What is Dark Universe?

Justice League Dark first appeared in DC comics in September 2011, as a first wave of The New 52. The supernatural superhero team originally featured John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Shade, the Changing Man and Zatanna.

Basically, it was JLD's job to take on more magical and paranormal threats - that the regular Justice League didn't want to deal with.

In other words, the bad guys that were too scary for our Justice League regulars.

Since 2013, when director Guillermo del Toro announced at Comic-Con that he had prepared a script for a live-action Justice League Dark movie titled Dark Universe, fans have been desperately waiting for more details.

He also said that his film would align with the television series Constantine (starring Matt Ryan as the titular character), but for some reason the show only lasted for one season on NBC. (BOO!)

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This would have created a brand new DC universe, centered on the supernatural realm and popular paranormal characters from the comics. So of course, fans were excited at the notion of finally seeing this mystical crew on both the big and small screen.

The film, based on the occult DC comic book series that ran from November of 2011 to March of 2015, sat in production hell for quite some time. It was officially announced in 2013 that the live-action adaptation was a priority followed by geek-favorite del Toro obsessively revising and re-working his Dark Universe screenplay.

In 2015 del Toro announced that he was stepping down from helming the project because he was just too busy, but had still completed the screenplay. This left our favorite mystical heroes of Justice League Dark in limbo, and of course, fans were rather dispirited.

Is it just me, or does Dark Universe seem cursed?

In the meantime the DCAU announced a Justice League Dark animated film to quench our thirst for the supernatural evil side of DC comics. The animated version is expected to drop sometime in the Fall of 2016, but still doesn't have a release date. Considering that time is now, we're a bit lost on when the hell we'll actually be seeing this movie.

You can watch a sneak peak of the upcoming DCAU Justice League Dark feature-length animated movie below (and it does look pretty badass with all of those evil demons threatening to take souls of the innocent):

Now, if we could only get an official release date...

In the 8-minute-long preview, producer James Tucker had this to say:

"No one is happy when they show up. If anything, with Justice League Dark, everyone is frightened when they show up. They misunderstand them, so…having monstrous people who do heroic things is always kind of cool."

Of course it's cool, that's why we're dying to see it in live-action! At first, we thought that going animated first was sort of an experiment to see if there would be any interest in the dark side of DC in first place. In other words, if Justice League Dark makes bundles of money, we would expect to hear good news about Dark Universe.

But, remember how Suicide Squad successfully introduced supernatural elements into the DCEU? Yes, that definitely happened, and now that it's claimed over 700 million at the global box office, it's safe to say that audiences are very interested.

We finally got good news regarding Dark Universe, which could be due to (at least in part) the success of Suicide Squad, considering Justice League Dark hasn't even released yet.

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Enter Doug Liman - who recently announced he picked up the live-action project as director with Scott Rudin producing and Michael Gilio writing the script.

Yeah, we know this means that Liman had to drop Gambit, but honestly that was never going to happen anyway Sorry, Channing.

While this is great news, just how much will the original screenplay by horror-master del Toro be changed? Check out a description of the first script below:

"A series of ancient tomes are stolen by a madman hellbent on the destruction of humanity. When he learns of this, occult detective John Constantine seeks out a group of heroes that specialize in the mystic and arcane in order to save the world."

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We're at least hoping we'll be seeing the same heroes including Constantine, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Etrigan, Madame Xanadu, and Zatanna as the live-action team. In the meantime, we can expect a flood of casting news, plot details, and various explanations on how the film will fit into the continuity of the DCEU.

Get ready for Dark Universe and don't worry - we'll keep you updated!