The DC Cinematic Universe is under new, top-down direction under James Gunn and Peter Safran. With the shift, the studio has announced a whole new run of movies and television series to reset the franchise. One of those will be a new Swamp Thing movie, resetting this character that the franchise had tried out a few years ago.
It’s an exciting time as the studio begins to look at things with a more holistic approach to its stories rather than just star-fueled pet projects.
Let’s take a look at what we know about the Swamp Thing movie and what to expect from the DC Cinematic Universe as a whole moving forward.
THE SWAMP THING MOVIE IS PART OF DC’S GODS AND MONSTERS RESET
James Gunn took to Twitter to announce the new line of DC Cinematic Universe projects he and Peter Safran have been tasked with resetting in the coming years. It’s a massive undertaking meant to bring the studio’s projects and stories into a more cohesive and world-building theme akin to what has happened with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Among the projects coming from DC will be a number of movies and series, some new and some resets. Along with the Swamp Thing movie, the planned films are Superman: Legacy, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and The Authority.
Plus, under the DC Elseworlds banner will be The Batman Part II, and Joker 2.
It’s worth noting that while a Swamp Thing movie is part of this new run of stories, Gunn and company have been clear that the movie will sit somewhat outside the overall umbrella of new characters and structure. There’s a reason for that which we will get to shortly.
SWAMP THING IS ALEC HOLLAND, A BIO-CREATURE LIVING IN THE LOUISIANA BAYOU
Alec Holland is technically the second iteration of Swamp Thing, having first hit the comic book pages in 1972. The premise could only happen in the pages of a comic book, but it’s a cool story nonetheless.
Holland (in the original version) is a scientist working on a cure for world hunger. He basically finds it with a new bio creation, but his lab is sabotaged and explodes, covering him in this so-called bio-restorative formula.
He runs into the swamp where his human body essentially dissolves, making him “one” with the plants and other growth there. His consciousness becomes part of it as well. But when the swamp needs to protect itself, it can form into a human(ish) being that is Swamp Thing.
The new being is something of a mix of the original Alec Holland, at least in terms of memory and general proclivity in wanting to help others (or in this case the swamp), while also most definitely not being anything close to human.
The Swamp Thing stories (and presumably the movie as well) are insular in that the Alec Holland version of the character can’t really move outside of his swamp home base, or at least where there isn’t vegetation present.
Essentially, Swamp Thing creates a body out of the growth around him and can be difficult to defeat in this way. Even when an “injury” happens, it is only to the bio growth and not to the being itself. The actual conscious aspect of Alec Holland is alive in all of the living plant-like things.
THIS SWAMP THING IS NOT THE SAME AS THE DC SERIES OF THE SAME NAME
Because the DC Cinematic Universe is going through such a big overhaul, there’s bound to be some confusion with characters in the short term and who will be playing who (or what). The character of Swamp Thing falls into that category because it wasn’t too long ago that we had a television series with the same name under the DC umbrella.
Swamp Thing appeared on DC Universe back in 2019 with Andy Bean in the Alec Holland role. The series ran for 10 episodes in 2019 but didn’t make it any further than that. It did garner positive critical reaction at the time, hitting 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
The cancellation apparently had to do with disagreements between the creative team and the previous brass at Warner Bros. It will be interesting to see how much of the series (if anything) carries over with James Gunn and Peter Safran.
And of course, there was the 1982 Swamp Thing movie directed by Wes Craven. In terms of horror leanings, the new folks at DC could draw on this version, at least thematically. That movie had Ray Wise in the lead role and did end up getting a sequel.
JAMES MANGOLD IS IN EARLY TALKS TO DIRECT
On the heels of the DC announcements about the new projects, word started to spread about who could be attached to different roles, characters, scripts, etc. One name that popped up was James Mangold, who might be in line to direct the Swamp Thing movie.
This would obviously be a massive get for the studio with Mangold’s other work in the comic book genre being among the very best the medium had to offer.
Mangold helmed The Wolverine in 2013, which got that story back on track, and then in 2017 he brought Hugh Jackman’s character to an end with the brilliant Logan. The brutal finale (at least then) for Wolverine was the perfect way to close that character’s arc.
He is currently set to bring Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny to theaters in June of this year. That will be Harrison Ford’s final whip crack as the iconic character.
THERE IS NO CONFIRMED RELEASE DATE FOR THE SWAMP THING MOVIE
With all of the DC announcements relatively new, we are still waiting on specifics for when they will hit the big and small screens. The only one with a “firm” date is Superman: Legacy which will hit theaters on July 11, 2025.
Where Swamp Thing is concerned, we likely have many years to wait until the creature comes to screens in all of his mossy madness.
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