In one month Warner Bros. and DC release Justice League. Let that sink in for a moment while you watch the latest trailer which the company debuted during New York Comic Con…
This trailer does a couple of things very well but still keeps most of the minutiae under wraps apart from seeing Henry Cavill as Clark Kent for the first time, albeit a dream sequence. It definitely shows that the world is in peril, at least to a degree where the gods among us are required. It is full of hope and that earnest team building that is lacking from the other companies team up films. This is not some secret military operation working under the guise of freedom and prosperity, waving a false flag. No, this is about 5+ people coming together for a common purpose beyond borders or governments or self-interest. Pretty great right?
Okay, now think about all that has happened in the last couple of years with this film and what it took to get to this point and realize we live in blessed times. No other movie could have survived the amount of drama and controversy that has surrounded this film since it was announced which tells you a couple of things. Either it’s that good or the studio is really counting on this to change the course of their film slate for the foreseeable future. One or both of those options means November 17th will be a day to be remembered.
Hard to imagine, but last time we spoke Wonder Woman hadn’t been released, Zack Snyder was still directing and we hadn’t seen a proper trailer since summer of 2016. Flash forward to now, Wonder Woman is an international sensation, Joss Whedon was brought in to finish the film and we have a 4 minute trailer courtesy of San Diego Comic Con and the DC/WB panel.
I know, still no Superman but the coolest thing from the trailer in my opinion is getting our first look at Steppenwolf and hearing him say, “there are no protectors here, no Lanterns, no Kryptonian…”…just writing it gives me chills. DC, Marvel, whatever you’re into, hearing that language in a live action feature-length film has to make you happy if you’re a comic book fan. It really is the stuff of dreams…
Here’s the original synopsis…
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes-Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash-it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
Now here’s a more recent one…
Once again, Wonder Woman must demonstrate her ability as a fierce warrior. Facing a great enemy, she and Batman join forces to recruit a group of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. Having formed an unprecedented League of heroes, they set out to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
See the difference? Not hard to figure out the mojo that Wonder Woman created for the two companies as they’ve constantly had to fend off rumors that their top priority was replacing Ben Affleck as Batman. Nice to know they’ve got a solid player in Gal Gadot, that plus the relentless high fiving that emanates from Jason Mamoa who has been a one man marketing machine.
This film has been plagued by bad press and when Zack Snyder stepped away to tend to personal issues, many thought this may have been the end. But as it turns out Joss Whedon was on deck waiting to take over and all this was apparently part of the plan. When Whedon watched a rough cut of the film with Snyder, the two of them discussed several things not least of which was scenes that needed to go and scenes that needed to be added.
It’s been verbal diarrhea online ever since with fans (a term I’ll use loosely) on both sides digging in and voicing their joy or displeasure. Either way, there are things in motion here that only a privileged few are privy to and I feel a giant last laugh headed our way. It’s clear none of this is by accident and apparently Whedon and Snyder are good friends. The fact that we’ve been played like fools seems entirely possible at this point with all of us focusing on the histrionics all the while Geoff Johns, Snyder and Whedon have been making something quite special.
We’ll know the answer to this in four weeks time but its going to be a spectacle to be sure and whether or not it’s Zack’s vision or Joss’s vision likely won’t matter in the end, unless it’s really, really, bad of course. For Whedon’s part he’s confident enough to have his name attached (screenplay) so that should tell you something plus he’s bringing us Batgirl in a couple of years which means both sides are pleased with the final product.
And there has been some reactions from test screenings that happened recently and it appears that Ezra Miller’s take on Barry Gordon/The Flash is garnering the most positivity. That’s likely becuase he’s the one providing the levity and those characters tend to stand out as favorites. But some fans did take to twitter to share their embargoed thoughts, some calling it “epic”.
Another cool bit of news making the rounds is that composer Danny Elfman, who replaced Junkie XL, has spoken about his work on Justice League and his use of the classic John Williams Superman score. He managed to let a little spoiler slip through during his interview with Billboard Magazine…
…I’m using it (Superman theme) in an actually very dark way, in a dark moment. It’s the kind of thing that some fans will notice. Some won’t. It’s a moment where we’re really not sure whose side he’s (Superman) on.
And when discussing working with Joss Whedon, whom he worked with on Avengers: Age of Ultron, he said…
It was the same as when I worked with him on Ultron. He appreciates melodies and pieces. He’s like, “Oh, you’ve given it identity here!” There was a moment where the Batmobile shoots out of a thing and he goes, “Go batshit crazy here! Batman the shit out of it!” When I’m using the Batman theme, I’m using the melodic sense of it, I’m wasn’t doing full-on Batman, and there’s a moment when he says, “No, right here, Full on!”
Overall I’ve been impressed by the lack of details being leaked regarding some key plot points, kudos to those in the know that seem to be able to keep theirs mouths shut. Things like the details surrounding Superman’s return, although we can piece together a few things. The black suit we know is in the film but that’s really about it. There’s still no confirmed Green Lantern’s per say (despite Armie Hammer’s teasing) but Steppenwolf’s utterance should be an indicator. And speaking of the Apokolipian New God, what exactly will his end game be? Will we see his nephew Darkseid make an appearance? The word is that Darkseid has been cut from the movie to allow for a more complete feature but one that could easily bleed into a sequel.
In more recent news cycles we’ve learned that Iris West (Kiersey Clemons) and Lex Luthor’s (Jesse Eisenberg) parts have been cut from the film as well. West we know will be a big part of Flashpoint and Luthor I’m sure will show up in Man of Steel 2 whenever that gets made. Their individual parts from all accounts were not integral to this particular Justice League story so their absence likely won’t be felt.
Listen, I’m an unapologetic DC fan boy but I’m also a pragmatic cynic…I’ll give this movie it’s just deserves when it comes out. But what I won’t do is pretend to not enjoy the crap out of this film even if it’s not entirely up to snuff.
No matter which way the score falls, this is something myself and a lot of other folks have been waiting a long time for, so enjoy it. There’s plenty of time to argue about where it falls in the pantheon of great cinema.
Till next time…
Check out the Justice League gallery below!
*All images courtesy of Warner Brothers Studios