Lieutenant Joan Dark is the main protagonist of the 2019 film Doom: Annihilation, portrayed by actors Amy Manson as an adult and Agleya Gumnerova at age 11, with stunts performed by double Dessy Slavova (credited as Desislava Asenova).
Joan Dark is an officer, second in commmand, in the Space Marine squadron bound for Phobos, but she has been disgraced and has tensions with all of the other members of her squad. It is eventually revealed during the course of the film that Joan disobeyed a direct order, and as a result, an infamous terrorist was able to escape the grasp of her squad. This resulted in the entire squad being punished with reassignment to the Phobos base, and created the various characters' resentments toward her. Private Steven Winslow is particularly resistant to working with her. This element of Joan's backstory is partially adapted from the backstory of Doom's protagonist as it was originally outlined in the Doom instruction manual.
Joan's mother died when she was eleven, an event which still occasionally haunts her.
Dr. Bennett Stone, a scientist also bound for Phobos and thus placed on the same armored transport vessel as the Marines, is an ex-boyfriend of Joan's and still considers her a friend.
After landing on the Phobos base, Joan enters with the rest of the troops to attempt to restore power and base operations. After the squad is swiftly attacked by zombies, the mission shifts to a rescue of any remaining civilians and escape from the base. The squad quickly stumbles onto several civilians, including Dr. Malcolm Betruger, his assistant Veronica Cyr, and Chaplain Glover, but the squad and the civilians continue to take heavy casualties while trying to escape from the arboretum, culminating in ranking officer and squadron leader Captain Hector Savage's self-sacrifice, leaving Joan as the officer in command.
Against Betruger's strong objections, Joan commands that all the civilians are to be evacuated to the ship for departure off the moon. Betruger wants to stay and resume his research project on the teleportation gates, which he has been working on for decades. After discovering the ship has been compromised and escape on it is impossible, Joan seems to acquiesce to Betruger's demands as the alternative, but she reveals to Bennett that her agreement is a ruse just to get communications re-established, after which she wants to call for backup and evacuation.
While Bennett is attempting to restore power in the core, Betruger becomes erratic and begins attacking Joan verbally with details he claims to have learned from her personnel file, detailing the initial harsh reactions of her colleagues at the military tribunal at which her punishment was decided. After revealing quietly to Veronica that he remembers everything about his experience on the other side of the portal, Betruger stabs Veronica and flees, trapping the remaining marines in the power core. Joan and Bennett are the last left standing once the imps are subdued. Using Bennett's keycard, they attempt to follow Betruger. Joan finds the BFG9000 and several plasma grenades, but Bennett is attacked and stolen away by an imp.
After Joan reaches the secret experimental level of the base, she confronts Betruger with the intent to kill him, but he allows a now zombified Bennett to attack her as a distraction while he readies the teleporter gate. Joan is forced to kill Bennett, and then attempts to kill Betruger, shooting him. However, Betruger reveals that he is already "dead," revealing to Joan some sort of demonic infection that has taken over his body. He shoves her through the fully activated gate into Hell.
Joan starts to despair but remembers her mother's dying words, that she would always watch over her, and she makes her way to the surface of Hell through a pool of water. Despite being lambasted by the demon overlord and having a horde of demons rush to attack her, she uses her remaining BFG shots and the plasma grenades to destroy the overlord and the horde and make her way through the gate to Earth.
Arriving in the Delta Lab in Nevada, Joan warns the scientists that they must shut down the gate immediately, but they refuse to listen and have Joan sedated by security. As the gate activates again and the film cuts to black, a growl is heard, leaving Joan's final fate open to question.
|“||The way that Joan’s character came about was this: If there’s demons, in my logic, then there was angels. So if there was Hell, there was Heaven. And who better to fight a demon than an angel? And I started thinking of historical, biblical warriors, and of all the ones—I have 12 years of Catholic school burned into my brain—Joan of Arc really came to the top of the pile.||”|
—Tony Giglio, Forbes
Director and writer Tony Giglio created the character of Joan after taking inspiration from The Terminator and Aliens (franchises which influenced the creation of Doom originally), feeling that a female protagonist can be effective in a science-fiction action film. Joan was named after Joan of Arc and her legend as a divinely-inspired holy warrior.
Of the characters in the movie, Joan's role is closest to that of the Doomguy in the games, as she shares his backstory of military indiscretion with punishment via reassignment to Mars, ends up the only apparent survivor of her squad, and journeys into Hell at the end of her battle on Phobos. Despite this, Giglio seems to maintain that the Doomguy as usually depicted exists as a separate character in his vision of the continuity.
- Kane, Alex (1 October 2019). "Writer-Director Tony Giglio On Making ‘Doom: Annihilation’." Forbes. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
- Giglio, Tony (2 October 2019). "William BJ Blaskowicz (featured in the film) Isn’t DoomGuy. He’s related. But not the one. Have faith. This is what sequels are for. Thanks for watching!" Twitter. Retrieved 5 November 2019.