Joseph Kahn Releases Unused Swamp Thing Test Footage


My familiarity with Swamp Thing is limited. I’ll admit this upfront. I’ve never read the comic, I’ve never seen the films, and I certainly haven’t played any of the video games. I’m also not the biggest Joseph Kahn fan. While I admire what the director tries to accomplish with his films, including Torque, Detention and last year’s short film Power/Rangers, they have never connected with me.

With that said, I wasn’t necessarily bummed to see his Dark Universe film, which would promptly feature Swamp Thing himself, fall to the waste side. But as Kahn releases some scrapped test footage from the unmade blockbuster on his personal Vimeo page, I’ll admit that I’m a little intrigued.

The footage, a mere eight seconds, is far from riveting. It just shows a CG Swamp Thing loudly walking in front of a black background, but its attention to detail, sound and movement is what I find interesting. There’s a real weight and physicality to his walk, the way it hasn’t been seen in the character prior. It looks more like one of the trees from The Lord of the Rings than what was seen in Wes Craven’s original movie, sure. But the use of CG adds layers that certainly weren’t found in the original B-movies, and it makes the character feel more like the original comic creation than what we’ve seen before. At least, as far as I can gather.

It’s impossible to know how it would work in conjunction with the rest of the film — particularly under Kahn’s direction — but it provides a nice little what if, especially for those who are, indeed, fans of the comic book character.

Kahn is not the only one who tried to bring this story to the screen. Guillermo Del Toro also famously attempted, and similarly failed, to make it happen in 2013. And while the film has come to life, it has been done in animation form instead of live-action — the way Kahn and Del Toro would have made it — and is set to come to DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital HD under its new title, Justice League Dark, later this year. For more information on that upcoming film, look no further than here.

Here’s Kahn’s test footage:


Will Ashton

Will Ashton

Will is a writer for Heroic Hollywood, and a lot of other places too. One day he'll become Jack Burton. Just you wait and see.


    My familiarity with Swamp Thing is limited. I’ll admit this upfront. I’ve never read the comic, I’ve never seen the films, and I certainly haven’t played any of the video games.

    Why does this not surprise me? The writers on HH don’t seem to be familiar with anything that’s not Marvel.

    That said, I’m still holding out hope that we’ll get a JLD film at some point.

    • Will Ashton

      Granted, just because I’m unfamiliar with Swamp Thing doesn’t mean my fellow writers are in the dark as well. I’d rather just be honest than pretend I know about something I don’t.

      That said, we are getting a Justice League Dark movie. It’s coming out this fall, as I mentioned in the article. Unless you meant a live-action Justice League Dark movie.

      • SAMURAI36

        Hey, at least you’re honest. But the writers around here make all sorts of ridiculous statements in their articles, which shows that they haven’t read a comic a day in their lives.

        But yeah, I did mean a JLD live action movie. I’m looking forward to the animated though, and hope that it will give rise to a live action, much in the way that the Batman/SS animated helped usher in the SS film.

        • Will Ashton

          I generally try not to overstep my bounds, although I’ll admit that I’ve done that once or twice before. The best thing about writing for this site is getting more opportunities to really expand my comic book knowledge, if even in small ways.

          I would like to see a live-action Justice League Dark movie as well, especially with Guillermo Del Toro at the helm. Hopefully Suicide Squad, Justice League and the studio’s other upcoming releases will step up their game and really, as you said, help usher in the new phase of DC properties.

        • Shawn Micheal Madden

          I’m curious what kind of “ridiculous statements” show that someone from the site hasn’t “read a comic” in their lives?

          • SAMURAI36

            Oh, there’ve been several. The most recent that comes to mind, is the one where the writer was covering the JLD animated film, and they said something along the lines of “Magic makes it’s first appearance in the DC animated universe”.

            That’s false. Magic has already appeared in the new DCAU.

          • Shawn Micheal Madden

            I’ll agree they likely should have made sure that line was accurate but that has nothing to do with them reading comics. That just means they don’t watch DC’s animated features.

          • SAMURAI36

            Fair enough, but you’re missing my point. The fact that a lot of the writers here are not familiar with, or apparently interested in anything that’s not Marvel, is painfully obvious.

            EDIT: And, if he’s not watched DC animated features, then why on earth is he reporting on it?

            That’s just one example I gave; there’s been several. And I’m not the only one here, that has called you guys on it.

          • Shawn Micheal Madden

            Oh, I didn’t miss your point at all, It just feels like your point is actually nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking. But I’m not going to continue on with this one. Have a good night.

