Justice League Dark has been in development since 2012 when Guillermo Del Toro revealed that he was not only writing the film, but also planning to direct. After Del Toro stepped down, Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman signed on to helm the dark superhero team up which was being referred to as “Dark Universe“. It was recently announced that Liman was stepping down from directing Justice League Dark in order to focus on directing a new project Chaos Walking. With Liman stepping down WB will be looking for a new director which has caused nerd Twitter to throw out their own suggestions. So here is a list of directors who should helm DC’s Dark Universe.
Many of you may recognize as Kasi as Bernadette Walsh from the first Candyman film or as the director of the classic film Eve’s Bayou starring Lynn Whitefield, Samuel L. Jackson, and Journee Smollett-Bell. Kasi is a strong writer who understands fantastic dialogue and suspense. Kasi is also familiar with the classic horror elements that a Justice League Dark film should use and adapt. Kasi has ambition and an eye and ear for detail for human interactions and the way they shape stories. With Kasi’s connection to the Candyman himself Tony Todd, if she directs it would be possible for her to get him to voice The Swamp Thing.
Jennifer Kent is the writer and director of the 2014 hit film The Babadook which garnered praise from both critics and movie goers alike. The Babadook follows Amelia Vanek, a troubled single mother and her erratic son Samuel Vanek who continues display troubling behavior centered around an “imaginary” monster. The film was hailed for providing a fresh and genuine story alongside its horror elements; it relied on real fear and not just cheap formulaic tricks to move the audience. The atmosphere, casting, suspense, and acting of The Babadook are all things that a Justice League Dark film could benefit from.
Guillermo Del Toro
When it was initially announced that Guillermo Del Toro – one of the worlds greatest masters of horror and the macabre – had been tapped to both write and direct an adaptation of DC’s Justice League Dark, everyone was excited. When Del Toro stepped down due to scheduling conflicts, it was safe to say that excitement for the project began to simmer down. Del Toro is known for his vivid imagination and his masterful use of fantastical elements to craft beautiful dark fairytales. From his work on Hellboy to Pan’s Labyrinth and Crimson Peak, Guillermo has crafted classic supernatural tales with outstanding visuals and storytelling elements. Even though he stepped down, Guillermo is still at the top of my list to helm his original vision for Dark Universe. The marriage of Del Toro to the supernatural side of DC comics is too good to give up hope on.
Karyn Kusama is no stranger to directing films with horror themes having directed the 2009 film Jennifer’s Body and the 2015 film The Invitation. Kusama’s work on The Invitation has been praised due to her masterful use of suspense and thriller elements to both craft and propel the films story. The Invitation currently holds an 88% on Rotten Tomato and a 74 out of 100 on Metacritic. Some will look at Kusama’s past work on Jennifer’s Body and instantly decide against this choice, but honestly if male directors get to make a dud and come back strong……why cant a woman? Kusama’s ability to integrate pop culture, horror elements, and interesting characters into a story makes her one of the perfect candidates to take over the Justice League Dark directors chair.
David Fincher is a Hollywood legend whose work includes cultural hits like Fight Club, Se7en, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Social Network, Gone Girl, and many others. Fincher is a masterful storyteller who seamlessly weaves in great visuals, strong characters, great dialogue, and pop culture elements to craft and deliver iconic films. Fincher knows how to use suspense, thrills, and plot twists to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. The JLD universe is the perfect playground for Fincher to put his stamp on.
Jordan Peele isn’t new to Hollywood, but with his 2017 hit film Get Out Peele has solidified himself as one of the newest masters of horror. Peele’s comedy background and his masterful use of pop culture in his content makes him one of the perfect contenders to take over for Liman. His ability to create a multilayered world on-screen with simple everyday interactions and symbolism would make for an interesting take on DC’s supernatural characters. Peele is a hot commodity in Hollywood right now, and Warner Brothers/DC would be wise to snatch him up before someone else does.
I chose these 6 directors because of their backgrounds in either horror, suspense, or thrillers and their masterful ability to craft a story within these genres. Justice League Dark has to be something different from what we have seen with superhero films, and a team up film with magical beings and creatures with horror elements would be just that. I could see each of these directors imprinting their own signature styles, visuals, and experiences onto these characters that we all love so much. Each of these directors are more than qualified to fill Doug Liman’s shoes and delve into the mystical side of DC comics to deliver us a movie that is both thrilling and chilling.