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What Audiences Will Get Out Of Swamp Thing Now - Exclusive

Storytelling is not a one-way street. Where you are physically, emotionally, and psychologically all play a huge part in how (or even if) a story will connect with you. Sometimes a story finds its way to us right away, and sometimes it takes a little while.

Swamp Thing didn't really get much of a chance to find an audience when it first released to DC's then-new streaming platform, DC Universe. On June 6, 2019, a mere five days after its debut, the show was canceled. From that moment, public interest shifted away from the mystery of Swamp Thing and towards the mystery of how a James-Wan-produced series could be dropped in less than a week.

Over a year later, Swamp Thing has found a new home at The CW. The reasoning behind this decision, unlike that of the one that got the show canceled, is far less mysterious. Due to the novel coronavirus, all networks (The CW included) found themselves unable to continue filming. Swamp Thing already has a full season ready to go, and so it's getting a second chance at a first impression. 

What's most interesting, though, isn't the new life the 2019 series unexpectedly has, but what impact a show about combating corruption while a pandemic rages might have on people who watch it in 2020.

What makes Swamp thing so timely now

"I think it's sort of meta," says Crystal Reed, who stars as Abby Arcane. "I played a CDC doctor, who's investigating a virus that's killing everyone. And no one foresaw what was going to happen in the world and with the coronavirus. And I think looking back on it now, it's just, it's so timely that it sort of took a virus to bring back a show about a virus."

Swamp Thing writer-producer Mark Verheiden agrees. "It's funny," she says." "It is about an epidemic, but it's about a much easier to solve epidemic so it's strange how the world's sort of caught up to that part of the show."

For Verheiden and many on the show, there's a lot more to recommend than one accidentally timely element of the Swamp Thing story. "It's also a romance, and a very strange romance in a way. It's got intrigue and Southern Gothic overtones that, if you haven't seen it yet, hopefully you'll enjoy to see it now."

"I hope [audiences] get a chance to escape for an hour," adds fellow writer-producer Gary Dauberman. "I think first and foremost it takes them somewhere else other than currently what's going on in the world."

What makes Swamp Thing timeless

Swamp Thing's stars see more than just escapism. "I think hope actually is a fantastic word," says Reed. "It's one of the things that I loved the most about my character and the theme of the show, which is that although sometimes things feel quite daunting and scary and very terrifying, there's always that hope there."

That emotion is mirrored in the man playing Swamp Thing himself, Derek Mears. His first word for what he hopes the series provides? "Comfort."

What's so comforting about Swamp Thing? "I think it's that existential crisis that Swamp Thing is dealing with when he explores what we are, what's humanity about," says Mears.

Existential crisis may not sound comforting, but Mears sees comfort in the nuance. "What it gives us is not just the stereotypical black and white, but there's so much gray," he explains. "A human is a bunch of clay with who you are, who you want to become — how do you mold that to be you? On the terrifying side of it, if everything that you know that is you; what if that's all taken away? It brings up so many different questions."

Mears talked about the fans, too, saying, "Everyone would share their own personal stories; 'Swamp Thing was the movie that I watched with my father, who passed away.' So it reminded me so much of my relationship with my father." 

Even gender identity comes up. Says Mears, "Somebody else was of a different gender saying, 'I really relate to a Swamp Thing where I'm in this body and understanding what I am through the character and what I feel about myself.'"

Swamp Thing airs weekly on The CW beginning October 6, 2020.