          • SAMURAI36

            Ah, so in other words, the writers here have no incentive to be more informed about the stuff you write about. Got it. Have at it , then.

          • G-Man

            I can’t speak on much, but I feel like a few of the writers do prefer DC, some prefer Marvel, and others have no clear bias. I haven’t seen anything here which would lend to the idea that they only care about Marvel. I have to agree with the writers that have been commenting here to a degree and say you’re nitpicking, generalizing and oversimplifying.

            Maybe the lack of knowledge could stem from less comic-versed writers, but good writers at least somewhat versed are better than bad writers.

            Why a writer would tackle a topic they don’t know much about could simply be to report on the news hard and fast. It’s not as though they are reviewing the material or giving us an editorial about things they don’t know.

          • SAMURAI36

            With all due respect, you don’t really know why you’re talking about here, & the fact that you started off by saying that you “can’t speak on much” establishes that fact.

            I don’t recall seeing your name around these parts, so that says to me that you are relatively new around here. So allow me to impart a brief history lesson:

            I’ve been following Umberto for a few years now, long before this site was even conceived, back when he was an integral part of Latino Review. I continued to follow him when je defected from LR, & created HH. I was here for HH v.1.0 (this is currently v.2.0), & I’m here now.

            I don’t know where you fit on this timeline, but I’ve been around long enough to be able to have seen the noticeable difference (re: decline) on here. I stuck with Umberto, because I felt like he, as a fellow fan, had class, style, integrity & a level of professionalism that NONE of his contemporaries possess. Not Rich from Bleeding Fool, not Devin Farce, not McWeener, etc. He even stood out from the Collider guys.

            At the beginning of HH1.0, Umberto himself did the lion’s share of the articles. Even though they were largely scoops & rumors, they were well written, i.e. not opinion based, like you see some of the other names I mentioned doing. Also, in addition to Umberto, there were only a couple of other writers here, & they were top notch. One such writer that comes to mind, was Jesse (for the life of me, I can never remember his last name, sorry dude ?).

            Jesse covered mostly DC topics, & his articles were ALWAYS top notch. His knowledge of DC rivaled mine (?). He wrote engaging, informative articles, that sparked dialogue with the members.
            However, Jesse started writing less & less (it’s been months since his last piece on here), but before he left, I recall him saying that Umberto was in the process of finding a “Pro-Marvel writer”, to make the site appear “less biased”. A few of us lamented at this motion, because we felt like HH was already the counterbalance to the rest of the already Pro-Marvel internet.

            That “Pro-Marvel writer” was Shawn Madden. However, to say that Jesse & Shawn are like day & night would be an understatement. The reality is, the difference between Jesse & Shawn, is the difference between a true journalist & someone who is just a blogger. While Jesse was a DC enthusiast who wrote genuinely engaging, in-depth pieces, Shawn is just a Marvel fanboy just copy/pastes Marvel “news” here from around the net.

            Did this site REALLY need more of that? And then to add further insult, we then get a flock of incoming Shawn Jr’s, all of whom are doing the exact same thing that Shawn does; spreading the Marvel “Gospel”. However, none of it is original content, nor is it particularly thought provoking or engaging (but hey, that’s Marvel for ya).

            And all these new batch of writers (Shawn included) have in common as qualifications (based on their bios), is that they are CBM fans. It’s not that they are well connected in the industry like Umberto is, or even that they are particularly knowledgeable about comics-related subjects; heck, for that matter, I’m willing to bet that I know more about Marvel than Shawn does.

            And before Shawn or anyone else gets a bee in their bonnet, that I’m singling Shawn out (although, in a way I suppose I am), let me clearly state that I have nothing against Shawn personally. How could I, when I don’t know him personally? The same applies to each of these other writers. However, I believe I am well within my rights to say that I don’t care for what his (& the half dozen other recent HH writers like him) writing “style”, and/or what he/they bring to the site overall.

            Thus, when Jesse & Umberto said they planned to bring on a “Pro-Marvel writer” my pen personal lamentation, in hindsight, was that we were going to get precisely what we ended up getting.

            Further, your statement about my “nitpicking” is grossly false. There are too many examples to be found, that I & several others hive pointed out over the months. Granted, Shawn has been a major contributor of these errors (be they poor fact-checking, poorly worded articles, or some other error), but he is not, by far, the only one.

