JJ Abrams Working on New Justice League Dark Spinoff for HBO Max
JJ Abrams's next DC project is Madame X, which will tie into his rumored Justice League Dark project and follow the exploits of DC Universe mystic Madame Xanadu. Played by Jeryl Prescott in Swamp Thing, this will mark Madame Xanadu's first broad exposure in live action. Running the series will be Angela Robinson, whose last time out with DC was Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, a drama about the life of William Moulton Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman, and the relationships he had with the two key women in his life, with whom he lived in a polyamorous relationship for years.
Madame Xanadu is one of the DC Universe's most powerful mystics, but is generally used as a supporting character, serving roles ancillary to bigger names. She often helps guide The Spectre, and had worked with The Phantom Stranger, the Suicide Squad, and Justice League Dark, among others. In some continuities, she is the mother of DC villain Doctor Destiny, whom fans will remember from The CW's "Elseworlds" event and whose powers were approximated by Maxwell Lord in Wonder Woman 1984.
The character sometimes draws comparisons to Doctor Strange, since she has enormous magical powers but a fairly mundane physical malady (in Xanadu's case, she's blind). She also operates out of a modest-seeming home base on New York's Lower East Side.
Bad Robot, Abrams's production company, is working on a number of DC projects, including HBO Max's new Constantine series and a Batman animated series with The Batman director Matt Reeves. He is also producing the next Superman movie, which is rumored to center on a Black Superman.
In the same way that Zatanna wears a traditional magician's outfit, including tuxedo and top hat, Xanadu is usually depicted as looking like a stereotypical Gypsy fortune teller, with a billowy blouse and dangly earrings.
Xanadu has a supernatural sensitivity to occult activities and mystic phenomena, and uses tarot cards to interpret what she senses, as well as to tell the future of others. She can levitate objects, teleport herself, and banish demons. Like John Constantine, she also serves as a kind of guardian of various magical trinkets and enchanted items, making sure they don't fall into the wrong hands. Madame Xanadu is immortal, never aging and unable to die of natural causes thanks to her deal with Death. His inability to kill her was what led The Spectre to blind her.
In addition to Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, Robinson was at one point attached to a film adaptation of the indie comics classic Strangers in Paradise. Earlier in her career, she was best known for her work on The L Word, and now, she is developing a Flashdance revival with Parmount+.