Justice League Dark
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(Credit: DC Comics)

J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot developing Justice League Dark universe for film and TV

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Jan 21, 2020

It's a supernatural squad of epic proportions that DC fans will likely love.

As part of its brand-new $500 million mega-deal with Warner Media, J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot is developing a Justice League Dark universe that will see the DC Comics series adapted for film and television franchises. SYFY WIRE has learned that the project is in the early stages of development, though it's not known what stories or combinations of JLD characters were being considered.

According to Deadline, which first reported the news, Bad Robot's Head of Motion Pictures, Hannah Minghella, and Head of Television, Ben Stephenson, will soon be taking pitches from prospective writers to figure out which Dark superheroes will be getting their close up.

Warner Bros. Television had no comment when approached by SYFY WIRE.

Created by Peter Milligan with art by Mikel Janin, Justice League Dark first launched in 2011's Justice League Dark #1 with the goal of assembling all of DC Comics' occult-themed characters and giving them spooky storylines that would require them to work together a la the original Justice League.

Notable members of the JLD include exorcist and occult detective John Constantine (described as a Liverpudlian magician in the comic); the creature otherwise known as Frankenstein; human-plant hybrid Swamp Thing; magical martial artist and Trinity of Sin member Pandora; mystic fortune teller Madam Xanadu; shapeshifting master of disguise Black Orchid; the ghostly acrobat Deadman; and master of illusion and supernatural expert Doctor Mist.

Several of these characters have hit the big and small screen already. There's Frankenstein, of course (sort of Justice League Dark's undead answer to Marvel's The Hulk). While both Swamp Thing and Constantine were turned into movies and TV series — the former in 1982 directed by Wes Craven and the just axed TV show streaming on DC Universe, and the latter flick in 2005 starring Keanu Reeves and later adapted to the tube for one season on NBC in 2014 starring Matt Ryan.

Other JLD superheroes exhibiting franchise potential include Mindwarp (a telepath), Nightmare Nurse (a healer of mystical wounds), The Phantom Stranger (an omniscient with mysterious paranormal powers), Amethyst, Princess of Gem World (a spellcaster), Shade, the Changing Man (a secret agent from another dimension), and Timothy Hunter, a boy magician who becomes a wizard king.

The only real Justice League Dark adaptation that's happened so far has been the 2017 straight to video animated incarnation starring the voice cast of Rosario Dawson, Alfred Molino, and Nicholas Turturro.

So if all goes well for Constantine and company, let the demon hunting begin!


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