The DC Universe subscription service, DC and Warner Bros.’ big push into the digital streaming game, is expected to debut some time later this year. And while the characters and shows the new service has collected for itself have been a pretty eclectic group so far—including the rejected-by-TNT live-action drama Titans, a Harley Quinn animated series, and the revival of Cartoon Network’s much-beloved Young Justice—if we’re being honest, they’re all still seeming, well…kind of superhero-y. Which is understandable and all, given what the service is, but still: Variety is the spice of whatever, you know?
That uniformity of tone sounds like it’s about to change, though, with Warner Bros. issuing a press release today announcing a new live-action Swamp Thing TV series from noted horror producer (and Aquaman director) James Wan. The hour-long drama is being written by Mark Verheiden (Battlestar Galactica) and It screenwriter Gary Dauberman, suggesting that it’s likely to tap heavily into the Gothic horror elements that have always been a major element of the character’s, uh, roots. (Sorry.)
For the unfamiliar: Swamp Thing is the story of Dr. Alec Holland, a scientist who gets transformed into a monstrous, magically empowered swamp creature after his bayou-adjacent lab is sabotaged by a rival. (And yes, Alan Moore fans, we know it’s actually a lot more complicated than that, but cut us some slack with the anatomy lessons, please.) Originating from DC’s old anthology book House Of Mystery (and with a heaping helping of the tone and style of a classic pre-Code horror comic), the character—and his long-time love interest Abby Arcane, who sounds like she’ll be the viewpoint character for this new series—has been an enduring part of DC’s comic mythology for nearly 50 years.
Past Swamp Thing adaptations have included an animated series, multiple video games, and a pair of films—the first directed by Wes Craven—exploring the character’s origins and adventures. The movies also spawned a TV series on USA in the early ’90s, apparently designed as part of a covert effort to murder actor/stuntman Dick Durock, who ended up spending, per Wikipedia, “twelve hours a day, six days a week for 50 straight episodes without a break” in the latex Swamp Thing suit. Hopefully, this new series—which will debut next year, some time after the formal launch of DC Universe—will go a little easier on its stars.