Mike Flanagan has a Clayface pitch in consideration at DC and Warner Bros

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Doctor Sleep director Mike Flanagan has reportedly got the DC Universe top brass interested in a grown-up take on Clayface.

Here’s some interesting news that might yet spawn a comic book project with a unique feel: Doctor Sleep's Mike Flanagan has reportedly pitched a horror-themed take on the Clayface character to James Gunn and Peter Safran, the creative heads of DC Studios. Flanagan has publicly stated his desire to tackle a Clayface film in the past, talking up the prospects of making it standalone, not establishing the character as a straight-up villain and of ramping up the horror elements.

Whilst that combination sounds pretty terrific to us, we’d particularly like to see what Flanagan would do with a horror-tinged take on the character. As well as the aforementioned Doctor Sleep, Flanagan has established himself as one of the leading purveyors of horror on the small screen with series such as The Haunting Of Hill House and the sumptuously-dark Midnight Mass. 

Aside from that, details are pretty scarce. Deadline is reporting that it’s hearing conflicting stories about whether the project would be a standalone Elseworlds film, perhaps part of Matt Reeves’ world of The Batman or even the mainstream DCU continuity. Also, it’s unclear which Clayface character would be the focus.

We vividly recall an early 90s Detective Comics run that saw three iterations of the character come together to try and defeat Batman, so Flanagan would have his pick, although we’d like to see him plump for Clayface I, a B-movie actor by the name of Basil Karlo. There’s plenty of scope in there for some operatic tragedy, not to mention leaning into some shades of fun B-movie horror.

It’s not the first time Flanagan has pitched to DC, having done so to previous leading executives. With James Gunn now in creative control though, you’d hope that he can envision the potential of the character. Besides, Flanagan can be pretty persuasive. If you’ve never read the story of how he managed to convince Stephen King to allow Doctor Sleep to be a cinematic sequel to King’s novel, The Shining and Kubrick’s film version (which King hates to this day), it’s worth checking out.

We’ll bring you more on this one as we hear it.

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