DC Comics’ upcoming streaming service, DC Universe, already turned heads during this year’s San Diego Comic-Con with the release of the teaser for Titans and the “f*** Batman” heard around the world. The streaming service, which launches this week on Sept. 15, will serve as the home for previously released DC content, a new animated series centered around Harley Quinn, the third season of Young Justice, and live-action original series including: Titans, Doom Patrol, Stargirl, and Swamp Thing.
Fans of the guardian of the Green have waited years for the character created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson to make his 21st-century live-action debut. The last time Swamp Thing appeared in live action was in the USA television series that ended in 1993. As a network show, USA’s Swamp Thing went pretty light on the horror fare, and most of the more gruesome comic book aspects popularized by maestro Alan Moore were lost in translation. But DC Universe’s upcoming Swamp Thing will have no shortage of horror, especially with the creative talents of contemporary horror filmmakers James Wan, Mark Verheiden, Gary Dauberman, and Len Wiseman in the roles of producers, writers, and director, respectively.
Dauberman, who had a hell of a weekend with the release of The Nun, which he penned, is no stranger to adapting difficult works. As one of the screenwriters of IT: Chapter 1 and the upcoming IT: Chapter 2, Dauberman has proven his ability to modernize stories that many consider untouchable works of the genre. And in comics, there is perhaps no one looked at with more of a sense of untouchability than Alan Moore.
/Film interviewed Dauberman, and the writer shared some details on how exactly he’ll manage to bring Swamp Thing to life as faithfully as possible. “We always set out to make Swamp Thing as hard R as we could and go graphic with the violence, with the adult themes, and make it as scary as possible," he said. "Because we’re doing it through the DC streaming service, they really pushed us, although they didn’t have to push hard, for us to go as extreme as we could. We really took our inspiration from the Alan Moore run in Swamp Thing — this landmark, I think, run,” he said.
One of Moore’s major contributions to the Swamp Thing mythos was his fleshing out of Abby Arcane, an empath who is one of Swamp Thing’s only friends, and his eventual lover and wife. Crystal Reed was cast as Abby last week, with Maria Sten tapped to play her friend Liz Tremayne. On the show’s perspective, Dauberman revealed that “a lot of it’s told through the point of view of Abby Arcane.” Those who have read Moore’s run, The Saga of Swamp Thing, know that things get particularly dark for Abby, events that certainly fall under the terms “graphic” and “extreme.”
While we’re still waiting to see which actor will be given a makeover and anatomy lesson as Alec Holland/Swamp Thing, Dauberman did share a bit of information on the character’s design. “Swamp Thing himself looks incredible, what Justin Raleigh and the guys over at Fractured are doing with the suit," he told /Film. "So it’s going to look amazing and less of the 'man in suit' that you’ve seen in the movie and the other TV show.”
A release date has yet to be announced for Swamp Thing, but DC Universe’s first original series, Titans, debuts on Oct. 12.