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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Why DC Scrapped M3GAN Director's Justice League Dark Movie: 'It Was a Rough Time'

Gerard Johnstone, director of the hit horror movie M3GAN, shared some details on his scrapped pitch for a Justice League Dark live-action film.

Speaking to Screen Rant, the filmmaker explained that the project ultimately never took off due to DC's cinematic struggles with the potential for a successful movie being hampered by the general obscurity of the characters. "It was just a tough time for DC... I was told that they don't want to spend money on another new movie with a bunch of characters no one's heard of, and I understand that. It was a shame," Johnstone said.

If the Justice League Dark movie was greenlit, the movie would have largely focused on Zatanna's origins as a mystical superhero while also introducing various other iconic staples of the team. "I really was just halfway through the scriptwriting process with that one. So Deadman, Swamp Thing, Constantine, Zatanna," Johnstone explained. "I felt like Zatanna was actually the main character, and there was a lot of the conversations and jostling I had with the guys, because they were like, 'Constantine's the main character.' I was like, 'No, Constantine's kind of the coolest character. But Zatanna is really the main character.'" The plot would have seen the group uniting for the first time and venturing into Hell to rescue Zatanna's father. Johnstone concluded by saying that he'd love to have a meeting with current DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn about the project.

Justice League Dark's Storied History

The mind behind M3GAN isn't the only acclaimed filmmaker to take a stab at a live-action Justice League Dark. Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro was attached to a project bearing the magical team's name in 2013; it was later canceled in 2018 despite the script having been written. When asked if he'd be open to trying again under Gunn, del Toro explained that he'd rather not work in a major franchise like that again. "You don't get a manicure from a big machine, that's what I learned -- you lose a few fingers. So I don't know if I want a manicure from a big machine," he s

As for Johnston, M3GAN proved to be an early 2023 hit, earning plenty of praise from critics and staking out a decent taking at the worldwide box office. The killer android was such a success with theatergoers that a sequel, titled M3GAN 2.0, was announced shortly after the original's debut. It's currently unknown whether Johnstone will return as director.

M3GAN is now available to stream on Peacock.

Source: Screen Rant

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