After getting beaten down in development hell on The Hobbit and At the Mountains of Madness, Guillermo Del Toro shows no signs of slowing down. He landed an international success with Pacific Rim, his next film Crimson Peak looks incredible, he’s working on the second season of The Strain, and he might make Pacific Rim 2 his follow-up to Crimson Peak.
Another project Del Toro might pursue is an adaptation of Justice League Dark, the DC Comics superhero team that features misfits, outcasts, and oddballs like John Constantine, Deadman, Zatanna, and Madame Xanadu. When we last heard from Del Toro about the project in November 2013, he said that he was waiting for a writer to handle the screenplay and the ball was in Warner Bros. court about how they wanted to work the film into their larger universe. The following year, Warner Bros. announced their big DC Comics lineup, and it didn’t include Justice League Dark.
Del Toro was recently asked about the current status of Justice League Dark while on the set of The Strain, and it appears there’s been some progress, although certainly not as much as fans would probably like to see:
“We turned in our [script] revision, and it all depends on the calendar, you know? If I can do it, I would love to do it. And I think the screenplay and the characters are very solid.”
The director acknowledged that if the studio moves forward on Justice League Dark, it might be without him, adding, “[Justice League Dark] needs to fall into the plan of the DC Universe.”
But where is that plan? It’s not difficult to see why Warner Bros. may be leaving Justice League Dark in the ether. On the surface it has zero ties to any other property they’re currently developing. Suicide Squad doesn’t feature superheroes, but Joker and Harley Quinn provide a line back to Batman. Obviously, a Justice League Dark film can make any connections it wants assuming that Warner Bros. sees it as fitting into the larger framework. It’s difficult enough to establish a cohesive universe without throwing magicians, vampires, and ghosts (just to name a few).
I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing Del Toro tackling Justice League Dark, especially if he’s excited to do it. But after his seven-year gap between Hellboy II and Pacific Rim, I just want to see him keep directing the projects he’s passionate about.