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Welcome to Trailer Watch, a regular feature that helps put the spotlight on series that may fly under the radar in the crowded Peak TV landscape. Each installment will explain what the show is and why it looks interesting. This week it’s DC Universe’s long-awaited Swamp Thing series produced by horror-maverick James Wan.
Warner Bros.’ DC Universe streaming service has been quietly building a reputation for thoughtful and unexpected superhero shows since it launched last year with critical darlings like Doom Patrol and the well-received animated series Young Justice: Outsiders.
The niche nature of the streamer, combined with the fact that parent company WarnerMedia is about to launch its own all-encompassing platform has meant that DC Universe’s offerings haven’t garnered the same high-profile coverage as some peers. But with the billion-dollar director of Aquaman, James Wan, on board, new horror series Swamp Thing might just change that.
The scare-heavy trailer showcases a tonal shift from the clean-cut, technicolor world of comic book television that viewers have become used to over the last few years. Though edgy series inspired by comics like Preacher and DC’s own Doom Patrol have begun to break through, there’s yet to be a straight horror comic series on contemporary TV, a fact that the minds behind Swamp Thing appear to be banking on.
The series centers on Abby Arcane, a classic DC Comics character who’s brought to life here by Crystal Reed (Gotham, Teen Wolf). She stars opposite Andy Bean (Power, It: Chapter Two) as Alec Holland, the man who would become Swamp Thing, and Derek Mears (Friday the 13th, Sleepy Hollow) as the monstrous elemental plant creature himself.
Executive produced by Wan, Len Wiseman (Underworld) and MIchael Clear, along with writers Mark Verheiden (Battlestar Galactica) and Gary Dauberman (It, It: Chapter Two), Swamp Thing follows the lead heroine and CDC scientist Abby as she returns to the Louisiana bayous were she was raised. But her reason for returning is hardly a good one, as she finds a terrifying and deadly infection breeding in the swamps. It’s there that she and Alec connect, and also where the latter will meet his murky fate. DC Universe is keen to highlight the dark tone and gothic aesthetic of the show in the trailer, which looks more like a theatrical horror film than a streaming series.
Despite recent production problems that saw the show shut down three episodes before it was due to end production, Swamp Thing is still a big sell for DC Universe as WarnerMedia moves ever closer to launching its own platform. With big names behind this reboot of a much-maligned ’80s creature feature and the series inhabiting an interesting place in the current Warner landscape, it’ll be interesting to see how much of a splash Swamp Thing makes when it lands May 31.
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