'Justice League Dark' Heads Toward Animation

The supernatural property was previously in development as a live-action movie with Guillermo del Toro attached.
Ryan Sook/DC Entertainment

The live-action Justice League Dark movie might be on the back burner after Guillermo del Toro's departure as director, but DC Entertainment's supernatural superhero team will get their own movie nonetheless — as a direct-to-DVD animated release.

The existence of the animated Justice League Dark was revealed by the British Board of Film Classification, which stated that the upcoming Batman: The Killing Joke animated home release will contain a bonus feature titled "A Sneak Peak at Justice League Dark." Such features are a regular occurrence on DC's animated releases, acting as announcement and teaser for the next release from the animation studio.

Del Toro's live-action JLD — also known as Dark Universe — was first mentioned in 2013 as a project that would team John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Zatanna and other supernatural characters in DC's portfolio against an unknown threat. Last year, the Pacific Rim director said that he may not be involved beyond scripting; however, "it all depends on the calendar, you know?" he explained.

Justice League Dark launched as a comic book property in 2011, featuring a number of DC's supernatural and horror characters — including the Enchantress, who appears in August's Suicide Squad movie — coming together under the leadership of John Constantine, Madame Xanadu and Zatanna to deal with threats that regular superheroes didn't even know existed. The series was canceled last year ahead of an announced re-launch under the title Dark Universe, which has yet to appear.

More details on the project will likely accompany the animated Batman: The Killing Joke, which will be released digitally July 23, ahead of a Blu-ray and DVD release Aug. 2.