image: Lightyear Entertainment Dick Durock as Alec Holland/Swamp Thing in "Return of the Swamp Thing"

Annihilation‘s Alex Garland Sets His Sights on Swamp Thing as His Next Fantastical Film Adaptation

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Alex Garland’s adaptation of the female-fronted sci-fi novel Annihilation is coming out next week, but Garland already has a potential next project in mind if DC/Warner Bros. will allow him the pleasure.

In a recent Reddit AMA promoting Annihilation‘s upcoming release, a fan referred to Garland’s awesome 2012 adaptation of Dredd when they asked, “In the massive wave of comic book films, Dredd is still to me among the most well-written, so my question to you is: If given the chance, which comic book characters would you want to write/direct?”

Garland answered simply, “Swamp Thing.”

I love that there was no hemming and hawing, or a list of potential possibilities. Garland’s first, very definite answer was Swamp Thing. Clearly, he’s already given this some thought. While this was simply Garland answering a fan question, and there’s no movement on this front, one can only hope that the Powers That Be over at DC/Warner Bros. are listening and allow Garland to take a crack at this.

After all, the film industry kind of owes Alec Holland/Swamp Thing. While the character is a nuanced, substantive one in the comicswith Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing still considered the best to datewe’ve had less than desirable portrayals of the character in live-action film.

Swamp Thing has fared a bit better in animation. In last year’s Justice League Dark, for example, Swamp Thing is a great, heroic presence. Maybe it’s because it’s easier to take a man made out of plants seriously when he’s drawn or animated?

It seems, however, that Wes Craven was more interested in treating Swamp Thing like a campy, B-movie character than he was in treating him like an actual film character. Hey, it was the early 1980s. Superheroes weren’t taken very seriously at all back then, with 1978’s Superman being an exception, and only because the character was, and had already been, so iconic and mainstream.

There was another Swamp Thing movie in the works as far back as 2009, with Akiva Goldsman rewriting a Len Wein screenplay and Vincenzo Natali attached to direct. But there were various legal issues, and the project fell by the wayside by 2010. Sadly, Swamp Thing co-creator Len Wein, who was gung-ho about another film adaptation, passed away in the fall of last year at the age of 69.

Does this leave the road free and clear for Garland to pick up the slack and get this project done? I hope so, as I think that he’d do justice to the character and find the right balance between fun and substance that this property requires.

What do you think? Would you be down for an Alex Garland Swamp Thing? Tell us below!

(via /Film, featured image: Lightyear Entertainment)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.