            For example, during Umberto’s Justice League set visit, one of the HH “writers” posted a related article, & one of the bloggers from another site got on Umberto about the false article on Twitter, & Umberto made whoever wrote the article take it down (or rewrite it, I can’t recall which).

            With all the errors this site now has, is there no editor? I get that these guys are not trained writers, but there should be at least SOMEONE to keep folks in check on here. Otherwise, what was once a promising new site, will eventually become just like every other site out there.

    • Axxell

      DC doesn’t produce much that is as interesting as the Justice League stuff.

      • flavortang

        Then you don’t know much about DC.

        • Axxell

          Maybe you’re right and I just missed all those great sales numbers for the Swam Thing comic book series…

  • worldman2090

    first off i love the fact that they kept his face comic accuarate and the glow around him is fantastic. i dont like the shoulder area though. it really makes his head look clunky and undefined. also i think that design for his feet may have been a poor choice. over all i give it a 8/10

  • Joe Chaisson

    Grew up with the tv show I’m down.

    • w0undedmagic

      Man, I loved the tv series (and cartoon) when I was a kid. I decided to revisit the series recently-it’s perfectly watchable cheese imo. The guy who plays Arcane is yuppy-douche perfection lol.

  • xxjinzaxx

    Baby Groot would call ST “daddy”.

    • SAMURAI36

      Total truth. H&ll, Fully grown Groot should call ST daddy.

    • Steve Steve

      I love when people say thing like what you’ve said here. Despite the effort to belittle one thing in promotion of another, the comment just acts as further promotion of the thing which you sought to belittle. Don’t waste your time with things like this… Unless, of course, your original intent was to promote Baby Groot.

      • xxjinzaxx

        Playing it safe, I see. An accusatory claim feigning outrage followed by an admission that you got the point of the comment. Which one is it?

        • Steve Steve

          Not outraged, nor was I feigning such. Tone is difficult(impossible) to glean from a website comment. I found your op to be preposterously unproductive (in any sense) and criticized it on that basis.

          While commenting it occurred to me that your intent may have been to make an ironically circular joke that also poked fun at the obnoxious DC/Marvel war. I do not know who you are so I have no frame of reference from which to draw a conclusion. In the absence of a singular conclusion I presented both possible conclusions in the hopes(I didn’t really care) of clarification.

          Instead of clarification I see a vague, snide response. Was your op a clever, layered joke, or was it a counterproductive blithering?

          • xxjinzaxx

            Well put. You’re just a floating node looking for a solid state; grasping at anything to ground yourself. You see what you want. I’ll let you remain in that sate.

          • Steve Steve

            Hmmm. Your description of me sounds delightful. Maybe, as you say, I should remain in this state of euphoria. bravo sir or mad’am

    • unpaidpundit

      I think Groot is an older character, though. Groot first appeared in one of Marvel’s horror comics in the 1960’s.

      • Joanrclark3

        <<o. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::::!!bt720p:….,…

      • xxjinzaxx

        Baby Groot is currently – a baby.

        • Lynettechunt1

          <<o. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::::!!bq159p:….,…

        • SAMURAI36

          Not to mention, ST is far more powerful than Groot is.

          • xxjinzaxx

            ST would embrace the baby. Wouldn’t that be a sight?

  • Steve Steve

    Not captivating like the deadpool proof-of-concept… I’m not sure this does anything to help the prospects of the character appearing in the DCEU.

    Swamp Thing needs to come soon though. He has potential to be an incredible supporting character (ala Hulk). Get him goin DC!

  • Pingback: Behold the Movie SWAMP THING You’re Not Getting - Big Box of Geek()

  • flavortang

    Looks great, but I think it’d be cooler if ST was more swampy, drippy, gooey, filthy.

  • H.I McDunnough

    Growing up, my little brother was scared to death of Swamp Thing. He was around 5 or 6 years old and for some reason SW freaked him out. Around that time USA network used to show “Swamp Thing: The Series” on Monday night’s after WWF Prime Time Wrestling. When they swapped nights the network started showing these promos that were like a news broadcast. They started out with some serious looking news reporter at a desk, holding papers, stern look on his face as he said “This just in….Swamp Thing is missing. I repeat, Swamp Thing is loose and he’s on the move” My older brother recorded it and waited until right before bedtime (after the local news at 10pm) to hit play. To this day I’ve never seen anyone as scared as my little brother was in that moment. He’s 30 years old now, married and has two kids…..but anytime we’re all hanging out, someone in the family will inevitably bust out with “Oh God Momma!!! He’s loose! Swamp Thing is going to get us!!!”