Doug Liman has backed out of directing Warner Bros’ Justice League Dark, the film that was to be a cog in the studio’s DC Universe of movies. The move is not surprising, as Liman’s schedule is officially tied up for the time being: As we reported, Lionsgate is moving forward with the Daisy Ridley-Tom Holland movie Chaos Walking based on Patrick Ness’ YA novel, with a franchise play being eyed and Liman at the helm. It is now in preproduction and is currently on offer at the Cannes market, and Liman is moving along with it.
Sources say several directors including Mama‘s Andy Muschietti are now being considered for Dark, which in DC lore is the Justice League branch that deals with mystical and supernatural threats. The group has consisted of the likes of Madame Xanadu, Deadman, John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Shade the Changing Man, and Zatanna among others.
Chaos Walking, with a budget around $80 million, is set on the distant, rugged planet of New World, which was colonized a generation earlier by settlers from Earth seeking a better life. When an infection called the Noise suddenly makes all thought audible, privacy vanishes, chaos ensues and a corrupt autocrat threatens to take control of the human settlements and wage war with the indigenous alien race.
Ness is co-writing the screenplay with John Lee Hancock and Charlie Kaufman. Allison Shearmur and Doug Davison are producing. The supporting roles alongside Ridley and Holland have not yet been cast.
Variety reported Liman’s exit first today.