(Joel) Silver Age For Swamp Thing

Action producer planning 3D swamp god

You could hardly call it an interview, but Collider picked up an aside from Joel Silver (producer of Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, and more recently The Matrix) at a Whiteout press conference, that a new Swamp Thing is in development.

"It's a movie we've [Silver Pictures] had for a long time," says Silver. "We think we'd like to do it in 3D." When Collider's man pressed for more information he got "I'm maybe going to do it. I like it."

The DC comic was originally begun by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, whose bog monster was the chemically altered scientist Alex Olsen. But it's most famous as a later run of comics by the legendary Alan Moore (Watchmen, V For Vendetta), whose Swamp Thing was an "elemental" created from the death of lab-rat Alec Holland: "a plant that dreamed it was a man". Significant villains were Anton Arcane, and Jason Woodrue, "The Floronic Man". But basic hero/villain set-ups were not the order of the day.

Moore's saga was an important early part of the comics-aren't-just-for-kids scene of the early to mid 80s, even though there are occasional cameos from the likes of Superman, Batman and the Green Lantern Corps. It eventually reconciles the two origins with the notion of the ancient Ent-like Parliament of Trees and the revelation that there have been many plant elementals in the past.

One plot strand, begun by Moore and continued by Rick Veitch, saw Swamp Thing using John Constantine (originally a Swamp Thing character created by Moore, later spun off into his own Hellblazer series) as a surrogate to father The Sprout: a nascent elemental brought into being after Holland left Earth for a temporary self-imposed exile in space.

There have been two previous Swamp Thing films: a 1982 attempt by Wes Craven, starring Ray Wise and Adrienne Barbeau, and the jokey, camp, belated follow-up The Return of the Swamp Thing in 1989, with Dick Durock and Heather Locklear. They both featured Louis Jourdan as Arcane, and did nothing if not prove that Swamp Thing is very difficult to adapt for the screen (especially with zero budget) without it looking absurd.

Mr Silver, the gauntlet is thrown. You have your work cut out.