Swamp Thing has endured some inhuman cruelty in its evolution from comic-book page to the screen over the decades, surviving a pair of Hollywood features (one directed by Wes Craven!), a short-lived 1991 live-action TV show and a brief animated series tied to Kenner's Swamp Thing toy line in 1992. Created by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson, Swamp Thing is a brooding humanoid plant monster protecting Earth's environment as an immortal elemental being, first appearing in DC's House of Secrets #92 back in 1971, an essential issue highly prized by comic-book collectors.
The character scored his own solo series, beginning with Swamp Thing #1 in 1972, featuring a reworking of the origin story in which bio-scientist Alec Holland is injured in a toxic lab explosion in the Louisiana bayou, transforming him into a "muck-encrusted mockery of a man."
Back in 2009, uber-producer Joel Silver (Die Hard, The Matrix ) had hopes of giving the monstrous green creature a reboot for Warner Bros. from an Akiva Goldsman (Lost in Space, A Beautiful Mind) screenplay, but he couldn't make it fly. Before the plug was pulled, director Vincenzo Natali, whose indie horror hit, Cube, and disturbing sci-fi clone thriller, Splice, afforded him a level of respect as a genre filmmaker, came on board to direct and served up his version of the screenplay.
Natali recently shared the first four pages of his script, heavily influenced by British madman Alan Moore's (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Watchmen, V for Vendetta) monumental run on DC's Saga of the Swamp Thing starting with issue #20 in 1984. Moore's existential expansion of the Swamp Thing world and his cerebral, literary style are considered some of the finest examples of intelligent, engaging storytelling within the comic-book realm. Although the project was eventually scrapped, this superb sample of the screenplay remains as a glimpse of what could have been.
Have a read and tell us if Swamp Thing deserves another chance to blossom on the big screen.