Although James Wan has yet to sign on for a sequel to his blockbuster Aquaman, now riding a wave of success at the global box office, the filmmaker's mind isn't far from the world of DC comics. The writer/director of such horror hits as Saw, Insidious: Chapter Two and The Conjuring is also one of the creative minds behind the upcoming supernatural drama Swamp Thing, which he assures will bring the character back to his comic book roots.
Introduced in 1974 by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson in DC's House of Secrets horror anthology, the swamp monster grew in popularity over the next decade in his own comic series, with the 1980s revival The Sage of the Swamp Thing earning widespread acclaim under writer Alan Moore.
During a press junket for Aquaman, CBR spoke with Wan about his vision as executive producer for the Swamp Thing live-action series, set to debut this year on the DC Universe streaming service. Comparing the project to his experience developing Aquaman, Wan described Swamp Thing as "another piece of property where I think the source material is amazing, with lots of really fascinating characters."
The supernatural horror drama follows Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed), a researcher for the Centers for Disease Conntrol, who returns to her childhood home in Houma, Louisiana, to investigate a deadly swamp-borne virus. There she develops a surprising bond with scientist Alec Holland (Andy Bean), only for him to be tragically taken away. But when powerful forces descend on the town, intending to exploit the swamp's mysterious properties, Abby discovers that the wetland holds secrets, both wonderful and horrifying, and that Alec may not be dead after all, but instead transformed.
"We want to lean more into the Gothic horror/romance aspect of it," Wan told CBR, underscoring the influences of the comic book source material.
"It's a human story," the filmmaker said. "Basically, it's Beauty and the Beast. It's about this guy struggling to find his humanity as he's transforming and becoming more and more of a monster."
Executive produced by James Wan, Mark Verheiden, Gary Dauberman, Michael Clear and Len Wiseman, Swamp Thing premieres in 2019 on the DC Universe steaming service. The supernatural horror series stars Crystal Reed, Andy Bean, Derek Mears, Jennifer Beals, Henderson Wade, Will Patton, Virginia Madsen, Jeryl Prescott, Henderson Wade and Kevin Durand.