Wednesday, May 2, 2018

DC Universe Service Developing SWAMP THING Drama Series

Do not bring your evil here, I warn you.  Beware the wrath of...Swamp Thing!

Deadline has word that the upcoming DC Universe digital service has given a script-to-series order for the drama series Swamp Thing, based on the DC Comics swamp monster and plant elemental.

The series is the fifth DC Comics adaptation in development for DC Universe, after the animated series Harley Quinn and Young Justice: Outsiders, and the live-action series Titans and Metropolis

According to the article, Swamp Thing "centers on CDC researcher Abby Arcane.  When she 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, both horrifying and wondrous — and the potential love of her life may not be dead after all."

Swamp Thing will be written by Mark Verheiden (Ash vs. Evil Dead) and It co-writer Gary Dauberman.  They will serve as executive producers with Atomic Monster’s James Wan and Michael Clear, while Rob Hackett serves as co-producer.

Created in 1971 by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, Swamp Thing first appeared in House of Secrets #92 as Alex Olsen, a scientist in the early 20th century who was caught in a lab explosion caused by his co-worker, Damian Ridge, who intended to kill him to gain the hand of Olsen's wife, Linda.  Olsen was physically altered by chemicals and the forces within the swamp.  He was transformed into a monstrous creature who killed Ridge before he could murder Linda, who started to suspect Ridge of murdering Alex.  Unable to speak and with his monstrous appearance, he was unable to make Linda realize his true identity, and he returned to the swamp.

In 1972's Swamp Thing (vol.1) #1, Wein and Wrightson updated the time frame to the 1970s and featured a new version of the character -- Alec Holland, a scientist working in the Louisiana swamps on a secret bio-restorative formula "that can make forests out of deserts."  Holland was killed by a bomb planted by agents of the mysterious Mr. E (Nathan Ellery), who wanted the formula.  Splashed with burning chemicals in the massive fire, Holland ran from the lab and fell into the muck-filled swamp, after which a creature resembling a humanoid plant appeared.

In 1984, writer Alan Moore reworked Swamp Thing's origin to make him a true monster as opposed to a human transformed into a monster.  The Sunderland Corporation hunted Swamp Thing and "killed" him in a hail of bullets.  The subsequent investigation revealed that Swamp Thing was not Alec Holland transformed into a plant, but actually a form of plant life that had absorbed Holland's body and created a "copy" of his form and consciousness after exposure to his serum, with Swamp Thing's appearance being the plants' attempt to duplicate Holland's human form.  This resulted in Swamp Thing suffering a temporary mental breakdown and identity crisis, but he eventually reasserted himself in time to stop the latest scheme of the Floronic Man.  Later, Moore revealed that there had been dozens, perhaps hundreds, of Swamp Things since the dawn of humanity, and that all versions of the creature were designated defenders of the Parliament of Trees, an elemental community also known as "the Green" that connects all plant life on Earth.

This will be the second live-action Swamp Thing television series, after the first series that aired from 1990 to 1993 on USA Network starring Dick Durock as Swamp Thing.

Swamp Thing is expected to debut on DC Universe sometime in 2019.

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