The Arrow-verse universe may or may not still have need for occult sleuth John Constantine (played by Matt Ryan), but at the very least the character is returning later this year for a new DC animated movie. As shown in the first Justice League Dark trailer, complete with interviews with the cast and crew, the magic users of the comic book universe come together to fight a threat the traditional Justice League is ill-equipped to handle.
“I really wanted to jump into this project to play Constantine in a different context,” Ryan says, “around some of the iconic characters that are in the DC Dark world.”
The first footage isn’t fully complete and uses storyboard art to fill in the blanks, but it shows Constantine, Zatanna, Swamp Thing, Dead Man, the Demon Etrigan, and even Black Orchid in an origin story as they attempt to form a supernatural-fighting force. While some core Justice League members, like Superman and John Stewart’s Green Lantern, appear in the film, they are not the main focus.
According to the cast and crew, we see the story through the lens of Batman, voiced again by Jason O’Mara. The Dark Knight is skeptical of magic, even when he sees the evidence in front of him. Nevertheless, he still needs the magic-powered heroes to fight what he cannot. Watch the trailer below:
Though the villain isn’t mentioned by name, the trailer shows footage of a character that definitely looks like the sorcerer Felix Faust, the same way he looked in the animated Justice League TV series. What’s also familiar is this idea of using runes to display the heroes’ magic. We’re seeing that already implemented by director Scott Derrickson for Marvel’s live-action Doctor Strange, and Justice League Dark, too, teases a bit of a horror element to its superhero universe.
Guillermo Del Toro previously expressed interest in making a live-action Justice League Dark film, though developments have been slow moving as the film may no longer fit into Warner Bros. plan for the DC universe. However, hope remains as Suicide Squad, hitting theaters this August 5, will introduce the evil sorceress Enchantress.