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DC Universe’s SWAMP THING Show Casts Its Villain

There have been rumblings throughout the Green for years now of another cinematic outing for a pile of foliage that thought for a time it was Dr. Alec Holland—most notably in Guillermo del Toro‘s late lamented Justice League Dark movie concept—but now is the time we’ll see another iteration of Swamp Thing, on television. Or, more accurately, on the newly announced DC Universe. Not a half hour after DC drop news of the name of their streaming service, and its initial titles (including the return of Young Justice) did they announce Swamp Thing would join.

UPDATE, 11/5/2018 – We haven’t heard much about DC Universe’s Swamp Thing series since its initial announcement in May, but the incoming of November brings with it a bit of casting news that should interest those with an affinity for all things marshlandic. Deadline reports that Will Patton—perhaps best known for Armageddon, the sci-fi series Falling Skies, and this year’s Halloween reboot—will star in the series as Avery Sunderland, a would-be philanthropist whose plans for his bayou hometown’s swamp are anything but noble. Patton joins the previously cast Crystal Reed, a reporter investigating some mysterious happenings in said swamp following Sunderland’s greed-fueled tampering and Virginia Madsen, Maria Sunderland (Avery’s wife).

5/2/2018 – The series will come to us from Atomic Monster productions, with James Wan, director of the upcoming Aquaman, serving as one of the executive producers. Mark Verheiden (Battlestar Galactica, Constantine, Ash vs. Evil Dead) and Gary Dauberman (It, Annabelle) are also executive producing and writing the one-hour drama series given a full order and set to premiere some time in 2019.

Swamp Thing was created in 1971 by the late, great team of Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson. He began as a scientist named Alec Holland who was doused in chemicals and dove into the swamp to escape his fiery death, only to bond with the vegetation and become a massive plant monster with a sad song in his heart. In the 1980s, the title was brought back and eventually became the feeding ground for Alan Moore’s bananas writing, which revealed Swamp Thing is actually an elemental who merely absorbed the memories of Holland upon his death, meaning he’s a plant monster with the memories of a man. The series took a turn to the mystical, and even the cosmic, thereafter.

At least to start with, the Swamp Thing TV series will focus on the Holland angle, and will bring in his ally/love interest Abby Arcane, whiiiiich means her evil uncle Dr. Anton Arcane is not far behind.

The official synopsis:

When CDC researcher Abby Arcane returns to her childhood home of Houma, Louisiana, in order to investigate a deadly swamp-borne virus, she develops a surprising bond with scientist Alec Holland — only to have him tragically taken from her. But as powerful forces descend on Houma, intent on exploiting the swamp’s mysterious properties for their own purposes, Abby will discover that the swamp holds mystical secrets, both horrifying and wondrous — and the potential love of her life may not be dead after all.

Swamp Thing has been a live-action character in the past. In 1982, Wes Craven directed the first big screen outing, which was followed by a very dumb, tongue-in-cheek sequel called The Return of Swamp Thing directed by schlock-meister Jim Wynorski. This led to a cult-favorite live-action series on the USA network from 1990-1992, and a very short-lived Swamp Thing animated series in 1991. It only lasted five episodes, but I did buy an action figure from it, which I wish I still had.

More recently, Swamp Thing continues to be a fan favorite in new DC Comics/Vertigo comics, appearances on animated series like Justice League Action and in animated features like Justice League Dark, and as a playable character in Injustice 2.

Everyone involved in the project has me incredibly excited. They seem to be willing to embrace the title’s horror elements, Wan said it will be more horror than anything, which is truly the key to making it work. Swamp Thing fought werewolves, for pity’s sake! And if this can lead to live-action versions of Etrigan, Deadman, the Spectre, or a crossover with Constantine/Legends of Tomorrow, this could be amazing.

Are you jazzed for a Swamp Thing series? Let us know in the comments below!

Images: DC/Warner

Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist and an avowed DC Comics fanboy. Follow him on Twitter!

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