Beware the Swamp Thing! A new teaser for the new live-action horror series Swamp Thing, airing exclusively on DC Universe later in 2019, gives a glimpse at what James Wan and director Len Wiseman are cooking up in this corner of the DC multiverse. Their show also looks a bit like the ‘90s Swamp Thing TV show that ran for 72 episodes, with a modern touch.
On Friday, filmmaker Len Wiseman (director of the Underworld movies) shared a behind the scenes clip on Instagram, showing a figure, presumably Wiseman himself, wading in swamp waters amidst a moody, green-lit swamp background.
The camera, sliding leftward on a dolly, depicts Wiseman moving in the swamp until a tree covers the scene. You can hear crickets throughout the clip.
The clip itself is unremarkable — it’s a guy wading in a swamp — but the look of it all is the big takeaway. Working with the pale green lights is the pitch black foliage of the swamp, which together conjures a moody picture that gets to the heart of who, or what, Swamp Thing is supposed to be: He’s no superhero, but the cursed guardian of the green.
The character Swamp Thing, created by the late Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson in 1971, is a dark superhero who exists in the canon of the DCU. While there have been a handful of individuals who became the “Swamp Thing,” the most popular identity is Alec Holland, a scientist in Louisiana whose consciousness becomes one with nature when a terrorist attack bombs his facility. When Alec awakes, he is officially Swamp Thing, the guardian of “The Green,” a living embodiment of all of Earth’s botanical life.
While the character had minor popularity, it wasn’t until 1982 when Alan Moore (writer of Watchmen) was given free reign over the series in a modern classic that elevated the character into a fan favorite. It was Moore’s run on Swamp Thing that introduced many surviving ideas of Swamp Thing’s unique mythology, such as the Parliament of Trees and the supporting character John Constantine, who went on to become his own cult fave in the long-running Vertigo series Hellblazer and in the TV series Legends of Tomorrow on The CW.
The popularity of Moore’s Swamp Thing — itself prompted by Wes Craven’s Swamp Thing movie — inspired the creation of the 1990-1993 TV series starring Dick Durock as Alec Holland on the USA Network.
While not a fondly-remembered classic as it lacked the profound storytelling seen in Moore’s comic books, the series has its fans who consider it a schlocky, B-grade horror show than a traditional superhero series.
And for its time, the look and special effects of the series was pretty decent. In 2009, Shout! Factory released Swamp Thing in a complete DVD set.
With Wan and Wiseman’s Swamp Thing still in production, there’s a ways to go until more of the series can be previewed, but we can probably expect more teasers to come in the next few months. Just don’t wander off into any creepy swamps until then.
Swamp Thing will premiere in 2019 on the DC Universe app.