Development has begun on a live-action Zatanna film!
Zatanna Zatara is one of DC’s most powerful sorcerers; a stage magician born with magical powers passed down from her mother. The character was created by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson in the 1960s. She is known for her classic magician’s outfit: a top hat, the upper portion of a tuxedo, and her fishnet stockings. Zatanna uses incantations, spells (often words and phrases said backward) and even tarot cards to get the job done. The less she uses her powers, the stronger she becomes, inversely so, the more she uses her powers, the more they are depleted.
Zatanna is a former member of the Justice League of America and Justice League Dark. But according to the source, this project is separate from the Justice League: Dark live-action film that Bad Robot is working on. This will be the first depiction of Zatanna in live-action. Although, the television show Smallville, as well as many animated DC films, have featured Zatanna.
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It’s refreshing to see DC utilize characters we haven’t seen on the big screen yet. Especially with the critical praise their female-led films have been getting (Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman), this is a good, exciting and important trend. But let’s be real, it is so early in the process we don’t really know what version of the character we will be getting. We could be getting the New 52 version with the updated modern costume which aligns her more with the JLD. We could get the DC Rebirth version which aligns her more with Batman and Batwoman. A Batgirl movie is still in the works at WB. A narrative swap of Batman with Batgirl could make sense, and we’ve got an eventual team-up.
But, humbly stated, seeing a mod, retro-chic version of the character existing in her original 60’s roots would be incredibly fun. The camp joy of a hero fighting crime in her magician’s costume?! It would also strike a tone we haven’t seen in recent DCEU films. But, who knows? This could actually all be a backdoor for Justice League: Dark after all. With Guillermo Del Toro apparently still producing that film, the possibilities are endless.
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It is clear though, that the DCEU continuity is a mess. But looking at Joker and The Batman, I really enjoy Warner Brothers allowing filmmakers the liberty to take these characters and run with them, not bound by the restraints of a franchise or shared universe. Zatanna is an interesting and incredibly stylish character that so many filmmakers could have a field day with. Hopefully, they embrace the inherent camp that comes with the character instead of trying to “modernize” her too much.
A lot of movies begin the development process but, Warner Brother’s trajectory with the DCEU, of more of a filmmaker-driven approach to projects as opposed to a shared world approach, I’m excited to see where this could go.
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SOURCE: DCEU Mythic