Guillermo Del Toro, as an artist and director, is a magnet for fascinating projects that never quite come to fruition. Because of his prodigious imagination and critical appreciation, everyone is interested in Del Toro directing their project … until they find out that he wants to do things his own way, at which point commercial concerns tend to override artistic ones. As a result, Del Toro has been attached to a lot of projects over the years before leaving them—enough that we just made an entire list about the best abandoned Del Toro projects.
One of those projects is Justice League Dark, a live-action adaptation of the comic series (it was also an animated feature in 2017) about the supernatural/macabre counterparts to the traditional DC Justice League. Warner Bros. has been adapting the project for a few years, with Guillermo Del Toro originally at the helm. The job then passed to Doug Liman, and now It director Andy Muschietti is being rumored as the latest to take a stab at it. But we’ll always wonder how Del Toro’s version would have turned out, especially after he recently named two of the heroes his film would have featured in a Reddit AMA: Swamp Thing and Etrigan the Demon.
“It’s a WB property, I am not sure I can comment [on the project],” he said. “Suffice to say that [Etrigan the] Demon or Swamp Thing mean to me what Batman and Superman mean to most mortals – perhaps even more. [Swamp Thing]/Abigal [Arcane] love [story] was a great source of inspiration for me.”
Somehow, it doesn’t surprise us as all that Del Toro is a huge fan of those two characters. Swamp Thing has been a favorite of the hardcore DC fans for a long time, especially during the writing run of Watchmen author Alan Moore, and fellow Justice League Dark member John Constantine likewise first appeared in the pages of Swamp Thing. Etrigan the Demon, meanwhile, isn’t quite as widely known to comic book readers, but he’s one of the most interesting characters on the mystical side of the DC spectrum. He’s a dual personality, originally being an Arthurian knight named Jason Blood who is bonded to an immortal demon called Etrigan. Together, the two forge an unusual alliance, transforming back and forth with the classic Etrigan rhyme:
Change! Change! O’ form of man!
Free the prince forever damned!
Free the might from fleshy mire!
Boil the blood in the heart for fire!
Gone! Gone! O’ form of man
Rise the demon Etrigan!
If only we could have seen such gothic greatness from Del Toro. Regardless, you can catch the director’s masterful latest stunner, The Shape of Water, in theaters now.