James Mangold may be bringing one of DC’s creepiest heroes to life. The “Logan” and “Ford v. Ferrari” director is reportedly in early talks to tackle “Swamp Thing,” one of the upcoming films from DC Studio’s first chapter of movies under James Gunn and Peter Safran’s command, THR first reported Wednesday.
It’s unclear whether Mangold would both write and direct the film or his exact involvement. Mangold did however seem to confirm his interest on his Twitter, via a post with a panel from the character’s comic series, drawn by co-creator Bernie Wrightson. The post was also retweeted by Gunn.
— Mangold (@mang0ld) February 1, 2023
Representatives from Warner Bros. Discovery. Sources told IndieWire that Mangold is a longtime “Swamp Thing” fan who approached the new regime at DC with his idea for the film, and that he will both direct and write should the project go forward.
A release date for “Swamp Thing” hasn’t been announced, but the film was one of 10 projects announced Tuedsay with Gunn and Safran unveiling their plans for DC Studios. This slate of projects, which includes a Batman film titled “The Brave and the Bold” and a film based on the Wildstorm comic series “The Authority,” is titled “Gods and Monsters” and will formally begin with the “Superman: Legacy” film written by Gunn and tentatively scheduled for July 11, 2025.
At a Monday press conference, Gunn and Safran described “Swamp Thing” as the darkest film in the announced slate, calling it a horror film that would still integrate with other DC projects down the road.
The character of Swamp Thing was first created by writer Len Wein and Wrightson in 1971, for the horror anthology comic book “House of Secrets.” The character proved popular enough to receive a self-titled series the next year, which introduced the most famous version of the alias, Alec Holland, a scientist who dies in a Louisiana swamp and has his mind and consciousness transferred into the plant life of the bayou, becoming the green monster known as Swamp Thing. The character has had several celebrated runs in the comic books, with the most famous penned by “Watchmen” writer Alan Moore in the 1980s. Moore’s run, drawn by John Totleben and Stephen R. Bissette, was critically-acclaimed, introducing a new mystical bent to the character and dealing with complex themes of identity and life.
The character has since been adapted for film and television several times, beginning with two films starring Dick Durock as Swamp Thing that were released in 1982 and 1989, with Wes Craven directing the first one. Durock reprised his role for a three season USA Network series in 1990, and a single season show starring the character premiered on the DC Universe streamer in 2019, with Andy Bean and Derek Mears playing the dual roles of Holland and Swamp Thing. The character has also popped up in various animated series and movies, including “Justice League,” “Harley Quinn,” and the “Justice League Dark” direct-to-video movie.
Next up for Mangold is “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” which releases in June and sees Harrison Ford reprise his iconic role. He’s also attached to direct a Bob Dylan biopic for Searchlight that stars Timothée Chalamet, and that project would likely come first. Mangold is also known for “The Wolverine,” “3:10 to Yuma,” “Walk the Line,” and “Girl, Interrupted.”
He is represented by WME, Entertainment 360, and Sloane Offer.
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