SWAMP THING: James Gunn Says Guillermo Del Toro Never Expressed Any Interest In Directing

SWAMP THING: James Gunn Says Guillermo Del Toro Never Expressed Any Interest In Directing SWAMP THING: James Gunn Says Guillermo Del Toro Never Expressed Any Interest In Directing

Guillermo del Toro has often spoken about his love for Swamp Thing, and fans wondered why he wasn't in the mix to helm the planned DCU movie. According to James Gunn, he simply never expressed interest.

By MarkCassidy - Jan 10, 2024 11:01 PM EST
Filed Under: Swamp Thing

Shortly after the first chapter of the upcoming DCU slate, "Gods and Monsters," was announced, we got word that Logan and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny director James Mangold had been enlisted to helm a new Swamp Thing movie for DCU studios.

Fans seemed happy with the choice, but some wondered whether Guillermo del Toro - who has often spoken about his love for the character and had expressed interested in directing a Swamp Thing film in the past - was ever in the mix, and if not, why?

Studio co-head James Gunn was asked this very question on Threads, and responded that, despite seemingly knowing the Pinocchio director pretty well, he simply never reached out to enquire about the possibility of coming aboard the project.

Mangold was asked about his plans for Swamp Thing during an interview last June, and while was hesitant to discuss the movie in any great detail, he did reveal why he decided to make himself available for this particular project.

“As soon as I heard James Gunn was taking over DC, I just saw it as an opportunity to throw my hat down.”

Mangold also said that his take on the classic DC Comics character will be inspired by Frankenstein, and although Gunn has previously stated that the movie will “investigates the dark origins of Swamp Thing” with a "much more horrific" story, the director clarified that he is "not specifically" targeting an R-rating.

It's probably going  to be a while before we get any official casting details, but a recent rumor claimed that It and John Wick Chapter 4 actor Bill Skarsgård might be in line to play Alec Holland, aka Swamp Thing.

The Earth Elemental and John Constantine are closely-connected characters in the comics, and with Keanu Reeves (possibly) set to reprise the title role for a sequel to 2005's Constantine, fans are hoping for an eventual crossover - potentially building towards a Justice League Dark movie.

This would certainly be a popular direction to take the character in, but if Constantine 2 does happen, it would most likely be under the "ElseWorlds" banner along with the likes of Matt Reeves' The Batman - Part II and Todd Phillips' Joker sequel.

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Forthas - 1/10/2024, 11:25 PM
"James Mangold had been enlisted to helm a new Swamp Thing movie for DCU studios."

Another waste of directing talent on bottom teer characters.
McMurdo - 1/11/2024, 12:07 AM
@Forthas - are you [frick]ing high?
Forthas - 1/11/2024, 1:06 AM
@McMurdo -

dracula - 1/10/2024, 11:29 PM
Wonder if they ever considered james wan

the show was so self contained and limited, you could really slide it into any continuity without any issue
lazlodaytona - 1/11/2024, 6:13 AM
@dracula - I literally was thinking of directors who have made great Horror films and Wann is what I came up with too.
Heck, I'd even give Tim Burton a chance.
tmp3 - 1/10/2024, 11:33 PM
It’s cool since Del Toro’s Frankenstein is maybe the coolest thing in production rn, so as long as Mangold puts in his A-game we could have a win/win
lazlodaytona - 1/11/2024, 6:15 AM
@tmp3 - I can't wait to see that!
tmp3 - 1/11/2024, 2:03 PM
@lazlodaytona - literally counting down the days. Shelley’s Frankenstein is, by a significant degree, my favorite work of fiction ever - and I love Del Toro profusely too. WB and Maggie Gyllenhaal are doing a Bride of Frankenstein remake too, with Bale as Frankenstein and Jessie Buckley as the Bride - really excited for that one too
lazlodaytona - 1/11/2024, 3:38 PM
@tmp3 - everything u just had to say??

is fricken awesome. you are "good people" on this site. thank u
NinnesMBC - 1/11/2024, 12:01 AM
Basically confirming he handed it over pretty casually just because someone asked. Didn't he say way back as one of his criticisms for the DCEU and in general that people showed up and asked for whatever IP they wanted to get their hands on it and that was the wrong way to do it? He just did that exact same thing with Mangold instead of doing a research for a director. (Like he's doing for the Supergirl film)

