For the second time in Swamp Thing’s history, he’s getting an ongoing live-action series. Today, Warner Bros. officially announced a script-to-series order for a one-hour drama executive produced by James Wan, the director of the studio’s upcoming Aquaman. But that’s not all — we officially have a name for the streaming service that will exclusively feature content from the DC Universe: DC Universe. Imagine that. Sometime in 2019, Wan’s Atomic Monster Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television will give us Swamp Thing.
Other executive producers include Mark Verheiden and Gary Dauberman, who will also write at least the first episode. Verheiden knows his way around the dark corners of the DC Universe, having written for the NBC series Constantine. Dauberman will be juggling this with his duties writing and directing the upcoming Annabelle film, and he certainly struck the right balance in human storytelling and horror with his adaptation of Stephen King’s IT (the first chapter).
Created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, the much-beloved Swamp Thing has starred in two feature films (the first one directed by Wes Craven and starring Ray Wise as Alec Holland), a live-action series in the early days of what is now Syfy, an animated series on Fox Kids, a videogame, and a toy line. He’s even had Mark Hamill voice him for Justice League Action, though co-creator Wein thought he should sound like Gilbert Gottfried.
From the logline provided by Warner Bros., it sounds like Verheiden and Dauberman will be taking a little bit of what worked from the previous movies and folding it into their take. Considering this is on a streaming service, this could get dark — and excellent. There’s a rich vein of ideas from the comics to tap into, not just Wein’s work but also famously Alan Moore’s landmark “American Gothic” run — which introduced Constantine to the world.
When CDC researcher Abby Arcane returns to her childhood home of Houma, Louisiana, in order to investigate a deadly swamp-borne virus, she develops a surprising bond with scientist Alec Holland — only to have him tragically taken from her. But as powerful forces descend on Houma, intent on exploiting the swamp’s mysterious properties for their own purposes, Abby will discover that the swamp holds mystical secrets, both horrifying and wondrous — and the potential love of her life may not be dead after all.
No word on casting yet, but the pedigree so far looks good. I already knew in my heart of hearts I’d be giving in and subscribing to DC Universe, but this pretty much seals the deal.
UPDATE: DC Comics’ website has also uploaded title cards for all four announced series for DC Universe, along with a sign-up for a newsletter that will keep us all informed as to what’s going on with the streaming service. In addition to Swamp Thing, they have Titans, Young Justice, and an animated Harley Quinn.