New DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran unveiled their plans for the upcoming DC movie slate Tuesday, with new Batman and Superman projects among the many titles announced.
One of those titles is a feature movie adaptation of Swamp Thing, one of five movies announced. And the Swamp Thing movie may have found its director in James Mangold, who is reportedly in talks to take on the project.
Mangold is perhaps best known for the critically acclaimed superhero movie Logan, but he also directed the underrated The Wolverine (which greatly benefits from being the rare superhero movie with a local rather than global conflict, and also by having an awesome fight scene on a train). He’s a veteran director who has taken on many different kinds of projects to critical and commercial success, including the excellent Sylvester Stallone drama Cop Land, the renowned psychological drama Girl, Interrupted, the fun buddy comedy Knight and Day, and the Oscar-nominated Ford v Ferrari. Mangold is also directing the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
Swamp Thing originated in 1971’s House of Secrets #92, and it has appeared in two movies, including 1982’s Swamp Thing from Wes Craven. A short-lived television show on the short-lived streaming platform DC Universe, also titled Swamp Thing, was cancelled soon after premiering and lasted only 10 episodes. The character also showed up in the most recent season of Harley Quinn.
Swamp Thing is often a tragic hero; my colleague Susana Polo described the character as “essentially the personification of The Will of All Plants who accidentally absorbed the memories of a dead scientist.” Swamp Thing is basically a swamp monster whose main goal is to protect its swampy home, and the environment more generally. Alan Moore’s run with the character in the late 1980s is particularly well-received, if you’re interested in checking it out before the movie. Swamp Thing stories are generally more horror-oriented, which would be a first for Mangold, who has worked in essentially every other genre.