One of the many films to be stuck in development hell is Warner Bros.’ Justice League Dark. We’ve been hearing about the production of this movie for the better part of five years now and it looks like it just struck yet another roadblock that it is looking to pass. Warner brought in some potential directors to make their pitches for a Justice League Dark movie they would be happy with. A couple months ago, Warner began workshopping a new script with some pretty high-profile writers at the helm.
Jon Spaihts, whose credits include Doctor Strange, Prometheus, and Passengers, was brought on board to pen a new draft, following a report that studio executives were “underwhelmed” by recent presentations from prospective directors. Yikes, if studios themselves are worrying about the state of a film or series you know something must be up.
Spaihts is only the latest in a long line of contributors. Since Guillermo del Toro left Justice League Dark in 2015, Warner Bros. has brought in John-Henry Butterworth, DC Comics writer Peter Tomasi, and Michael Gillio. However, Spaihts has moved onto other projects himself, leaving it up in the air as to whether or not any part of his script will inevitably end up in the final film.
More recently, Gerard Johnstone has been tapped to polish the script for the Justice League Dark movie. Johnstone’s biggest credit to date is a film from 2014 called Housebound, which earned strong reviews and caught the eye of Peter Jackson, who has championed Johnstone since the film’s release. Johnstone is also one of the names in contention to direct Justice League Dark but Warner Bros. is still holding off on naming anyone. The filmmaker was allowed a pass on the screenplay regardless.
Director Guillermo del Toro was forced to walk away from the project about supernatural heroes of the DC universe when he began work on the sequel to Pacific Rim. Director Doug Liman, best known for directing The Bourne Identity, Mr. And Mrs. Smith, and Edge Of Tomorrow than joined Justice League Dark in August of 2016 only to step down back in May due to a weak script. It has recently been claimed that Daniel Espinosa (Life) and Gerard Johnstone (Housebound) were on the shortlist to succeed Liman.
Del Toro’s version initially involved the team-up of such characters as John Constantine, Zatanna, Swamp Thing, Deadman, The Spectre, Madame Xanadu and Etrigan the Demon. It’s uncertain if any version of the recent script uses the same characters.
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