Work on Justice League Dark Continues, But Without Guillermo del Toro

Justice League Dark has been in development for over two years now, with not a lot to show for it. Following Man of Steel though, WB has taken a much stronger hand in shaping its cinematic universe, and apparently, they want JLD to be a part of that.

Warner Bros. is reportedly in the midst of shifting its Vertigo Comics adaptations to New Line, to allow the core WB team to focus on the burgeoning DC Cinematic Universe.

Here’s what THR had to say on that:

Justice League Dark, which is also known as Dark Universe, will remain under the Warners banner. Dark consists of DC’s supernatural heroes such as Constantine, Swamp Thing, Zatanna, and Deadman among others. In the past, Constantine and Swamp Thing and some of those ilk had their own titles published under the Vertigo imprint but have since been integrated into the DC Universe. The movie version will attempt the same.

That’s likely good news for the project overall, as it stands a much better chance of getting made under the DC Cinematic Universe banner. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, this has also meant that Guillermo del Toro, who’s been developing the film since late 2012, is no longer attached.

What happened with?

So far, we don’t have any confirmation on why Del Toro is no longer planning on writing or directing the film. While it’s possible that it’s due to some creative conflicts between Del Toro’s vision and the direction of the DC Cinematic Universe, it doesn’t sound like there’s a big rift between him and the studio.

After Crimson Peak hits theaters in October, Del Toro will reportedly turn his focus to Pacific Rim 2, which Warner Bros. will distribute in 2017. It’s more likely that the director could not devote the time necessary to get JLD off the ground for Warner Bros. After all, he’s currently attached to no fewer than three films for Universal after Crimson Peak. 

It’s also worth mentioning that this sort of thing happens to Del Toro all the freakin’ time. His stop-motion Pinocchio film has been in development hell since 2008, we’ve heard almost nothing about his Haunted Mansion reboot since 2010, and let’s not forget just how long At the Mountains of Madness languished before it was cancelled.

And as a long-shot bit of speculation, there have been some recent rumblings of a Hellboy 3. Could Del Toro have dropped JLD to focus on that? It seems possible.

So what’s next for Justice League Dark?

That is entirely up in the air at the moment. Del Toro was the driving force behind that film since we first heard about it, so there’s really no one to immediately step in and take his place.

Additionally, WB has planned out its Cinematic Universe timeline all the way through 2020, so unless Justice League Dark manages to squeeze itself in there, it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing it for a long, long time (if ever).

That being said, the fact that the studio is keeping it close may be a good indicator that they’re interested in the possibilities. Could WB/DC follow in Marvel’s footsteps and try their hand at integrating TV into their canon? That could be interesting…

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