EXCLUSIVE: Doctor Sleep filmmaker Mike Flanagan has pitched a feature version of Clayface over at the studio several sources tell Deadline, however, no word on greenlight yet — and the studio has not said ‘No’. There are no offers and no deals. Though typically a DC supervillain, in the Flanagan pic, should it move forward, he wouldn’t be a bad guy (so we hear).
Word is that Flanagan and his Intrepid Pictures partner Trevor Macy had a meeting with DC Bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran. Flangan, we understand, wasn’t pitching the character to be part of Matt Reeves’ DC elseworld, The Batman 2 set for an Oct. 3, 2025 release date.
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That said, other sources are telling us that scripts are constantly changing, and that Clayface is a big addition to Matt Reeves’ The Batman 2. Let’s wait until the dust settles here and something moves forward. It remains to be seen whether Clayface is a connection between The Batman 2 elseworld and Gunn and Safran’s feature and series sprawling DC’s Gods and Monsters – Chapter One.
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But Clayface got his DC introduction as part of Detective Comics #40 in June of 1940. While there would eventually be a number of shape-shifting DC antagonists using that alias, the original Clayface was a moderately successful actor who adopted the identity of a character he’d portrayed in a horror pic after turning to crime. He’s a frequent adversary of Batman with a body seemingly made out of clay who has appeared over the years in numerous films, television series, animated works, video games and other forms of media, being portrayed on the series Gotham (The CW) and Pennyworth (Epix/HBO Max) by Brian McManamon and Lorraine Burroughs, respectively. The rationale behind Clayface’s appearance emerged in comics of the 1970s, which evolved the character into a scientist with hormone irregularities.
Flanagan has been very vocal in the past about his interest in making a Clayface film, stating in one 2021 tweet that he’d approach it as a “standalone….horror/thriller/tragedy.” (He also noted there that he’s long wanted to put his stamp on Superman, though new DC chief James Gunn is currently gearing up to do that himself, directing Superman: Legacy from his own script, as the first film in the inaugural phase of his new DC.)
Flanagan revealed in a recent installment of the Script Apart podcast that he expressed interest in a “horror-leaning” take on the character during a recent general meeting with veteran DC produce Jon Berg, also pitching takes on such characters and properties as Scarecrow, Justice League Dark and Constantine. The filmmaker added at the time that the meeting “kind of went nowhere.”
Best known for popular Netflix horror series including The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor and Midnight Mass, as well as his feature adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining follow-up Doctor Sleep, Flanagan is also currently developing a series adaptation of King’s The Dark Tower alongside Trevor Macy, as we were first to tell you in December. He is repped by WME, Novo Entertainment and VanderKloot Law.
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. https://t.co/68nZFLOGLT
— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) January 8, 2021
Justin Kroll contributed to this piece.
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