Scott Derrickson looks to be willing to be one of those filmmakers who play for both teams, comic book giants Marvel and DC. After directing the first Doctor Strange movie and serving as executive producer on the sequel, Derrickson was recently asked on twitter if he would do a Justice League movie for DC, to which he had a simple response:
"I'd do Constantine."
In many ways, the character of John Constantine is possibly the most perfect fit for a filmmaker with the sensibilities of Derrickson, who shot into the limelight thanks to making horror films like Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Even the second Doctor Strange movie, which Derrickson was planning to direct, was hyped to be the first horror film in the MCU.
Constantine's world offers ripe opportunities for filmmakers to explore themes of horror and damnation. The character is described as an occult private detective, a man who uses magic to keep the forces of heaven and hell from overrunning the world.
The Constantine series features everything from demons and warlocks to pagan deities and characters willing to sell their souls for power. It is the kind of dark, gothic, morally grey supernatural world that Scott Derrickson could mold into a classic horror movie for the ages.
For now, the fate of a live-action Constantine movie appears stuck in limbo. Keanu Reeves appeared in the 2005 Constantine movie, which was a commercial flop, but which went on to achieve cult status. Following Reeves's comeback to Hollywood A-list with the success of the John Wick series, there have been rumors of Warner Bros. courting the actor to reprise his role as Constantine, with Reeves himself stating that he would love to revisit the character.
On the other hand, a live-action portrayal of Constantine was recently a part of the CW's Arrowverse, where actor Matt Ryan played a much more comic-accurate version of the occult detective. Fans have been clamoring to see Ryan reprise his role in a full-length Constantine movie.
The main rumor surrounding Derrickson's exit from the Doctor Strange 2 as director revolved around Marvel's reluctance to let the director make a full-fledged horror movie that might need an R-rating. On the other hand, Warner Bros. have proven themselves to be willing to take more risks with making R-rated movies based on comics. In addition, they have already greenlit a full-on horror film spinoff of Aquaman that explores the trench introduced in the movie filled with mutated sea creatures.
So Warner studios seem like a much better fit for Derrickson's horror sensibilities than Marvel. If he does make the leap, he will be the third filmmaker to go from working on the MCU to the DCEU, with Joss Whedon and James Gunn having already made the jump from Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy to Justice League and Suicide Squad respectively.
At the end of the day, viewers don't care which director is working for which company, so long as they get to see good movies coming out of the collaboration.