DC Universe’s third live-action series Swamp Thing debuts on Friday May 31, and fans who are eager to see a modern comic book television series embrace the horror genre full-stop are in luck. The pilot episode, directed by Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard) and written by Mark Verheiden and Gary Dauberman, showcases a promising start for this brand new series that will certainly be a breath of fresh air for DC Comics fans.
The pilot begins with an intense introduction to the dangers of this mysterious swamp in Houma, Louisiana. We see a trio on a canoe at night, with one of them played by R.J. Cyler (Saban’s Power Rangers). As they explore the swamp, we get a sense of the threats that this deadly swamp-borne virus brings to Houma.
Right off the bat, the pilot for Swamp Thing showcases the horror sensibilities that comic book fans have been craving to see in a live-action adaptation. The atmosphere showcased in the swamp itself as well as the rest of the environment that these characters inhabit promotes a sense of mystery and suspense, with some filmmaking sensibilities that seem to take inspiration from Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead films with the use of POV shots from the swamp threat itself as it inflicts terror upon its victims.
Given that James Wan (The Conjuring, Aquaman) is an Executive Producer on this series, it is no surprise that Swamp Thing fully embraces its horror sensibilities right off the bat, and much of that is thanks to how our main performers sell their reactions to such horrors around the swamp itself. In particular, we are introduced to Dr. Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed) and Alec Holland (Andy Bean) and how their respective characters are set up in a way that leaves the viewer eager to see what comes next in their journey.
Both Crystal Reed and Andy Bean portray their respective characters quite well, giving viewers a sense of their own history beyond the expositional information given to us in the pilot. They both sell their roles individually, but despite sharing some moments of flirtation during their interactions, the chemistry isn’t fully there, which is a bit of an issue given that their potentially-blossoming relationship is meant to be the emotional core of the series.
Along with Dr. Arcane and Alec, we are also introduced to the likes of Maria Sten as Liz Tremayne, Will Patton as Avery Sunderland and Virgina Madsen as Maria Sunderland among other supporting players. Given their brief introductions in the pilot episode, we only get a small amount of screentime for each of these characters, but it is Madsen’s Maria Sunderland that certainly leaves an impact on the viewers during a pivotal scene in which she expresses her pain to Dr. Arcane over the loss of her daughter a few years back, bringing back unsettling memories that Dr. Arcane would like to forget.
Overall, the pilot for Swamp Thing succeeds in giving fans what they wanted: a comic book horror series filled with tremendous atmosphere, skillfully crafted sequences of swamp terror and solid performances from its ensemble. Sure, the chemistry and supposed blossoming romance between Dr. Arcane and Alec could’ve been improved for a better emotional connection, but the pilot remains a promising start for a new series and once again shows that DC Universe isn’t playing around with their original programming.
Final Score: 7.5/10
Swamp Thing stars Crystal Reed as Abby Arcane, Maria Sten as Liz, Henderson Wade as Matt Cable, Jeryl Prescott as Madame Xanadu, Virginia Madsen as Maria Sunderland, Will Patton as Avery Sunderland, Jennifer Beals as an original character created for the series, Andy Bean as Alec Holland, Kevin Durand as Jason Woodrue, Ian Ziering as Blue Devil, and Derek Mears as the titular creature.
Swamp Thing will premiere on May 31, 2019, exclusively on DC Universe.
Clay Enos Shares Hi-Res Stills Of ‘Batman v Superman’, ‘Justice League’ & More
Photographer Clay Enos has shared a huge batch of new hi-res stills from DCEU films such as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman, Justice League, and Suicide Squad which includes several new images of Jared Leto as The Joker.
The hi-res images range from stills to behind the scenes photos featuring directors Zack Snyder and David Ayer working with cast members including Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Will Smith as Deadshot. In addition to the new images of Jared Leto's Joker, a new image of Gadot as Wonder Woman in her own standalone film is included among the hi-res stills.
You can check out the images in the gallery below.
Warner Bros. and DC Films have many projects currently being developed including The Batman, The Flash standalone film, Green Lantern Corps, Black Adam, Supergirl, New Gods, and Nightwing.
The DCEU continues this month with Aquaman which is now playing and will be followed by Shazam! on April 5, 2019, Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, and Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020. A standalone Joker film set outside of the DC Films universe starring Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime is also set to hit theaters October 4, 2019.
Directed by James Wan, Aquaman stars Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry, Amber Heard as Mera, Willem Dafoe as Vulko, Patrick Wilson as Orm / Ocean Master, Dolph Lundgren as Nereus, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, Ludi Lin as Captain Murk, and Temuera Morrison as Tom Curry.
From Warner Bros. Pictures and director, James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa in the title role. The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime—one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be… a king.
Aquaman is now playing. Stay tuned to Heroic Hollywood for the latest news on the future of the current DC cinematic universe as we learn it.
Source: Clay Enos