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Zatanna: Has DCEU Found Its Sorceress In Emilia Clarke?

The decision to release Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBO Max has become the most coveted topic among comic-book enthusiasts. As the future of DCEU looks bright, and also digital, considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Warner Bros. has been quietly pushing other projects in its pipeline of future movies.

Also see: Why releasing TENET on HBO Max might be the best idea?

After Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios has been aggressively trying to build its linked universe through the online streaming platform Disney+. Last year at SDCC, Marvel Studios announced a long list of upcoming TV series which will be directly linked to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From The Falcon and The Winter Soldier to Hawkeye, the race for TV platform dominion has begun. Despite the successful run of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the show never really got much attention from the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Netflix’s critically acclaimed Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and the quite forgettable Iron Fist also faced the axe, but hopes of their revival are on the cards. Similarly, Hulu’s Runaways also received positive response upon its release.

Despite Marvel’s absolute domination over the big screen, DC has been quite successful with its various TV shows and the critically acclaimed animated movies (DC Animated Universe). With shows like Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Black Lightning, Teen Titans, Legends of Tomorrow gaining wide popularity, the TV game for DC has been quite lucrative so far. Recently, DC’s other intellectual properties like Doom Patrol and Watchmen were released which have released universal acclaim. HBO’s Watchmen which was written by Damon Lindelof has been nominated for a whopping 26 Emmy Awards. Similarly, Doom Patrol is being considered as one of the best superhero TV series released in recent times.

As HBO released its online streaming platform, HBO Max, back in May 2020, it gained wide popularity for its decision to finance and release the Snyder Cut. While the Snyder Cut is yet to be released, Warner Bros. has been pushing many shows to stream on HBO Max. According to insider sources, HBO Max has roped in the prolific Greg Berlanti to extend the DC Extended Universe to the online platform. As Greg Berlanti has been confirmed to produce Green Lantern and Strange Adventures TV shows for HBO Max, the race has begun between DC and Marvel to dominate the TV industry. To make things even more interesting, director Matt Reeves has also confirmed to be a part of the upcoming Gotham Central show on HBO Max, which will be directly linked to his upcoming The Batman (2021).

Also see: 5 Things We Expect From Matt Reeves’ Batman Universe

To add one more project to the ever-increasing list of shows on HBO Max, Warner Bros. has reportedly hired the iconic J.J. Abrams for a Justice League Dark series. Having directed both Star Trek and Star Wars, J.J. Abrams is one of the most coveted directors in the industry now. Back in 2012, Guillermo Del Toro had announced that he was writing the script for Justice League Dark. After Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel (2013), Del Toro was still hopeful of attaching his Justice League Dark to the DC Extended Universe. Despite the completion of his script, Del Toro has reportedly left the project due to its developmental hell. Recently, Swamp Thing was released by Warner Bros. Television which received praise upon its release. But unfortunately, the series was cancelled after its first season which made CW pick up the show.

Thankfully, the future of Justice League Dark looks bright now as it has been picked up by HBO Max. As a collaboration between HBO Max and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production house, Justice League Dark will be set in the shared DC Extended Universe.

According to HBO Max’s Content Chief, Kevin Reilly has revealed details on DC’s involvement with the online platform, with J.J. Abrams at the helm. Reilly has released the following statement:

Yes, he’s always loved it. He always felt that there was a lot of opportunity there and an unexplored territory, and kind of a pond that he could play in exclusively.

If inside sources are to be trusted, Warner Bros. has hired one of the most notable alums of HBO, the Mother of Dragons, Emilia Clarke. Emilia Clarke’s portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen in the hit Game of Thrones made her a superstar in the industry. And now, the Dragon Queen shall be returning back to HBO as one of the most powerful sorceresses of the DC Universe, Zatanna Zatara.

Also see: House of the Dragon: Game of Thrones Prequel Begins Casting

As a prominent member of Justice League Dark, Zatanna deals with supernatural and paranormal threats alongside Deadman, The Changing Man, Madame Xanadu, Swamp Thing, and her primary love interest, John Constantine. A powerful magician, she is also a member of the original Justice League, having close ties with Batman.

Also see: Aquaman 2: This Popular Star Might Replace Amber Heard!

The massive success of Wonder Woman played by Gal Gadot has paved the way for strong female characters in the superhero movie genre. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey further cemented the fact that lead female characters are as lucrative as male superheroes. And now, the emancipation of other female characters from the DC Universe can be led by the gorgeous Emilia Clarke. Having portrayed one of the most powerful and inspiring female characters in recent history, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Seas is a powerful addition to the cast of Justice League Dark. If HBO Max can rope in Matt Ryan to reprise his role of the cigarette-smoking, whiskey-drinking, foul-mouthed, trench coat wearing John Constantine, things can get really interesting for the future of the DC Extended Universe.

J.J. Abrams’s expertise in handling mega franchises like Star Trek and Star Wars makes him the perfect fit to lead the sinister and magical Justice League Dark against the God of Mischief, Loki, in his upcoming eponymous TV series on Disney+.

Details regarding the upcoming Justice League Dark are being kept under wraps for now. Director J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot’s Head of Television Ben Stephenson will act as executive producers, alongside Rachel Rusch Rich, the Executive Vice President of Television of Bad Robot.

Written by Akash Senapati

Akash is an India-based writer who has previously worked with Quirkybyte and Xtrascoop. He loves DC Comics, Anime, Pink Floyd, and sleeping in no particular order. His favourite graphic-medium writers are Grant Morrison, Chris Claremont, Christopher Priest, Garth Ennis, and Eiichiro Oda. Prep time > Aliens.

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