James Gunn Clarifies Why Guillermo del Toro Is Not Directing DCU’s Swamp Thing


Summary

  • James Gunn reveals why James Mangold is directing DCU’s Swamp Thing instead of Guillermo del Toro
  • Director James Mangold plans to change the origin of Swamp Thing in his film, envisioning a horror noir mystery about a creature with amnesia.
  • James Gunn’s decision to change Swamp Thing‘s origin reflects his preference for obscure characters and allows for creative freedom in the DCU.


James Gunn has addressed why James Mangold is helming the DCU’s Swamp Thing movie rather than fan-favorite Guillermo del Toro. As a surprising entry in the opening chapter of the revamped DCU, many fans have wondered why del Toro was not tapped to bring the dark fantasy of Swamp Thing back to the big screen, especially considering he has expressed an interest in adapting the comic book character in the past.

However, it seems that there was a viable reason why Mangold managed to get his hands on the coveted gig, as Gunn revealed when addressing a fan on Threads. Having been asked why del Toro was not chosen for the project, Gunn replied:

Well, for starters, James actually expressed his interest to me (Guillermo, who I know and love, did not)

James Gunn’s DCU looks like it will do things its own way, reviving the comic book universe and attempting to make it the success that its previous iteration failed to become. According to director James Mangold, that will include some potential changes to the origins of some characters.

Swamp Thing has been adapted previously in both movies and TV shows, and the origin of the plant-based character have always been roughly the same. That origin would be of a scientist who is caught in a laboratory explosion engineered by the character that usually becomes the villain of the story, and subsequently finds himself turning into the big green creature. However, it looks like Mangold is planning on making a little change to this when his version of Swamp Thing arrives. He previously told the Happy Sad Confused podcast:

“But to me, the idea of making kind of almost a kind of noir mystery horror film about a guy who wakes up and he’s this thing, and he’s… there’s this amnesiac quality of like “how did I get here and who did this to me.” So I’m envisioning a kind of horror noir film following a creature that can’t be seen trying to piece together from fragments of memory what happened and who did it.”

Related: James Mangold Views DCU’s Swamp Thing as a “Stand-Alone Gothic Horror”, Not A Big Franchise Movie


Changing Swamp Thing’s Origin Can Benefit the DCU.

DC Comics

Even though James Gunn and Peter Safran will be kicking off their run in charge of the DCU with the iconic Superman, Gunn does favor the more obscure characters that have a lot of room to play around with. Messing with the likes of Batman or Superman is going to end up alienating a lot of people, where characters such as Swamp Thing have a dedicated but relatively small following and that means origin changes are not such a big deal.

Over the last decade, Marvel Studios have done this with many characters and storylines from their comic books in order to make things fit together in a way that works for the MCU storylines. If anyone is going to make this kind of decision for DC, James Gunn is probably the right person to do it. How successful it will be is something that will not be known for a few years yet, but it certainly cannot be less successful than the recent run of old DCEU movies.



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