Director Leaves Gambit, Joins Live-Action Justice League Dark Film at Warner Bros.

JusticeLeagueDarkZatanna2

Gambit’s loss is Justice League Dark’s gain. Director Doug Liman has exited the long-standing Marvel adaptation to work on a long-standing Warner Bros. adaptation instead.

Poor Gambit. Fox has been trying to get made for a while now. The latest update I’d written about it had producer Simon Kinberg has said they were taking their time with it because they wanted to get the tone right. He reminded us the Deadpool film didn’t happen overnight but actually took ten years to finally come about.

Well today The Hollywood Reporter says the Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Edge of Tomorrow director is leaving Gambit. In another article they report he’s replacing Guillermo del Toro on the Justice League Dark, aka Dark Universe, film at Warner Bros. which had also been stalled (though the team was getting an animated feature). Here’s one half of the story:

Insiders tell The Hollywood Reporter the studio is still intent on starting production in January and has Josh Zetumer on writing duties. A source describes the split as a “mutual parting of ways.”

A search is already underway for a new director to helm the project that tells of a New Orleans-based mutant with the power to manipulate kinetic energy and whose weapons include a staff and a deck of playing cards.

And the other:

The studio is tapping Doug Liman to direct Justice League Dark, breathing new life in its supernatural adventure project.

Dark was a fairly recent DC title that grouped together heroes such as John Constantine (who was the title character of a solo 2005 movie that starred Keanu Reeves), Deadman, Shade the Changing Man, Zatanna and Swamp Thing (who has his own Wes Craven-directed pic in 1982), among others.

Up until recently it seemed as if the del Toro project was completely lost with Warner looking like they chose the animated feature on the JLD team instead. My guess would be the success of Suicide Squad spurred movement on the live-action project.

I like Liman for this and really hope it sees the light of day (and features lots of female characters and that they keep Matt Ryan as Constantine) but Warner Bros. already has a very busy DC film slate as it is. What do you make of the news?

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  • Meh.

    I want to be enthusiastic, and I love del Toro and Etrigan, but after three movies I think it’s safe to say there’s a trend repeating itself and I just don’t give a f*** any more. Gambit sounded like a dreadful movie too, kind of glad that one fell apart.

  • Jess_Witt

    Oh so now it’s a live-action film? Please be good, for gods’ sake DC.

    • It’s both. It was originally a live-action project with del Toro, that languished, somewhere along the way WB decided to do an animated feature, the live-action film has just been revitalized with this latest news.

      • Jess_Witt

        Yeesh, WB should just stand for Wishy-Washy Brothers.

        At the moment, I can’t recall a piece of work being adapted into two different versions simultaneously.

  • John Ender

    NO Del Toro, No GO… Liman is OK for an action movie but this just needed that extra something, Del Toro has done in spades with the likes of movies like Hellboy and Blade 2

  • MisterShoebox

    “So this John Guy…can we give him a girlfriend?”

    “Uh…”

    “I mean…I’ve read one comic, and he came off as kind of gay, and we can’t have those kinds of people be our leads. I’m not homophobic, but that won’t bring in any money.”

    “Uh…”

    “And – huh, I noticed he was kind of a smoker. Let’s have him trying to quit. Yeah, that makes sense – have him try to quit smoking and succeed at the end of the movie, because smoking is bad.”

    “…”

    “By your silence I can tell you agree. Oh…hmm. These other guys…Swamp Thing is big, so we’ll have him as the Hulk…this Zatanna chick dresses…oooh, We’ll have her as a Magician, but none of this backwards speaking-stuff – that’s too confusing. Shade…boooring, let’s have him have a five minute cameo. Ditto Dead Man. I mean – Heh – he’s a ghost, so let’s have him move things instead of possess people. Possessions are stupid.”

    “…Are you really high, or just plain stupid?”

    “I assure you – I am not high.”

    I joke, but Snyder isn’t involved, so it may turn out okay. Just have to wait and see, is all. Right?

  • Alan Izar

    I know nothing about JLD but my fancast for a movie Zatanna has always been Gina Rodriguez.

    For a TV show Zatanna it has been Crystal Reed.

  • Wheelchair

    Justice League already looks too dark, now they want to do Justice League Dark… er? What’s it gonna be, a pure black screen set to eardrum-ruptureingly loud heavy metal music for two hours, with ten seconds of bloodsplats shaped like the heroes’ logos at the end?

  • George Trello

    In a dark, dark office in the darkest of WB’s studios, an executive snorts a line of cocaine. “They got *sniff* Will Smith *sniff* *gasps* for that other one. Who do we build this around?” His partner sits across the desk, grasping at things only he can see. “Didn’t Keanu Reeves do that other… Constantinople or whatever. We could bring him back.” Executive One’s eyes light up like a cascade of coins in golden sunlight. “Yeah, yeah! That’s great!” Exec Two takes another long hit off of his vape. “What about the chick? We gotta get girlfriends to come with their men to make Avengers money.” The first waves him off. “Ah, doesn’t matter. Just find some white model and stick her in fishnets and black hot pants.” He snorts another line of coke. “This’ll be the darkest ‘Dark’ to ever dark!” Both laugh at the witty pun as an intern brings in another brick of cocaine.

    • George Trello

      I’m sorry….

    • Wow that took a…

      *puts on sunglasses*

      …dark turn.

      YEEEEEEAAAAAAH

  • !annataZ rof urdnehaM tennA

    • Doodlee Pigvirus

      good choice.

  • Marie

    I want to be optimistic about JLD, but I’m not sure I can even manage that. I’m…cautiously interested?

    • Saaame. I want to be excited but their track record is pretty crap. The cynic in me thinks it will basically be: John Constantine (and his involved backstory) & Friends. Friends, described best as Zatanna (her backstory is she was John’s gf), Swamp Thing (big dumb swamp muscle), Deadman (wisecracker), and Shade (spending most of the story incapacitated like June Moon). And can you imagine what DARK means when B.V.S. (Beavis) was comparatively light?