Rumor: ‘Doctor Sleep’ Director Mike Flanagan Pitched Warner/DC On A Clayface Movie

To the joy of fans online, Clayface might get his own movie set somewhere in the DC Universe helmed by Mike Flanagan.

Clayface could be heading to the DCU at some point, and there is more than one avenue for the mucky shapeshifter that we are hearing about. The villain might be lining up for a solo movie, according to one rumor — that is unless Matt Reeves gets there first. The Batman’s director reportedly has his own plans extending beyond Penguin’s HBO Max series.

The Joker and Clayface meld together on Carmine Di Giandomenico's cover to The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing Vol. 1 #4 (2023), DC Comics
The Joker and Clayface meld together on Carmine Di Giandomenico’s cover to The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing Vol. 1 #4 (2023), DC Comics

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Unlike prior scoops, this one comes from a very reputable source in Deadline. An exclusive of theirs claims director Mike Flanagan, the mind behind Doctor Sleep, Midnight Mass, and The Haunting of Bly Manor, pitched Warner Bros. an idea for a Clayface movie. They add there was a meeting with James Gunn and Peter Safran and the word ‘No’ wasn’t uttered.

That does not mean, however, Flanagan will get a green light on this one. His ideas, again, may interfere with Reeves who, Deadline goes on to note, has alleged plans of his own that may overlap with The Batman – Part 2 and its streaming spinoffs. He is likely to be more grounded than Flanagan, though.

Batman (Robert Pattinson) and Lieutenant Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) interrogate William Kenzie (Peter McDonald) in The Batman (2022) via Warner Bros. Pictures

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We previously reported a related rumor, which Deadline seems to be confirming, alleging that Clayface — a version heavily inspired by the Golden Age’s Basil Karlo — would be a killer at the center of a mystery in The Penguin miniseries. Now, updates are dovetailing with information that the storyline is setting up a payoff in The Batman’s sequel.

Flanagan won’t have studio priority in that case, but his horror-oriented take could stand on its own without conflict. Since 2021, he’s been open about his keenness “to do a standalone Clayface movie as a horror/thriller/tragedy” — probably in the vein of David Cronenberg. Flanagan has also mentioned desires to helm a Superman, Justice League Dark, or Constantine film.

Mike Flanagan reveals he would like to make a Clayface movie via Twitter

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He’s out of luck with each of those properties being taken by somebody else. Gunn called dibs on Superman already and Keanu Reeves is holding onto hope for another crack at the burnout wizard with a death grip. As for Justice League Dark, J.J. Abrams has been flirting with a new approach to that corner of DC for a while, but we’re still waiting.

Logan filmmaker James Mangold is next to take a dip in the swamp with Swamp Thing. However, as a chapter in the DCU Gods and Monsters arc, this project seemingly has nothing to do with Abrams and is the only JLD-related project in development. There are always Elseworlds for the rest, and this is true of Clayface too.

Clayface (Brian Keane) faces off against Red Hood (Stephen Oyoung) in Gotham Knights (2022), Warner Bros. Games Montreal

Despite the source and the potential here, Flanagan decided to throw everyone off his trail. In a slight denial of the rumor at hand, he tweeted in response, “Re: CLAYFACE – the news today is entirely speculative. When or if something like that ever becomes real, I promise I’ll tell you guys.” Social media will be excited when he does.

Mike Flanagan addresses Clayface movie rumors via Twitter

NEXT: Rumor: Clayface Coming To The DCEU In ‘The Batman’ Spinoff Series Or ‘The Flash’ Sequel

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