DC's SWAMP THING Series Pilot Will Reportedly Be Directed By Len Wiseman and There Are New Story Details
Some new information has surfaced regarding DC Universe's Swamp Thing series that is being produced by James Wan. According to Splash Report, the creator of the Underworld film franchise, Len Wiseman, is set to direct the Swamp Thing pilot which is set to start filming in the Fall in Wilmington, NC.
I like Len Wiseman and the film and TV work that he has done for the most part, and I think he's a good fit for Swamp Thing. We also have some new details on the pilot episode, but before we get to that, here are the details that we were previously given.
Swamp Thing will follow "CDC researcher Abby Arcane, who returns to her childhood home of Houma, Louisiana, in order to investigate a deadly swamp-borne virus. She develops a surprising bond with scientist Alec Holland, only to have him tragically taken from her. But as powerful forces descend on Houma, intent on exploiting the swamp’s mysterious properties for their own purposes, Abby will discover that the swamp holds mystical secrets, and the potential love of her life may not be dead after all."
As for the details regarding the pilot, here's a description of it that also comes from the same source as the directing news. If you don't want anything spoiled for you, don't read ahead. However, there is always a chance that this is just rumored information.
The episode opens with a chill, a scary situation. Three rednecks drive a boat on a swamp in Houma, Louisiana in the dead of night. I think you can probably guess what ensues, but let’s say something happens to them that stops their trip early. However, the main point I wanted to bring up here isn’t really what happens, but how. This cold open doesn’t feel like a comic book show at all, it feels like something out of American Horror Story. Yeah, okay, it isn’t precisely top-tier, high-brow horror, but it does the job. It’s like an excellent horror film that you might watch on a Saturday night. Nothing spectacular, but it conclusively establishes SWAMP THING as something unique within the world of DC. And, of course, since this is a DC Universe (streaming service) show, there’s a hell of a lot of swearing and mature language… *cough* F— Batman *cough*. But as has been said before, the show isn’t connected to TITANS or DOOM PATROL, so I’m hoping it establishes a different visual palette than those.
While the show opens with a horror sequence, for the most part, the pilot is focused on establishing the town of Houma and the characters that live within it rather than the scares. But when the frights do come, they work. Funnily, SWAMP THING has a lot in common with shows like SHARP OBJECTS and CASTLE ROCK whereby an inhabitant of an old town comes back after decades away and sees how much it has/hasn’t changed. Meet Abby Arcane, a CDC medical agent who returns to, you guessed it, Houma after decades away to investigate the outbreak of a new infection that is taking over the town. Along with her investigation, we meet a bunch of characters. Most notably Alec Holland, a person who is also drawn to the swamp virus for reasons I won’t get into… There’s also Abby’s friend in the CDC, Harlan; the wealthy family Mr. and Mrs. Sunderland, who have a complicated history with Abby; and a police officer, Matt Cable, among many others. All of them are solid characters, though nothing incredibly deep, they do the job. I particularly liked Abby’s relationship with Mrs. Sunderland, who still holds resentment for Abby after what she did to their family decades ago. It’s one of the highlights of this episode.
Anyway, back to the crux of the story: the infection. It is seriously gross. It’s vomit-inducing gross. It’s described as causing plant growth inside of people that create their bodies to be mutilated and mixed with plant matter to produce a hybrid of grossness. And I guess that’s part of why SWAMP THING feels so unique. There aren’t that many ‘scares’ in the pilot, but there’s a hell of a lot of weird, creepy s***! There are plenty of body-horror visuals that are perhaps even more desired than traditional horror elements. The world of SWAMP THING is what is established in this pilot, and it’s spooky.
Strangely, or perhaps thankfully, the character of Swamp Thing itself doesn’t indeed appear much at all in this episode. He’s more of a figure causing havoc behind-the-scenes and throwing the narrative into motion. The show is far more focused on the human characters than the monster. Since I am unfamiliar with the source material, maybe that’s what Swamp Thing is all about, but I always assumed the stories followed the big monster as he did vigilante duties. It is evident by the end of the pilot, however, that Swamp Thing will undoubtedly play a more significant, direct role moving forward.
I actually like the things that I'm hearing here about the show and I hope that this is the direction that Wan and his creative team are really taking it. After all, I love really weird and creepy shit. That why I'm a fan of Swamp Thing in the first place!
Swamp Thing will make its debut on the upcoming DC Universe streaming service in 2019. What are your thoughts on Len Wiseman possibly directing the pilot and the rumored plot episode details that have been revealed?