Things are moving along! A momentous announcement  – the dawn of the Gunn-i-verse at the DCU – is just a lot of chatter without execution. So today the first “in talks” notice of the “Chapter One” era: James Mangold is in talks to direct a Swamp Thing movie. THR broke the story, however, in modern Hollywood fashion Mangold himself loosed the trial balloon with a social media post: 

Thie time out, Mangold tweeted a lovely Bernie Wrightson drawing of Swamp Thing. In these parlous times, any tweet can’t just be “nice art” and indeed, soon the THR story broke. 

For those in need of  further translation, in the mating rituals of moviemaking, a report on “in talks” or “in conversation” means there has been enough of an agreement that it looks like it will move forward. The Mangold tweet just sealed the deal! 

At any rate, it’s good news. Mangold previously made Logan, one of the most critically acclaimed superhero movies of the last 10 years. (Ford v Ferrari is another favorite around Stately Beat Manor.) His next film is  Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the fifth and please, please final Indiana Jones movie, which lands in May. According to THR, it was Mangold’s idea for the film. 


Still, Mangold on Tuesday night tweeted a simple (but moody and poetic) image of Swamp Thing, drawn by co-creator Bernie Wrightson. Gunn retweeted the post, suggesting that the talks were heading in a hopeful direction.

Mangold is said to be a massive fan of the character and the stories. According to sources, he approached Gunn and Safran with his ideas. Swamp Thing would be a few years away, however, and Mangold’s next project after Dial of Destiny will be a Bob Dylan biopic for Paramount.

As we mentioned yesterday, a film revival of Swamp Thing is as close to a no-brainer as it gets for the new DCU. The character is the star of two of the most revered comics runs of all times – the Len Wein/Wrightson original and the seminal Alan Moore/John Totleben/Steve Bissette/Rick Veitch run, a comic book that can truly be said to have changed the medium forever with the level of its writing and ideas. The character got a third run at Vertigo in the 90s under Brian K Vaughan (which I edited) that focused on Swamp Thing’s half vegetable- half animal daughter, Tefé, and series 4 5 and 6 followed, most recently in The Swamp Thing by Ram V and Mike Perkins.

But the mucky monster has also been one a low-key media star for DC, starting with a campy 1982 take by horrormeister Wes Craven, which had a 1989 sequel. Aside from many subsequent animated appearances, in 2019 the character was revived for new series that was part of the long-gone DC Universe streaming service, show run by Gary Dauberman and Mark Verheiden. 

While it will be a long time before Mangold could potentially enter the Louisiana bayou to search for the mortal remains of Alec Holland, even at an early stage, the story signals the level of filmmakers that DC Studios wants to work with, and gives us all something else to chew on for the next two years. 


  1. I enjoyed the Swamp Thing show that was on DC streaming. Too bad it wasn’t more than a season. With the way things are going now, maybe it was lucky.

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