In news that should surprise absolutely no one, Guillermo del Toro has dropped out of the proposed Justice League Dark movie. Or the Dark Universe movie. Or whatever everyone decided it was called. Every few years or so, del Toro tends to take a look at the dozen or so projects he’s spearheaded, gets realistic for a few seconds, and then shakes a few of them off. His take on the darker side of the DC comic book universe, which is still in the early stages of development, is the latest victim of his busy schedule.

This news is buried at the bottom of a larger Hollywood Reporter story about Warner Bros.  reshuffling their various DC comic book properties. In a move that actually makes a lot of sense, all of the standard superhero characters (like Superman and Batman) will continue to live under the main Warner Bros. umbrella while niche characters and properties, like Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s adaptation of Sandman, will be developed by New Line. With a cast of characters that includes con man occultist John Constantine, the mysterious Swamp Thing, the magician Zantanna, and the ghostly Deadman, Justice League Dark/Dark Universe sounds like it would be more at home with the rest of the freaks at New Line rather than the capes at WB proper.

The article claims that del Toro, who is currently finishing Crimson Peak and prepping Pacific Rim 2, “is no longer attached to the project” and leaves it at that. If true — and we really believe this one to be true because collecting projects and dropping them is del Toro’s nature – that’s a shame. Few filmmakers have such an affinity for monsters like del Toro, who would have injected this motley line-up with that Hellboy magic. Other directors can make a perfectly decent supernatural superhero movie, but the del Toro version sounds like the “ideal universe” version.

And now we wait. When will Justice League Dark/Dark Universe get made? Probably sometime after Sandman. And when will Sandman get made? Uh, eventually. Maybe?

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