The final episode of DC Universe's Swamp Thing was a bittersweet moment for fans. It's difficult to conceive that a show with rave reviews and exceptional quality was canceled right after its debut episode.
While there were rumors it was due to funding issues related to grants from the North Carolina state and creative differences between the showrunners and WarnerMedia executives, these have been dispelled. A statement from DC Universe confirmed the show's cancellation but not the reason, saying, "We appreciate there are questions as to 'why,' but unfortunately we are not in a position to answer at this time."
Fans have been running "Save Swamp Thing" campaigns for the past 10 weeks. However, they look unlikely to work what with the show's expensive and elaborate sets already dismantled. So, where next for Swampy?
The answer could lie in a Justice League Dark TV show.
For those unfamiliar with the Justice League Dark concept, it's basically a different version of the Justice League lineup with a focus on the supernatural and magical. Members of the team have included the likes of John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, Zatanna, Deadman and Swamp Thing.
According to Business Insider's sources, the original plan for Swamp Thing was for it to last three seasons before spinning off into a Justice League Dark show, though the cancellation of the former seems to have thrown that idea off course. If you think about, however, a Justice League Dark setup has already happened on DC TV, largely thanks to the groundwork laid by Swamp Thing and Constantine. Ironically, both shows were canceled after just a single season.
Paying close attention, the worldbuilding is there as well as the introduction of Justice League Dark characters in the series. Established names such as Madame Xanadu have already been introduced, while there's the potential to include new members like Blue Devil and Jim Corrigan/The Spectre in this version of the team. In terms of villains for the show, Felix Faust already featured in Constantine, while Swamp Thing's post-credits stinger showcased Jason Woodrue's transformation into the Floronic Man.
Furthermore, WarnerMedia has undoubtedly noted the love and popularity of actors Andy Bean and Derek Mears as Alec Holland and Swamp Thing, respectively, among the fanbase. It'll possibly lead to the same sort of scenario as with actor Matt Ryan and the Constantine role, where his show was canceled but he has continued to pop up as the character in the Arrowverse and animated productions. There's still money on the table here and the executives must know this.
At the same time, there's the curious case of the live-action Justice League Dark film. Since 2012, there have been plans for a movie, with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro attached to the project until 2015. At 2017's Comic-Con International in San Diego, it was revealed that Justice League Dark was still in the pipeline, but with no director attached. The shake-up at Warner Bros., though, has probably put a pending stamp on this production, as with anything else harboring "Justice League" in its title.
Truth be told, it's a project better suited for TV anyway. Featuring a colorful array of characters with their own backstories and rogues' gallery, there's no way a standalone film could do the team the -- pardon the pun – justice it deserves. Plus, why throw away all the popular and fan-approved versions of the characters introduced on the small screen?
While Swamp Thing might be floating face down right now, there's no reason that he can't be revived, along with Constantine and friends, for a Justice League Dark TV show. After all, these heroes deserve another shot at redemption on DC TV.