DC Almost Did A Direct To Video Swamp Thing Movie

When Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment hired Jay Oliva to direct the full-length animated film Justice League Dark, he immediately asked if John Constantine was a part of the story, and once he was assured that he was, he asked if they could get Matt Ryan, who portrayed the character in NBC's short-lived television series and an episode of Arrow, to voice him — which they did.

The next question on Oliva's mind was if Swamp Thing was included, too. The humanoid/plant elemental creature — who first appeared in House of Secrets #92 (July 1971) and was created by writer Len Wein and artist Berni Wrightson — has starred in two live-action films: Wes Craven's Swamp Thing (1982) and its 1989 sequel, The Return of Swamp Thing; however, the character has never starred in his own animated film, though one was considered not that long ago.

"We were actually kicking around the idea of doing a Swamp Thing direct to video movie years ago, but that never saw fruition," Oliva told Empire. "When this came about, it was the perfect opportunity to use him. He and Constantine know each other, but they don’t like each other. Then again, not many people like Constantine, because he kind of rubs you the wrong way, you know? He's kind of like Batman in some ways. He's the supernatural version of Batman. Basically Constantine and Batman give zero fucks about anything."

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When innocent civilians begin committing unthinkable crimes across Metropolis, Gotham City and beyond, Batman must call upon mystical counterparts to eradicate this demonic threat to the planet. Enter Justice League Dark, reluctantly led by the Hellblazer himself, John Constantine. Like Batman, Constantine is a cunning, often cynical loner who is the best at his chosen profession -- but quickly realizes the sinister forces plaguing the planet will require help from other supernatural alliances. Forming a new “league” with sorceress Zatanna, otherworldly Deadman, and Jason Blood and his powerful alter ego Etrigan the Demon, this team of Dark Arts specialists must unravel the mystery of Earth’s supernatural plague and contend with the rising, powerful villainous forces behind the siege -- before it’s too late for all of mankind.

Actor Matt Ryan, who set the standard for the role of Constantine on the Warner Bros. live-action television series, returns to the role in animated form alongside Jason O’Mara (Terra Nova, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Batman, Camilla Luddington (Grey’s Anatomy) as Zatanna, Nicholas Turturro (NYPD Blue) as Deadman, Ray Chase (Final Fantasy XV videogame) as Jason Blood/Etrigan, Roger R. Cross (24, Arrow) as John Stewart/Swamp Thing, Jeremy Davies (Justified) as Ritchie Simpson, Rosario Dawson (Daredevil, Sin City) as Wonder Woman, Jerry O’Connell (Stand By Me, Crossing Jordan) as Superman, Enrico Colantoni (Flashpoint, Veronica Mars) as Felix Faust, and Alfred Molina (The Da Vinci Code, Spider-Man 2) as Destiny.

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Justice League Dark is directed by Jay Oliva (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns). The story is by J.M. DeMatteis and Ernie Altbacker (Green Lantern: The Animated Series) and teleplay by Ernie Altbacker, with Sam Register as Executive Producer. Benjamin Melniker & Michael Uslan (The Dark Knight trilogy) are co-executive producers. James Tucker (Batman Bad Blood, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders) is Supervising Producer.

Justice League Dark will be available to own on Digital HD starting January 24, 2017 and will be released on Blu-ray Deluxe Giftset, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on February 7, 2017.