Just three years ago, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro was prepping a live action adaptation of Justice League Dark, which at the time was entitled Dark Universe. After two years in development, the director eventually left the project, and we didn't hear much else about it until rumors swirled earlier this year that the studio is making an animated adaptation instead. That news was confirmed at Comic-Con, with the movie debuting this year, but today we have a new look at what may have been, if another director would have been involved.
Joseph Kahn, who has directed the feature films Torque and Detention, along with the controversial Power/Rangers short film last year, revealed on Twitter that he pitched his take on the project before it became an animated movie. He also shared his video of an eight-second animation test, which featured his version of Swamp Thing. Of course, we will never know how this project would have turned out, since this live action incarnation never saw the light of day, and we don't know if the filmmaker also has animation tests for other characters as well.
We also don't know when Joseph Kahn pitched on this project either. It's possible that he could have pitched his take before Guillermo del Toro several years ago, but it's more likely that he pitched after the filmmaker left the project in the summer of 2015. We reported in November that Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead) and the Israeli filmmaking duo of Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado (Big Bad Wolves) were considered the directorial front runners at this point, but at some point after this story, the project became an animated feature.
When Guillermo del Toro was attached to direct, he revealed that DC Comics characters such as John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Shade, Madame Xanadu, Etrigan The Demon and Zatanna were being used. Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor were being considered to play John Constantine. It was also believed that the actor who didn't land that role, could be cast as Jason Blood, the human version of Etrigan the Demon. Monica Bellucci was said to be the top choice to play Madame Xanadu, and Ron Perlman was reportedly being eyed to play Swamp Thing.
Most of these characters are being used in the animated movie, with Matt Ryan voicing John Constantine, while Jason O'Mara voices Batman, Camilla Luddington voices Zatanna, Nicholas Turturro voices Boston Brand and Ray Chase voices Etrigan. The animated movie Justice League Dark debuts on Blu-ray and DVD sometime this fall, but an official release date has yet to be given. While we wait for more on this animated adaptation, take a look at what the live-action Swamp Thing may have looked like in Dark Universe.