With characters like Avery Sunderland and Jason Woodrue set to appear in DC Universe’s upcoming Swamp Thing live action series, it is easy for comic book fans to assume the series will take some inspiration from Alan Moore’s classic run on the series. It also happens to be the correct assumption.
During an interview with Bloody Disgusting, executive producer James Wan — who also directed this week’s Aquaman feature film — Moore’s time on the title contributed to the direction he and fellow producers Gary Dauberman and Mark Verheiden took with the show. “We’re a big fan of Alan Moore’s take on it, so [we’re] picking a particular story and using that as the foundation to kick it off,” he said.
The story seemingly in question is “The Anatomy Lesson,” published in 1984’s The Saga of the Swamp Thing #21; Moore’s second issue on the title. The story sees Swamp Thing’s corpse examined by General Sunderland and Woodrue in order to divine the secrets of Alec Holland’s bio-regenerative formula. The probe reveals that Swamp Thing is not a transformed Alec Holland, but a plant creature who absorbed his memories during the accident which ended the lives of Holland and his wife Linda.
When Swamp Thing awakens from the autopsy, he discovers Woodrue’s notes and learns the truth about himself. He also happens upon Sunderland, who he immediately murders.
Will Patton will play a version of Sunderland on the television series. The character is described as the “de facto patriarch of his Louisiana hometown, always giving back to the community.” But his business leads him to an obsessive interest in the nearby swamp and an unknown pathogen infecting people in the area. Presumably, it will also put him on a collision course with Swamp Thing (Derek Mears).
Kevin Durand will also appear on the series as “prickly” scientist Jason Woodrue, suggesting the series will mount its own version of “The Anatomy Lesson” at some point. Which will be interesting to see realized, particularly as audiences will have to change their understanding of Swamp Thing just as his comic book counterpart did in the 1980s.
Swamp Thing is set to debut on DC Universe in 2019.