When “Joker” became a huge success, there was talk that this approach to DC villains could be expanded to other characters. Though we haven’t heard more about director Todd Philips‘ pitch for a “DC Black” series of films, there is one filmmaker who already has a working relationship with Warner Bros. and has a pitch for an unconventional DC film, Mike Flanagan.
When asked by a fan via Twitter if he had a specific DC character he’d live to make a film about, Flanagan tweeted “Well I’ve wanted to do a Superman movie since I was a kid, but I would also be really keen to do a standalone Clayface movie as a horror/thriller/tragedy.”
A standalone movie about Clayface doesn’t sound like a terrible idea, actually. The character has never appeared in a live-action movie, despite being one of the oldest Batman villains, debuting in 1940. The version of the character most fans would be familiar with is that from “Batman: The Animated Series,” which gave Matt Hagen aka Clayface a tragic backstory. He’s an actor who is disfigured in a car accident, volunteers for an experimental face cream, but ends up transformed into a shape-shifting monstrosity. Rather than volunteering to commit crimes because he can, Hagen devotes his life to try and reverse his condition.
The “Harley Quinn” animated show dives further into the character’s thespian background, and turns Clayface into a wannabe actor with terrible skills who won’t stop trying to quote Shakespeare.
Given Flanagan’s history with making highly emotional horror films with tragic undertones, a Clayface movie sounds like a no-brainer. Sadly, Flanagan’s work with Warner Bros. is in a bit of a tricky place at the moment. First, “Doctor Sleep” doesn’t earn as much money as the studio would have expected, and earlier this week Flanagan himself revealed on Twitter that his adaptation of Stephen King‘s “Revival” is no longer happening. It is unclear whether he can take the project elsewhere, though the tweet seems to indicate the project is dead in the water.
In the meantime, we still have “Midnight Mass” to look forward to later this year.