Despite the efforts of Guillermo del Toro to put together a live-action film, it seemed as though DC’s Justice League Dark was dead in the water. Fortunately, fans of DC’s darker side can finally celebrate, as the occult project is finally in the works. Devotees of the occult comic book series, which ran from November of 2011 to March of 2015, will now have the opportunity to see their favorite mystical characters in (animated) action.
The move comes as Warner Bros. and DC have been pushing boundaries, releasing the controversial (if not for the right reasons) Batman: The Killing Joke as an R-rated animated film. Rumors of an animated Justice League Dark feature broke last month and now became official. The new feature will also reunite Matt Ryan with his former TV character, John Constantine.
In honor of their latest, and most supernatural venture, DC put together a featurette (watch it above), with the input of prolific animation director Jay Oliva, producer James Tucker, and DC’s director of animation Mike Carlin. In the feature, they explore the cast and style of the latest DC animated venture. The new film will heavily feature Batman (voiced by Jason O’Mara)as a member the so-called rational world and working alongside the loose band of occult superheroes. In addition, the somewhat assembled Justice League Dark includes fan favorites like Swamp Thing, Zatana (Camilla Luddington), Deadman (Nicholas Turturro), and Jason Blood/Etrigan, aka the Demon, (Ray Chase). Producer Tucker described the JLD, saying:
“No one is happy when they show up. If anything, with Justice League Dark, everyone is frightened when they show up. They misunderstand them, so…Having monstrous people who do heroic things is always kind of cool.”Equally thrilling is the return of Ryan from the prematurely canceled Constantine. While NBC’s series never quite found its mark, its canning after just one season hit many fans of the supernatural character – who’s previously outing was the 2005 film, Constantine with Keanu Reeves – came as a major disappointment. After getting short shrift, Ryan is looking forward to further exploring the role, saying:
The plot, from what we know so far, revolves around a crime wave perpetuated on a global scale by ordinary “law-abiding” citizens. It appears the crimes are the work of dark forces, seeking to remake the world in their image (they sure like doing that). In the wake of these inexplicable crimes, the beleaguered Justice League – which will include Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Green Lantern – begrudgingly turns to the forces of the occult for aid.“I really wanted to jump into this project, to play Constantine in a different context…around some of the iconic characters that are in the DC dark world.”
Taking cues from popular entertainment like video games and anime when creating the new series and will feature a different occult rune for each character.
The Justice League Dark film is exciting for many reasons. First and foremost, it brings an element of mysticism to the DC universe (similarly to the upcoming Doctor Strange film in the MCU). In addition, fans of the short-lived Constantine will have a chance to watch their former anti-hero team up with the positive side of the forces of darkness. The producers also say the show will delve into more horror elements prevalent in the more mystical Vertigo universe. So even if Justice League Dark doesn’t warrant an R-rating, this won’t be your kids version of DC.