'Justice League Dark' and 'Maleficent 2' Moving Forward With New Srcibes

The DC film is getting script polish from 'Housebound' screenwriter Gerard Johnstone, while Disney's sequel to the 2014 hit 'Maleficent' will be rewritten by 'Spectre' scribe Jez Butterworth.

AceShowbiz - Following previous report that "Justice League Dark"/"Dark Universe" is heading back for rewrites "after recent presentations by directors underwhelmed execs," a new report has emerged revealing the scribe to polish the screenplay for the film. Deadline is the first to report the news, stating that Warner Bros. has hired Gerard Johnstone for the job.

According to the news outlet, Johnstone made an impression on the studio with his presentation, but what got him in there was his 2014 film "Housebound". "Doctor Strange" co-scribe Jon Spaihts was previously rumored to write the newest script for the long-gestating film. The search for a director, meanwhile, will take a bit longer.

Daniel Espinosa ("Life (2017)", "Safe House") was said to be among the frontrunners to direct after the film lost its director Doug Liman. "It" director Andy Muschietti was also reportedly in the running to replace Liman, who previously revealed he departed the project due to scheduling conflicts.

Scott Rudin joined the project as a producer in 2015, and Michael Gilio penned the current draft of the script. Details of the story are still scarce, but the movie reportedly will center around a team that includes John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Zatanna and Etrigan the Demon. No release date has been set just yet.

In other news, The Tracking Board has reported that "Maleficent 2" is moving forward with a new sreenwriter. The site reveals Disney has hired Jez Butterworth to rewrite the sequel to their 2014 hit "Maleficent", stepping in for original scribe Linda Woolverton who wrote the first film and has other writing credits that include "Alice in Wonderland".

Butterworth is known for his work on "Spectre", "Edge of Tomorrow" and "Black Mass". This marks the second time Butterworth is working with Disney on a live-action take on a beloved animated villain, as he has also worked on the upcoming "Cruella", which has %cEmma Stone% on board to play the wicked fur-loving lady in "Dalmatians" movies.

"Maleficent 2" is being produced by Joe Roth. The sequel will see %cAngelina Jolie% reprising her role as the iconic Sleeping Beauty villain. Plot details are still scarce at this time, and any potential release date would depend on Jolie's schedule.

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