Marvel’s Best Director Helming Swamp Thing

Logan director James Mangold is in discussions to direct the DC Universe's Swamp Thing film.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

swamp thing

Marvel director James Mangold is in discussion to direct the recently announced Swamp Thing film. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the Logan and The Wolverine director is in strong consideration to helm Swamp Thing, one of the ten movies announced by DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn to make up the first “Gods and Monsters” chapter of the new DC Universe. Though neither James Mangold nor DC Studios have confirmed the director, Mangold did Tweet an image of the plant-based hero, which seems telling.

Swamp Thing has been announced as a theatrical release, along with Superman: Legacy (which will kick off the new DC Universe), The Brave and the Bold, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, and The Authority. Gunn and fellow co-CEO Peter Safran have described Swamp Thing as the darkest of the upcoming slate of films, tonally speaking, but that the elemental creature will still be part of the greater DC Universe continuity, rather than an Elseworlds story. It seems that Gunn and Safran (and likely Mangold) actually view that as a selling point of the film, rather than potentially confusing. 

While James Mangold has not yet been confirmed to direct Swamp Thing, he reportedly is an enormous fan of the character and approached DC Studios with his ideas, rather than the other way around. It is not surprising that Gunn and Safran would strongly consider the filmmaker, considering he directed Hugh Jackman’s Logan, one of the most critically acclaimed superhero movies ever, the Academy Award-winning Joaquin Phoenix movie Walk the Line, and will soon direct the fifth Indiana Jones movie. If you get the chance to lock in perhaps the best director who has worked with Marvel so far, one would think you get that settled fast.

swamp thing

Swamp Thing is one of DC Comics’ more unusual characters, first created by writer Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson as a standalone story in a 1971 issue of the horror-themed House of Secret. The character was originally presented as a man named Alec Holland who was transformed into a humanoid mass of vegetation, fought crime, and searched for his wife’s killers. That changed when legendary writer Alan Moore took over Swamp Thing in 1984 and revised his origin to be an elemental being who believed he had once been Alec Holland and explored complex themes of morality, environmentalism, and spiritual concepts like a linked group spirit of all plants on Earth. 

Since then, Moore’s version of Swamp Thing has been revised over the years, but still remains the most significant version of the character. Over the years, the character has been adapted for several different television series (as recently as 2019) and was made into a pair of feature films in 1982 and 1989, as well as multiple appearances in various animated DC shows. Interestingly, the comic also introduced the character of John Constantine, who quickly became a Vertigo/DC fan favorite and will soon receive a second movie starring Keanu Reeves.

For now, we will wait for the confirmation that James Mangold is on board for the DC Universe Swamp Thing, and definitely are hoping for it.