Who Is Swamp Thing? Your Guide To The DC Hero And Movie

A full-blown horror movie is in the works at DC Studios.

A brand new take on Swamp Thing is in development as part of the first chapter (dubbed Gods And Monsters) of James Gunn and Peter Safran’s new-look DC Universe (DCU).

The project is still a few years away yet – the first live-action movie to grace our screens will be Superman: Legacy in July 2025 – but it’s already gaining steam quickly.

Here’s everything we know about DC’s first true monster movie.

Who Is Swamp Thing?

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Originally introduced in the July 1971 issue of House Of Secrets as part of a standalone story, our muddy hero proved popular enough to get his own lead series later that decade.

Initially fighting to protect his home, Swamp Thing’s struggles eventually evolved to helping the world in general, be it dealing with threats to the environment or battling against various villains alongside the Justice League Dark team of supernatural crime fighters.

Since his original introduction, nine separate human characters have been transformed into the Swamp Thing. During the grittier 1980s run, Alan Moore (whose series will likely be the inspiration for the upcoming movie) reinvented the character so he was a monster by birth.

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He tied that into DC continuity by revealing that there had been hundreds of Swamp Things since the dawn of humanity, being assigned their protector roles by the Parliament Of Trees.

Because of the sheer number of Swamp Things out there, it’s hard to know which direction the DCU project will take – all we really know is that it’s going to be a lot different from Wes Craven’s 1982 movie or the 2019 series that was cancelled after one season.

Moore’s other big innovation with his take was the creation of another major DC character: John Constantine, who remains a staple in the universe to this day.

Swamp Thing Powers

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To put it simply, Swamp Thing is a shapeshifter. He can inhabit and animate both vegetable and sentient manner, constructing it into a form for himself.

Coupled with his superhuman strength, this means he doesn’t really suffer during fights. Swamp Thing can heal damaged body parts by growing them back immediately.

And this skill doesn’t just extend to his own physical form either – he can heal and grow any plant he sees via the power of his mind.

The Swamp Thing Movie: What We Know So Far

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Swamp Thing was the last of the ten projects unveiled at Gunn and Safran’s DCU slate presentation and is the one most shrouded in secrecy. All they gave away is that this is a horror film with a darker tone than their other projects in development.

However, shortly afterwards we received the news that James Mangold (Logan Le Mans ’66) had entered talks to direct the project.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that the filmmaker approached the two studio heads to discuss his love for the character and interest in adapting him for the screen – since then, talks seem to be picking up steam.

Mangold tweeted out some Swamp Thing artwork, which Gunn himself then shared. It seems like they’re both eager to be on board.

However, even with a director likely attached, production will probably still be a while away. After the release of this summer’s Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny, Mangold is directing Bob Dylan biopic A Complete Unknown for Paramount Pictures, with Timothée Chalamet set to star as the folk icon.

When Can We See The Swamp Thing Movie?

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No release date for the film has been announced and it’s widely assumed to be the last movie releasing as part of the DCU’s first chapter – that’s even with a director close to boarding the project.

The first film to be released will be Superman: Legacy in July 2025, so let’s hope we don’t have too long a wait after then.

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Alistair Ryder

Alistair Ryder


Alistair is a culture journalist and lover of bad puns from Leeds. Subject yourself to his bad tweets by following him on Twitter @YesItsAlistair.