In a recent tweet, Hollywood Reporter writer Borys Kit confirms that the producers of Dark Universe, a movie adapting DC’s comic book series Justice League Dark, are already looking for a new replacement director after the departure of Doug Liman. Even more interesting than that is the name Kit wrote the studio wants to replace Liman: Andres Muschietti, the man currently directing the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 horror masterpiece It. The possible switch to Muschietti has significant implications for the fate of the upcoming It movie, notes Movie Pilot, and what it says about Justice League’s Dark Universe is pretty huge too.
Studio is already looking for new director on JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK, with one source saying IT director Andy Muschietti is on the list.
— Borys Kit (@Borys_Kit) May 24, 2017
It Movie Implications
The It movie director being eyed for a huge directing gig like Justice League’s Dark Universe is a very big deal, and that is because just the fact that Muschietti is being considered means that Warner Bros is pleased with his work.
It has already undergone multiple test screenings in front of randomly chosen members of the public, and what little has been said about the movie by those who saw the test screenings is glowingly positive. Even Stephen King himself saw an early cut of the movie and said it was fantastic.
All that bodes well, but Muschietti being considered to handle Justice League’s Dark Universe, which is sure to be an ultra high-budget blockbuster, is perhaps the best assurance yet that he is doing something right. After all, the word of those who saw a free screening costs nothing, whereas this decision is an investment in a property that will likely cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
It also means the It movie will probably contain some killer action. Being a film based on the Justice League, Dark Universe will obviously be a superhero action movie first and foremost, and Warner Bros would not be considering a director who struggles with action sequences. Stephen King’s It is by no means an action movie, but it does have its fair share of scuffles with Pennywise stealing children, Henry Bowers beating up Ben Hanscomb, and, of course, the main characters battling the titular creature in the sewers. After the announcement, it seems likely that these fight scenes in the It movie will be filmed especially well.
Does it also mean Muschietti will not stick around to direct more It, though? For those not aware, September’s It movie is only to cover part one of the full story. Part two has already been confirmed for sometime in the future. No release date for Dark Universe has been announced, but, assuming it is released relatively soon, it would seem that directing it would preclude Muschietti from directing that second part. Even if Andres does not end up in the director’s chair for Justice League’s Dark Universe in the end, the fact he is in the running now might mean he is not slated to direct part two of the It movie.
Justice League’s Dark Universe Implications
Warner Bros considering the director of the It movie to direct Justice League’s Dark Universe is very telling as well, because it strongly suggests a certain tone the superhero flick will take on.
It is an incredibly scary story. Stephen King’s 1986 version terrified even the most hardcore horror fiction fans when it was published, and Tommy Lee Wallace’s 1990 TV miniseries adaptation of the book really brought coulrophobia (fear of clowns) into the mainstream several years later. The upcoming It movie has been given a hard R rating, people agree the very well-received trailers for the flick are creepy, and all of the publicly-released materials point to the movie delivering on the scares.
Muschietti’s consideration for Justice League’s Dark Universe indicates that the movie will be very dark indeed — not too surprising, given the title. It hardly seems logical that Warner Bros would have pinned Muschietti to direct Dark Universe right after an overtly horrific movie if it didn’t.
The question is, will Justice League’s Dark Universe focus on themes of overt horror or only the general tone of unease horror directors have to master? The latter seems like a safer bet, as it is sort of hard to imagine The Justice League facing off against the demons and serial killers written about on sites like Bloody Disgusting. On the other hand, it would be very interesting if Warner Bros decided to differentiate the DC Universe from other comic book movies by taking it in a more horror-oriented direction.
The It movie is set to come out on September 8 and, as stated above, no release date is known for Justice League’s Dark Universe.
Of the two films, which are you more excited to see? If Muuschietti does not stay around for the It movie’s part two, who would you like to see direct? And would you like to see some horror elements in Dark Universe? Leave your opinions in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Warner Bros, Camw1n/Deviant Art]