019 sequel ‘Justice League Dark: Apokolips War’ which served as the finale for that franchise.
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