Following up on the acclaimed Titans and Doom Patrol live-action shows, the latest original series for DC Universe is Swamp Thing. Described as an outright horror series and not connected to previous DC Universe original programming, the show adapts the classic DC Comics character created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson for 1972's Swamp Thing #1.
With the series scheduled to premiere on May 31, here's everything you need to know about the latest addition to DC Universe.
What's Swamp Thing About?
Recounting the origin story of the plant-based DC Comics character of the same name, Swamp Thing follows scientist Alec Holland working in the small town of Houma, Louisiana. After meeting CDC scientist Abigail Arcane, Holland is killed in a tragic explosion in his lab by the bayou.
While Abby continues her research to develop a cure for an epidemic threatening her hometown, she encounters all sorts of supernatural mysteries and threats defying conventional explanation, including the possibility that Holland is not completely dead, but instead reborn as the elemental hero Swamp Thing. Throughout the series, Holland attempts to retain his humanity despite his monstrous transformation.
How Many Episodes Are in Season 1?
Similar to Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing was originally slated to run for 13 episodes before its episode order was reduced to 10 mid-production due to what Warner Bros. described as "creative decisions," with the series writers reassembled to craft a new season finale to reflect the shortened run. Additional reports indicate the decision came not from the quality of the show, but Warner Bros. Television's parent company WarnerMedia rethinking its streaming strategy as it prepares to launch its own, more expansive premium streaming service by the end of the year.
The move is not an unprecedented one for DC Universe, with Titans also significantly reworking its season finale mid-production. With a new episode released weekly, this puts the upcoming series' season finale on track to premiere Aug. 2.
Who Are the Main Characters?
In addition to Alec Holland, portrayed in human form by Andy Bean and as Swamp Thing by Derek Mears, and Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed), the series has quite an extensive main cast. Abby is joined by her close friend and reporter Liz Tremayne (Maria Sten), co-worker Harlan Edwards (Leonardo Nam), Sheriff Lucilla Cable (Jennifer Beals) and her lawman son Matt (Henderson Wade), who was romantically involved with Abby in high school.
More morally ambiguous characters include the blind fortuneteller Madam Xanadu (Jeryl Prescott) and the former stuntman Daniel Cassidy (Ian Ziering), who performed death-defying feats as the Blue Devil. There's also opportunistic businessman Avery Sunderland (Will Patton) and his wife, Maria (Virginia Madsen), who seek to harness the mystical properties of the swamp. Scientist Jason Woodrue (Kevin Durand) also has his own mysteriously sinister plans involving the swamp's secret powers.
How Faithful Will It Be to the Comics?
Screenwriter and executive producer Gary Dauberman, who also co-wrote the pilot episode of the series, has previously claimed that the adaptation would take particular inspiration from Alan Moore's acclaimed run on the character from the 1980s. The 43-issue run had Swamp Thing continue to be pursued by the Sunderland Corporation, which wanted to examine and experiment on him. In addition to shocking revelations about the nature of his new form, Moore's run saw a relationship blossom between Swamp Thing and Abby while exploring the legacy of the hero's connections to the ancient, mystical realms within the DCU.
In addition to citing the series' primary influence, Dauberman has since stated that the production was expected to not shy away from graphic content and aim for a "hard R" rating.
Who Created the TV Series?
The series comes with an impressive horror pedigree, with Dauberman previously having written The Nun and both installments of the It adaptation, including this year's sequel. The series will be co-produced by The Conjuring and Aquaman filmmaker James Wan's production company, Atomic Monster, with Wan and Michael Clear also attached as executive producers for the series.
Comic book writer and Ash vs. the Evil Dead executive producer Mark Verheiden co-wrote the series pilot with Dauberman and is also attached as an executive producer. Helming the pilot episode is Underworld and Live Free or Die Hard director Len Wiseman, who signed on this past September while also being credited as an executive producer on the DC Universe series.
Executive produced by James Wan, Mark Verheiden, Gary Dauberman, Michael Clear and Len Wiseman, Swamp Thing will premiere on May 31 on the DC Universe. 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.