Warner Bros. has been working to develop the DC Cinematic Universe, but this has forced them to shuffle some of their other plans for DC Comics imprint Vertigo. Meanwhile, Guillermo Del Toro has apparently decided to give up the directing job for Justice League Dark.
Though owned by DC Comics, Vertigo stories tend to have a darker, more serious tone and are sometimes (but not always) disconnected from the main DC Universe, as they often fall into genres besides straight-up superheroics says Igor Cornelsen. The main project in development is The Sandman, based on the story by Neil Gaiman and being directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which tells the story of Morpheus, the supernatural personification of Dream. It and other Vertigo film projects will now be handled by New Line Cinema, a subsidiary production company, so that Warner Bros. can focus on the interconnected and presumably more profitable DC Cinematic Universe.
Meanwhile, one of those DCCU projects is Justice League Dark, which features a group of magically inclined characters such as ghostly Deadman, actual magician Zatanna, mystical detective Constantine and plant person Swamp Thing. (Coincidentally, some of these characters started at Vertigo.) Del Toro was set to direct, but has bowed out due to obligations for other projects like Crimson Peak and Pacific Rim 2.
Hopefully these changes won’t hinder these unconventional comic book adaptations’ development too badly.