“You know, I develop more movies than I make. There’s a weed-out process, and it’s just that when you get to the comic book one, suddenly everybody hears about them,” Liman told CinemaBlend. “So, the script never got to a place that was special enough for me. Not for lack of trying.”
“I have to have a passionate connection to my films, which I do with Justice League Dark… I feel a real connection to Justice League Dark," Liman said not long before leaving the project. "But part of my process is that, when I finish a movie, the movies I choose to do after it are guided by the experience I had on the previous movie.”
Originally, Liman believed audiences would have been “surprised how character driven and how intimate Justice League Dark is — in kind of a field of bloated comic book movies," he said, adding the filmmakers found "a way to do something that's actually really personal and small."
Liman was attached to the project (at the time titled Dark Universe) with a script by Michael Gilio (Kwik Stop) under producer Scott Rudin (No Country for Old Men). Liman’s departure wasn’t the first time the project changed hands: originally developed under Hellboy and Blade II director Guillermo del Toro as far back as 2012, the film would have united John Constantine, Zatanna, Madame Xanadu, Swamp Thing, and Deadman, with characters like the Spectre and Etrigan the Demon having been “in the mix” at various stages of development.
After Warner Bros. established the shared DC Cinematic Universe in 2013 with Man of Steel, del Toro insisted Justice League Dark needed to “fall into the plan of the shared universe.” In June 2015, del Toro was reported to no longer be attached to the project; Liman was announced as director in August 2016.
Justice League Dark’s future may be up in the air, but Warner Bros. has an entire slate of DC comic adaptations in the wings: Justice League releases in November, with Aquaman ready to set sail in 2018 and a Wonder Woman sequel arriving in December 2019. Also on the way is Shazam, a Matt Reeves-directed solo Batman movie, Flashpoint (starring Ezra Miller’s Flash), a Suicide Squad sequel and a pair of planned spinoffs — Gotham City Sirens and Harley Quinn vs. the Joker — Nightwing, Batgirl, and many more.
Justice League Dark has no release date.