‘Dark Universe’ Could Turn Comic Genre On Its Head

By October 29, 2016
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Back in August, the long-gestating film adaptation of DC’s Justice League Dark got a major boost with the announcement that Doug Liman had been tapped to direct the feature, officially titled Dark Universe.

While making the press rounds this week to promote his new virtual reality series Invisible, Liman spoke with IGN about his excitement for the project.

“First of all, I love those characters, and I love Warner Bros., and I love Scott Rudin … you know, I get asked to come in and do things that are ‘unconventional.’ If people want conventional, they don’t come to me. And so you know when Warner Bros. wants to sort of turn the comic book genre on its head, they call me.”

With a cast of characters that includes Deadman, John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Zatanna, and Etrigan the Demon, “unconventional” certainly seems like an accurate descriptor. A number of recognizable names have been rumored for roles in the film, including Ron Perlman as Hellboy, Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor in consideration for Constantine, and Rogue One star Ben Mendelsohn in talks for the film’s villain, Anton Arcane.

This will mark Liman’s first foray into the comic book genre – he was previously attached to Gambit over at Twentieth Century Fox, but left the project after delays conflicted with his schedule – and he’s looking forward to the challenge of blending his unique sensibilities with fan expectations.

Liman smallIt’s like, how do you fundamentally reinvent what people are doing? And that’s the good and the bad news of this sort of box I’ve been put in. I mean, you’d think it was by design, but it wasn’t … So even if I wanted to be a little bit more conventional, like, the system doesn’t want me to be.

“But since I do treat every project as a form of a film school, ‘OK I haven’t done that genre and how am I going to do it and how am I going to do it in a way that no one’s done it before?’

“So that’s, you know, I haven’t done a comic book film, and that’s — am I going to do it in a new way that’s unlike what anyone else has ever done, and come up with a couple of rules for myself of what we’re not going to do that other people do? That just automatically puts you on a new track.”

No official release date has been announced for Dark Universe, and no screenwriter has been attached. Warner Bros. currently has two untitled DC Comics films scheduled to hit theaters in October 2018 and November 2019 – so fans likely can expect Dark Universe to fill one of those spots.

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Brent Hankins

Brent Hankins

Contributing Writer at GeekNation
Brent Hankins is a member of the Phoenix Critics Circle and co-host of the Drinks and Discourse podcast. He's also the proud owner of an Italian Greyhound named Sullivan. He's adorable (the dog, not the author).