As of recently, many moves regarding the DC Universe’s original programming have been coming to light, which only makes sense with the service releasing in less than a week. One property in particular however has been in the light more than other as of late making it apparent that it’s receiving priority to be the 4th production in the announced slate to see an air date. while we’ve seen everything from an official title card, to screenwriters, to directors, one thing we have yet to see come forward is a cast. However, that all changes today as over the last week three roles have been announced including the lead role. Aside from that we also have some more details on the production regarding creative direction. So, hunker down and stick with us to the end, because these are not details you will want to miss, and as always we bring them all to one place with only the good stuff.
A Few Key Characters
The Love and Drive of the Swamp Thing, Abigail Arcane
Firstly, we got word from a new Deadline report, that Crystal Reed, has been cast as Abby Arcane in the upcoming live-action series. Swamp Thing writer, Gary Dauberman, also verified these reports with /Film stating, “Yeah, it’s the origin story of the Swamp Thing and it’s Alec Holland wrestling with who he’s become. A lot of it’s told through the point of view of Abby Arcane.” Reed who is mostly known for her roles as Sofia Falcone on Gotham and Allison Argent on Teen Wolf can also be noted confirming the role on Twitter.
Smart and caring, CDC researcher Abby Arcane’s strong sense of empathy puts her at the center of a horrific life-threatening epidemic in her hometown of Houma, Louisiana, where she faces emotional demons from her past. While investigating the 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 that will take her into a world of horror and the supernatural. Abby, however, will soon discover that the swamp can be as wonderous as it is horrifying and that the potential love of her life may not be gone after all, but in fact is the elemental creature known as Swamp Thing.
Based on previous details, it sounds like Swamp Thing will present things in a very comic-accurate manner, with the iconic issue “The Anatomy Lesson” factoring into the series in some way as previous information indicated. and if that’s the case then the same reports would hint at Anton Arcane and Matthew Cable possibly factoring into the series in some form or fashion.
Friends In A World of Fear
Following the news that Abigail Arcane had been cast for DC Universe’s Swamp Thing, the show has added another key supporting player with Liz Treymayne, who was a journalist and a well-known hostess of a TV tabloid news program who investigated the deaths of Alec and Linda Holland in the comics. For the purposes of the show, however, Liz has been re-imagined as the no-nonsense “childhood friend of Abby Arcane’s, who splits her time between reporting for the local paper and bartending at her aging father’s roadhouse bar.” According to Deadline, the recurring role of Liz Tremayne goes to MariaSten of Channel Zero, and Straight Outta Compton.
The Featured Creature Finds A Face of Familiarity
Perhaps the most important casting yet, and likely at all would be the man behind the mask, — more on that later — the titular earth elemental known as the Swamp Thing. Courtesy of Splash Report, who recently broke the news that Len Wiseman would direct the pilot, we now have word that the 6′ 5″ actor/stuntman best known for playing Jason Vorhees in the Friday the 13th reboot, Derek Mears, will be suiting up as yet another swamp creature. Other than being familiar to the swamp monster role, Mears is also familiar with comic book franchise’s having played roles in both Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Flash. To be clear, Mears will play the creature, not Alec Holland, who has yet to be cast.
Controlling A Couple Aspects of the Creative Confines
The R-Rating and It’s Relativity To The Realm
DC fans received quite the shock when the first trailer for the live-action Titans series dropped at SDCC, featuring Dick Grayson snarling out an F-bomb through a bloodied lip, and making it clear that the service is going for a hard-R rating with its original programs. Apparently, that extends to the upcoming Swamp Thing series as well, and given that the series is based on the original works of Alan Moore, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Swamp Thing is going for some serious adult themes.
During an interview with /Film about his recent screenplay for The Nun, Swamp Thing writer Gary Dauberman was asked what would set this adaptation of the story different from the other attempts in the past. Dauberman echoed the words of Geoff Johns when he assured that it all has to do with the vast amount of creative freedom that DC Universe provides.
“We always set out to make Swamp Thing as hard R as we could, and go graphic with the violence, with the adult themes, and make it as scary as possible,” Dauberman said. “Because we’re doing it through the DC streaming service, they really pushed us, although they didn’t have to push hard, for us to go as extreme as we could. We really took our inspiration from the Alan Moore run in Swamp Thing. This landmark, I think, run. Fans of that series will know it gets pretty weird and extreme and scary. We really wanted to live up to that standard that Moore set up back in the ‘80s.”
In short, it definitely sounds like the series is aiming for a tone and style that’s similar to the comics, which will undoubtedly make fans even more excited for the DC Universe project.
The Perks of Going Practical
The writer also talked a bit about the costume that Swamp Thing will don in the new series. Most notably, unlike previous iterations, this take will look a lot more like an evolved creature than a “man in a suit,” as the Dauberman puts it with the following statement.
“Swamp Thing himself looks incredible what Justin Raleigh and the guys over at Fractured are doing with the suit,” he said. “So it’s going to look amazing and less of the ‘man in suit’ that you’ve seen in the movie and the other TV show.”
Still, while it may not look like the costume seen in the Swamp Thing series from 1990, Dauberman stressed that it “is a physical costume.” Whether this means the practical suit won’t be enhanced with CGI, however, remains to be seen.
Two things that come from this decision are, firstly, budgeting, which tends to play a huge role in shows. Series usually don’t get the level of budgeting that films get and in turn, when things are less practical we don’t typically get in return what they had set out for. In addition, the lessened budget constraint will allow for other areas of the production to be bolstered, resulting in a better show all around. The most important note to keep in mind is that horror is a genre that has always thrived better creatively with practical effects, as well as, reached viewers cringe desire with unique abominations and just simply unexpected horror concoctions. Cases in point would include John Carpenter’s The Thing, the original Alien, and even just creatures of any genre like E.T., or the Gremlins.
DC Universe will launch on Batman Day, September 15th. The service’s original programming will debut with the release of Titans, which will premiere on October 12th. Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol, Star Girl, Harley Quinn, and more will follow in 2019.
What do you think of Reed joining Swamp Thing? does the creative change for Liz sound more fitting? Is Derek a good choice for the earth elemental? Is the R-rating something you were hoping for with Swamp Thing? Would you rather practical, or full CGI? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Sources: /Film | Deadline | SlashReport
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