Never let an all-powerful plant elemental get in the way of a good profit.
That’s pretty much the philosophy of the latest cast member to be announced for DC Universe’s upcoming Swamp Thing live actions series, as Deadline broke the news today that actor Will Patton has been cast in the role of Avery Sunderland. He joins other recently announced cast members like Virginia Madsen (who will be playing Sunderland’s wife, Maria) and Jeryl Prescott (as Madame Xanadu) in the quickly blooming cast.
And yes, we went there. Can’t resist a good plant pun.
According to the character description, as its most prominent businessman, Avery Sunderland serves as the de facto patriarch of his Louisiana hometown, always giving back to the community. His benevolent veneer, however, masks a ruthless determination to harness the power of the swamp for profit.
That doesn’t sound too far removed from the comic book iteration of Avery Sunderland, who was one of Alec Holland’s earliest adversaries. In SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING, Sunderland was CEO of Sunderland Corporation, and gained an interest in Dr. Alec Holland’s bio-restorative formula before Holland was killed in the bombing that would eventually result in his consciousness being absorbed into the swamp’s plant life, giving birth to Swamp Thing.
Interestingly, Sunderland was also indirectly involved in the discovery that Swamp Thing wasn’t actually a transformed Holland, but a plant-based life form that had absorbed his memories. After Holland’s death, Sunderland was so determined to learn how the bio-restorative formula had worked on him while seeming to fail on everyone else, he hired Jason Woodrue—aka the Floronic Man—to analyze Holland’s remains. Woodrue eventually discovered what had happened to Holland, and shared his findings with Sunderland who soon after met his demise at the hands of Swamp Thing in SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #21.
As for Patton, the longtime character actor is likely a familiar face to fans of genre TV and movies. He’s appeared in movies like Armageddon, The Punisher (with Thomas Jane) and in last month’s blockbuster horror sequel Halloween. He also had prominent roles in TV shows like 24 and the Steven Spielberg-produced Falling Skies.
Swamp Thing, which is produced by Atomic Monster in association with Warner Bros. Television, arrives care of Executive Producers James Wan, Mark Verheiden, Gary Dauberman, Michael Clear and Len Wiseman. Look for it in DC Universe next year.