DC Universe’s ‘Swamp Thing’ Plot Details Revealed

4 min

Plot details for the live-action DC Universe horror series Swamp Thing have been revealed according to SplashReport.

The report states more about the show’s pilot than the series as a whole, but it does give fans a good idea of what sort of direction that executive producer James Wan is hoping to take it. The pilot episode opens with a very scary cold open with three rednecks sailing around on the bayou in Houma, Louisiana but their little voyage is cut short by something unexpected. Basically, this show is taking a similar approach to FX’s American Horror Story by not showing what happens but how it happens.

It’s obviously not your big budget blockbuster horror film, but it will work as your typical weekly horror series that is distinct from the other shows set to release on DC Universe. The benefit that this show has with it not being on regular cable television is that it will be able to feature some mature scenes and swearing, which we got a preview of with the Titans trailer last month. As previously reported, Swamp Thing will not share it’s continuity with other DC Universe shows such as Titans and Doom Patrol. 

Now while the Swamp Thing pilot does open with a horror sequence the pilot isn’t like that for the most part. The pilot focuses on establishing the Southern town of Houma, Louisiana and the characters that reside there more than the series’ horror element, but when the terror happens, it works quite well. Swamp Thing is taking a lot from the Hulu exclusive Castle Rock where a former resident of a town has returned after years away to see how much it has or has not changed.

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The character breakdown of the show features protagonist Abby Arcane, who is a CDC agent that returns to Houma after being away for decades to investigate the outbreak of a new infection that’s running rampant through the town. Throughout Arcane’s investigation we get to meet a lot of the interesting characters that will be constantly featured on the show, which does include Alec Holland. Alec Holland is someone who is drawn to the swamp virus for undisclosed reasons, but fans of the character can take a guess as to why he’d be so invested in it. There is also Abby’s friend and fellow CDC officer, Harlan; the wealthy Sunderland family who have a complicated past with Abby; local cop Matt Cable and many others. They are all believably human characters that do their jobs to service the plot, but they aren’t incredibly deep. Mrs. Sunderland seemingly has a deep seated resentment for Abby for something that she did to the Sunderland family years ago before leaving Houma.

The pilot’s central story element is the swamp virus, which Abby has come to investigate. The virus is definitely something that pushes the gross factor up to eleven. It’s been described as being able to cause plant growth inside of people which causes the victims to become mutilated and mixed with plant matter to produce a human-plant hybrid. This is probably how Swamp Thing is planning to distinguish itself from it’s DC Universe counterparts. The pilot doesn’t really focus a lot on the scares, but it does emphasize the suspense and the characters. It’s definitely a treat for fans of Cronenberg-esque body horror that may be more than your traditional horror shows or movies. Swamp Thing is definitely going to drag it’s audience into a darker and scarier side of the DC world.

The character Swamp Thing does not really have a major presence in the pilot in the way that you’d think. Throughout the pilot he’s more of this ominous force that causes problems behind-the-scenes that puts the show’s story into motion. The show is more interested in exploring the human characters of the swamp than it is the monster that inhabits it. However, this is only for the pilot. It is likely that the character will play a bigger role in the series as it progresses.

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The Swamp Thing pilot has yet to acquire a director, but it likely could be someone with a strong background in the horror genre. Swamp Thing already has a few people with horror or supernatural backgrounds attached to the project such as executive producers James Wan (The Conjuring), Gary Dauberman (It), Michael Clear (Annabelle: Creation), Mark Verheiden (Constantine).

Swamp Thing is set to start filming this year in Wilmington, North Carolina and will premiere on the DC Universe digital streaming service in 2019.

What do you think of this news? Are you excited for Swamp Thing? Let us know in the comments below?

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Simeone Miller
Simeone has been involved in popular culture journalism since early 2015 as the co-founder of the highly successful Up Your Geek news organization. He specializes in covering DC, Marvel, cinema, and gaming. He is a political science major minoring in sociology and plans to be a lawyer.