Guillermo Del Toro dropped some great updates on Dark Universe (formerly Heaven Sent) during the WonderCon panel for Pacific Rim on Saturday. The movie is based on DC Comics’ Justice League Dark, and Del Toro says he’s already written the story bible and chosen a writer to adapt it as a screenplay.
The film will follow John Constantine (who, Del Toro promises, will be blond this time) as its protagonist, and will include the previously-announced Swamp Thing, [Etrigan] the Demon, Deadman, the Spectre, and Zatanna as well. “He is basically trying to recruit,” says Del Toro of [Constantine]. Though the film’s through-line will feature [Etrigan the Demon's] history with Merlin and the Knights of King Arthur, bringing a threat to present day. [Coming Soon]
He also revealed another part of the story line. “Swamp Thing is at peace with who he is, but Deadman is still trying to find out who shot him.” He added that Dark Universe may be renamed Justice League Dark. There are a couple of caveats, however. The project hasn’t officially been greenlit by Warner, and Del Toro can’t direct it until he finishes Crimson Peak.
Here’s perhaps my favorite part of that WonderCon panel. Del Toro says the beginning of Dark Universe won’t be loaded with origin stories of the characters, but will instead explain some of their backstories throughout the film. You mean to tell me there’s at least one guy in Hollywood who understands that the first film in a potential franchise doesn’t have to be a tedious, exposition-filled origin story? You’re one of the good ones, Del Toro.