Justice League Dark: Guillermo del Toro's Cancelled Script Reportedly Leaks

A new breakdown of everything we know about the Justice League Dark screenplay by Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro reveals new details that have not previously been public, suggesting that writers at Murphy's Multiverse have seen a version of the script, and incorporated those elements into their story. Justice League Dark (also called Dark Universe) was a horror-tinged superhero movie that teamed up characters like Zatanna, Deadman, and John Constantine in a battle against black magic in the DC Universe. The project was conceived by del Toro and changed hands a few times before finally going silent; now, Justice League Dark is reportedly in development at HBO Max as a TV series from producer JJ Abrams.

The project is said to have morphed slightly each time it changed hands to a new prospective director. Still, big pieces of what del Toro put in place remained the whole time, since Warner Bros. had been so keen on the original script.

That's a claim made by Murphy's Multiverse and backed up by news stories contemporaneous with the various twists and turns in Justice League Dark's development saga.

It seems the film leaned heavily on John Constantine, with the chain-smoking antihero defecting from a famous supernatural superhero group called Shadowpact. Flashes of that group, which would have included Black Orchid, the Phantom Stranger, and Pandora, would have been seen during the film, most notably at the Oblivion Bar, where they and other supernatural beings hung out. All of that riffs on a short but well-loved run on a comic actually called Shadowpact, from Fables writer with Cory Walker,
Steve Scott, Wayne Faucher, Tom Derenick, Shawn McManus, Phil Winslade and Lilah Sturges.

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Leaving the group, John goes on to form his own group, the down-and-dirty Justice League Dark, which incorporates characters like Deadman, Etrigan the Demon, Swamp Thing, and Zatanna. They're chasing after the books of life and death, hoping to nail them down so they don't fall into the wrong hands. Of course, Floronic Man, Johnny Appleseed, and Klarion the Witch Boy are looking to be just those wrong hands After a chaotic final showdown that seemingly leaves Klarion, Floronic Man, Swamp Thing, and John Constantine dead, the team goes back to their normal lives, only to see a final scene (or maybe post-credits scene?) in which John turns up, revealing that he apparently cheated death and hoping to recruit Deadman to get the band back together.

The film would supposedly have been filled with cameo appearances by the likes of Detective Chimp and Animal Man, and would have been the most explicitly mystical film DC has made to date. While Marvel's equivalent may have been Doctor Strange, it's hard to see this film, with these characters, getting the PG-13 rating Strange scored and more likely it would end up as a hard R.