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DC roundup: First set footage from Swamp Thing surfaces; Birds of Prey screenwriter promises 'best bits' of characters; more

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Dec 29, 2018, 3:28 PM EST

Our latest roundup of DC-related news takes us into the muck of the upcoming live-action Swamp Thing series, the poorly lit streets of Gotham City in the Birds of Prey film, and the underwater kingdom of Atlantis in James Wan's Aquaman (now in theaters).

Take a deep breath and try not to swallow any swamp water as we take the plunge!

Yesterday, Len Wiseman, an executive producer and pilot director on Swamp Thing for DC Universe, shared initial set footage from the superhero show, currently in production on Greenfield Lake in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Our Instagram embed capabilities are currently on the fritz, but you can check out Wiseman's post here.

Wiseman's video, although a recording of misty, bayou-esque waters, is meant to evoke the peaceful canals and waterways of Venice, Italy. Set to music you'd associate with the boot-shaped country, we see camera crews floating around on wooden rafts, letting us know that the series is going the extra mile for realism. The lighting by cinematographer Pedro Luque (he gets a shoutout in Wiseman's post) adds an element of otherworldy spookiness to the murky setting.

Andy Bean (It: Chapter Two) plays scientist Alec Holland, who, after a lab accident, turns into a mossy, plant-based monster (portrayed by Derek Mears) with Holland's memories. Co-starring Kevin Durand, Crystal Reed, Maria Sten, and Will Patton, Swamp Thing is expected to bubble up onto the DC Universe streaming service in 2019.

Up next, screenwriter Christina Hodson (Bumblebee) recently spoke to Comic Book Resources about Cathy Yan's Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). Hodson described herself as "super f***cking excited" for the movie, whose script she penned.

Hodson did her homework on the principal players like Quinn (Margot Robbie), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), immersing herself in their respective comic book histories. Once that was done, it was just a matter of picking and choosing the coolest stuff about them.

“[The characters] have all been through so many different iterations," she said. "What’s exciting is, I’m not just taking one canonical thing and then doing my own spin. There’ve been many different versions of them, and I get to pick and choose the best bits.”

Ewan McGregor (Black Mask), Ella Jay Basco (Cassandra Cain), Rosie Perez (Renee Montoya), Ali Wong (TBD), Derek Wilson (Tim Evans), and Chris Messina (Victor Zsasz) are also a part of the cast.

“It’s an honor and a privilege,” Hodson added. “It’s a little daunting, but I’m super-excited about it."

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) swoops into theaters February 7, 2020.

Third and last, Variety reports that Aquaman will see an extended theatrical release in China until February 6, 2019, which is apprently the second day of the country's New Year celebration.

Per the story, this is unusual for non-Chinese productions (aka "foreign revenue-sharing films"), which usually only stay in theaters for 30 days unless they are performing exceptionally well at the box office. Aquaman is the second movie to receive an extension this month, after Sony's Venom.

Expected to top the box office in its second weekend, Aquaman has already hooked over $666 million worldwide, a large chunk of that coming from foreign markets and early screenings for Amazon Prime subscribers prior to the feature's wide release last Friday.