Hopefully James Mangold brings his "Logan" game and not the "Indiana Jones" to this because sometimes he scores, but when he fails, sadly,he does fail.
ImNotaBot - 1/11/2024, 1:09 AM
@NinnesMBC - remeber that indiana jones 5 is a disney project with Kathleen Kennedy producing it, that movie was doomed to fail even before Mangold was hired to direct it.
NinnesMBC - 1/11/2024, 2:25 PM
@ImNotaBot - He's delivered his own duds without her or Disney such as Kate and Leopold and Knight and Day. He's not infallible.
ImNotaBot - 1/12/2024, 2:45 PM
@NinnesMBC - i'm not saying he's infallible, i'm just saying indiana jones 5 was doomed to fail anyway
DocSpock - 1/11/2024, 12:04 AM

The original run of Swamp Thing was one of my favorite comics ever when it came out.

marvel72 - 1/11/2024, 7:45 AM
@DocSpock - I have Swamp Thing #1 by Bernie Wrightson in a cgc 7.5, it came out the month I was born.
I also own the absolute edition.
DocSpock - 1/11/2024, 8:56 AM
@marvel72 -

Look at you being old. LOL! I was 14 when it came out.
marvel72 - 1/11/2024, 3:09 PM
@DocSpock - Yeah I'm getting on,probably why I don't like modern movies much, I'm not sure I'm the target audience.
JFerguson - 1/11/2024, 12:27 AM
Guillermo del Toro is too busy doing the one hundred million things he’s been working on
Urubrodi - 1/11/2024, 5:41 AM
James Mangold is really good so it's not like it's in bad hands. But... Gunn is the head of DC Studios, he's the one supposed to be approaching directors about projects and not the other way around. What did he expect? That Del Toro, one of the biggest directors nowadays, would throw himself at DC?
McMurdo - 1/11/2024, 6:22 AM
@Urubrodi - Gunn's implying this was a passion project for Mangold and clearly it wasn't for Del Toro. Guillermo moved on...
Urubrodi - 1/11/2024, 6:39 AM
@McMurdo - I got that Mangold was interested in it, but if he really wanted Del Toro he'd approach him.
ObserverIO - 1/11/2024, 10:09 AM
@McMurdo - Guillermo only moved on because DC told him to. This has consistently been a huge passion of his.

Mangold, on the other hand, thought he had an angle on it. An angle that sounds more like Man-Thing vthan Swamp Thing, if we're being honest. I wonder if he's ever actually read the comics.
McMurdo - 1/11/2024, 5:29 PM
@ObserverIO - when Guillermo moves on to other projects he lines up like 4 and doesn't look back. The JJ DC verse was never gonna end well.
WarMonkey - 1/11/2024, 8:00 AM
After Indiana Jones I have negative interest in Mangold. This project is dead to me already, seriously Frak that guy. Logan was highly overrated too, it's one of the few comic movies I've never felt like rewatching.

Side note: DC's Tomorrowverse animated movies have been terrible (I did like the 1st Superman one though that was alright). DC animated has always been where their best stuff is so I'm pretty annoyed at that. Their latest Crisis on Infinite Earths isn't even as good as the CW version of the story, it's not even close and that's kinda BS they can't write animated movies well anymore. Also, the animation is God awful and looks so bland and uncreative now.
ObserverIO - 1/11/2024, 10:11 AM
@WarMonkey - Do they even have ANY fan service in their massive multiverse movie at all?

I notice they didn't even use the same Crime Syndicate from their own damn Crisis on Two Earths movie.
WarMonkey - 1/11/2024, 11:16 AM
@ObserverIO - like 2/3rd is just Barry and Iris stuff. It's part one of three and they changed so much it's like a different story. There's some background cameos basically
ObserverIO - 1/11/2024, 11:19 AM
@WarMonkey - 'background cameos' has me a little intrigued ngl
BillyBatson1000 - 1/11/2024, 8:56 AM
Guillermo doesn't like being messed around, he's happy these days making and painting monster kits which he posts online - taking his time.
ObserverIO - 1/11/2024, 10:14 AM
@BillyBatson1000 - He deserves way better than Hollywood has offered him.

If I were James Gunn I'd pick up the phone and see if I could get him involved in something. Seems like he would be a good fit.
BillyBatson1000 - 1/11/2024, 12:28 PM
@ObserverIO - Definitely. He seems wary of being burned again (promised projects that got sidelined) taking his own time, personally searching out locations for his next film. He's eccentric, but a true talent.
PC04 - 1/11/2024, 3:43 PM
A Del Toro directed Constantine would be soooooooooooo damn good.

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