Has James Gunn Teased Previously Cancelled Project Being Reborn in the DCU?


  • James Gunn teases
    Justice League Dark
    by posting a Deadman image on Instagram, fueling fan speculation about a potential new DCU project.
  • Deadman, a supernatural DC character, may join
    Justice League Dark
    in a live-action movie in the future.
  • Gunn’s interest in lesser-known DC characters and roots in horror suggest that his probing of Deadman for DCU purposes is not without significance.

James Gunn has once again stoked DC fan’s expectations with a teasing social media post that could suggest a much-loved group of DC characters may feature in the DCU’s future. Gunn shared an image of the cover from 2011’s Deadman #1 on his Instagram and Threads accounts, leading many to speculate that the more obscure character may well be the latest to be joining the ranks of the new DCU – and in turn, could see Gunn and Safran take on a Justice League Dark live-action movie in the process.

So far, nothing from the new DCU has actually been seen, other than some illustrations and teases of script pages from Superman and Creature Commandos. However, Gunn has a way of generating a lot of interest in small things with a simple comment or image posted on his various social media sites. His Deadman post was no different, as the writer-director shared similar teases for Mr Terrific, who will be played by Edi Gathegi in Superman. You can see Gunn’s post below.

Deadman is a character from the supernatural side of the DC Universe. Created by Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino in 1967, Boston Brand aka Deadman, is a murdered circus trapeze artist with the ability to possess any living being in his quest to find his killer. Over the years, Deadman became a part of several DC groups, including appearing as the Justice League Dark alongside the likes of John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Zatanna, and even Frankenstein, who is already set to appear in the DCU as part of Creature Commandos.

James Gunn Could Finally Deliver a Live-Action Justice League Dark

Comic book version of the Justice League Dark

Announced by Gunn and Safran in January 2023, the first chapter of the new DCU includes several big movie projects, including Superman, The Bold and the Brave, and Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow. Also in the mix is a new R-rated horror movie based on Swamp Thing, which is the one project that suggests somewhere down the line, Gunn is planning to explore the darker side of DC Comics. Given his love of lesser-known characters, and his roots in the horror genre, it seems that Gunn’s Deadman tease is not one without purpose.

Back in 2012, visionary director Guillermo del Toro was set to bring Justice League Dark to a live-action arena with his own movie. However, the project was abandoned, and many years later the full story that del Toro had planned was leaked online. Additionally, J.J. Abrams also had a shot at the project in the form of a TV series which also bit the dust before heading into production. While those versions of the story will clearly not be resurrected, Gunn has already hinted at plans to bring the supernatural group to a new audience over a year ago.


Guillermo Del Toro’s Justice League Dark Script Leaks Revealing Full Story & Character Details

Guillermo del Toro’s Justice League Dark script included Constantine, Swamp Thing, Zatanna, and The Demon Etrigan.

While answering questions on his Twitter account shortly before his big DCU kick-off announcement, Gunn responded to a fan who asked if he liked the idea of a Justice League Dark Universe, to which he simply said, “Why not.” We already know that Swamp Thing, who was name checked in the post, is definitely on the slate, and with several rumors of John Constantine returning to the franchise, everything does seem to be stacking up for the DCU to bring a very different Justice League to the franchise from the one Zack Snyder delivered.

Fans of Justice League Dark can currently find the group in their animated movie, released in 2017, and Justice League Dark: Apokolips War from 2020. The former of these can currently be rented from usual outlets, while the later is available to stream on MAX.

The new DCU will begin with
Creature Commandos
on MAX later this year, before
takes flight on July 11, 2025.

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