Horror filmmaker Mike Flanagan wants to make a standalone film about the Batman villain Clayface, one he would design as a “horror / thriller / tragedy”. Known to horror fans for helmets Doctor Sleep, A continuation on The shining, Flanagan has also directed genre titles such as Oculus, Quiet, Gerald’s game, and Ouija: Origin of Evil. He also created the hit Netflix ghost series The Haunting of Hill House and the sequel The Haunting of Bly Manor.
Mike Flanagan does fine in the horror genre, but if he gets the chance to pursue comic book adaptations, there are a few characters he already has in mind. On Twitter, a DC fan account asked Flanagan about which character or team he would choose to make a movie if he could pick one from the DC universe. Along with the Man of Steel, Flanagan also curiously chooses the shape-shifting villain popularized by Batman: The Animated Series. From the tweet:
“Well, I’ve wanted to make a Superman movie since I was a kid, but I’d also really love to make a standalone Clayface movie as a horror / thriller / tragedy.”
The idea of making standalone films about comic book super villains has since gained enormous popularity Joker was released in 2019. Directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime, that film shattered box office records when it premiered, despite concerns that it wouldn’t perform well without Batman as the main character. The success of Joker certainly opens the door for Warner Bros. to consider exploring other DC super villains in standalone movies, and Clayface is certainly one of the most interesting candidates to choose from.
Clayface’s origin story has come up in several iterations on many different media, from the original comic books to modern video games. Mostly, he’s the alter ego of B-list movie actor Basil Karlo, though in the popular Batman: The Animated Series episode “Feat of Clay”, he’s an actor named Matt Hagen. Several others have also been nicknamed in different comic book timelines. What they seem to have in common is that they have clayey bodies with shape-shifting abilities, a talent that allows them to disguise themselves as other people or even as inanimate objects.
A live-action iteration of Clayface has yet to be featured in a Batman movie on the big screen. The Basil Karlo version appeared in the prequel series Gotham on Fox, played by Brian McManamon, introduced as a deceased actor brought back from the dead with renewed superpowers. Hellboy actor Ron Perlman also voiced Matt Hagen in Batman: The Animated Series. Meanwhile, Kate Micucci performed the voice work for the Lego version of Basil Karlo The Lego Batman Movie. Dave Bautista has volunteered to play Clayface if a movie is ever made, so he’s probably one of the first to qualify if the project ever happens.
Looking ahead for Flanagan, the filmmaker is working on another horror series at Netflix. Dubbed Midnight MassThe show follows an isolated island community who witness miraculous and terrifying events after a mysterious priest comes to town. No release date has yet been set by the streamer. This news comes from Mike Flanagan on Twitter.
Subjects: Doctor Sleep, Batman