Even as Warner Bros. Pictures’ new plan for out-of-continuity DC films gets popular attention, the so-called DC Extended Universe continues to develop further stories in its world of New Gods, Bats of Gotham and loner speedsters.
Deadline reports Justice League Dark, the long-in-development supernatural team-up project, has a new screenwriter in the form of Housebound‘s Gerard Johnstone. The film will reportedly feature some of DC’s most beloved mystical characters like John Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman and Swamp Thing. The project was once the passion of Guillermo del Toro until his passion for haunted houses and giant robots drew him elsewhere. Then director Doug Liman came on board following his departure from Gambit. But that association did not last long. According to the site, Johnstone is also eyeing a bid to the direct the feature should his polish of the script prove acceptable to the studio.
Meanwhile, Shazam! director David F. Sandberg (via CBM) let on that he’s begun pre-production on the film debut of Earth’s Mightiest Mortal.
Expect further Coke cans to mark the days of work as Sandberg’s project inches closer to filming.
As both films are slated to be part of the DCEU, it’s a good sign that Warner Bros. still has some faith in its cinematic universe aspirations. In the wake of the studio’s plan to build an Elseworlds’ style banner for projects like the Joker Origins film suggested to many — including me — that the studio lost confidence in its plans to engineer a Marvel-style cinematic world. Other have suggested the new plan fits in with DC Comics perennial use of multiverses and “imaginary stories” to tell tales outside the usual trappings of their monthly comic universe. At the same time, that fictional scaffolding also led the company to reboot its continuity several times over the last thirty years.