Comic-Con Exclusive: Guillermo del Toro’s Dark Universe Will be Separate from Other DC Projects… for Now

Earlier today, spoke with Guillermo del Toro and Jorge Gutierez, the producer and writer of the animated film Book of Life, and for this interview, we wanted to get an update from Guillermo about one of his projects he hasn’t talked about as much lately.

While we know that his primary focus right now is his hit FX show “The Strain,” his haunted house movie Crimson Peak and starting preparations on Pacific Rim 2–and believe it or not, he’s hoping to do a smaller yet annouced film in between those two!–we’re really interested in his planned take on the darker elements of the DC Universe, currently known as Dark Universe.

It’s of particular interest right now for two reasons: Warner Bros. Television is debuting a new “Constantine” series in the fall, but also Joseph Gordon-Levitt is developing a movie based on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman…. plus there’s the rumor that a lot more DC movies were going to be announced very soon.

 “I’m still working on it,” del Toro said. “Sandman doesn’t figure in the Dark Universe. We have Deadman, we have the Demon, we have Swamp Thing, we have Zatana, we have Constantine, but DC and Warners have been very clear that they are trying to keep those properties separate so when the time comes they can unite them, once they know they’re quantifiable. Batman, Superman, Green Lantern… everyone eventually will come together. Right now, they’re allowing us independence.”  

And as far as the “Constantine” television show, since that character will be in the director’s movie:

“No, I had that conversation when the Constantine show was pitched. I said, ‘Do I have to have continuity with that?’ and they said, ‘No, feel free to continue the way you’re going.”

“Swamp Thing for me is my favorite superhero of all times. I always like the monsters,” he told us. I love the Hulk, although he added that the television show on the Hulk is gone, maybe because they’re having so much success with Mark Ruffalo’s version in the movies. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get an answer about Neil Gaiman’s Death the High Cost of Living, which Guillermo had been shepherding since that would have to be affected by Sandman in some ways.

As far as his other projects, Guillermo is planning on focusing on the second season of “The Strain” in the last quarter of the year, then he hopes to shoot that “small movie” in February, and he’ll start pre-production (in terms of designing) on Pacific Rim 2 in three weeks with plans to shoot that in November 2015 until early 2016.

And further adding to the previous teases about the monsters vs. robots sequel that’s already out there, he told us, “We’re going to shoot part of Pacific Rim 2 in several locations so it’s not as set-driven as the first movie. We want to use locations and exteriors a lot more, and daylight. I’m trying to make a movie that feels like a direct continuation of the first one but it also brings a lot of stuff that is new.”

Look for our full video interview with Guillermo and Gutierez talking about the animated Book of Life over on within the next day or so.