After the largely negative reaction to Batman v Superman, Warner Brothers and DC Films need to generate some positive buzz for their upcoming Justice League movie — which BvS was intended to kickstart. So WB and director Zack Snyder invited several film writers to London, where Justice League is currently being filmed, to show them what’s going on and presumably generate some goodwill for what’s to come.
(Surprisingly, we here at The Comeback were not among those bloggers and journalists invited. We’re guessing that’s because producers knew that we mostly cover sports and were busy covering stuff like basketball and soccer. Johnny Manziel was probably doing something too. I mean, we couldn’t just drop everything and jet off to London so we could take a picture next to the Batmobile!)
But on Tuesday, all of the sites that were invited wrote about their set visits and the information WB revealed about Justice League. For one thing, the official logo has now been released, which you can see above. There’s also a version with black lettering against a white backdrop.
Also, the main villain for the story was confirmed. As many speculated when Warner Bros. released a deleted scene from BvS, showing an alien communicating with Lex Luthor, the big, bad threat that requires the Justice League to get together is Steppenwolf. (No, not that Steppenwolf. This is a character created by Jack Kirby as part of his New Gods comic book series.) An actor has not yet been cast, but the character will be a motion-capture digital creation.
Really, the only thing that makes Steppenwolf interesting is that he’s a gateway character to Darkseid, the truly formidable threat that the Justice League will presumably have to face. His existence was hinted at during the desert dream sequence in BvS which had an omega symbol scorched into the earth and flying creatures swarming the skies. The guess is that Darkseid will be more of a presence in the second Justice League film (which won’t be a “Part 2,” but more of a standalone movie).
Perhaps the most important message conveyed to journalists, as far as fans are concerned, is that Snyder now admits that audiences didn’t respond to the grimdark tone of Batman v Superman, preferring more of the fun that the Marvel movies provide. He also admits, however, that the negative response surprised him.
“It did catch me off guard,” Snyder told reporters, including Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan. “I have had to, in my mind, make an adjustment. I do think that the tone of Justice League has changed because of what the fans have said.” Maybe there will be a smile, scenes that take place during the daytime or even a couple of jokes in this upcoming story.
Actually, we know there will be jokes, thanks largely to The Flash, played by Ezra Miller (Trainwreck). He’s going to be the jokester of the group, bringing a younger energy to his scenes. Here’s one example of this, in a scene transcribed by Buchanan:
Birth.Movies.Death’s Devin Faraci also described a scene filmed during the set visit in which Commissioner Gordon (J.K. Simmons) meets with Batman, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash and Cyborg (Ray Fisher). Gordon says something, then turns around, expecting the heroes to be gone, as Batman usually sneaks off.
“Gordon turns away. He knows what’s up. Batman’s gonna disappear. He starts giving a speech to the city below him (it’s actually a huge green screen). He turns around, expecting to be alone… but The Flash is still there! Gordon is startled!
‘You’re still here!’ he says.
‘Yeah, hey they all left,’ says The Flash. ‘That’s rude.'”
Here are some other items provided by the aforementioned sites that were invited to the Justice League set, including story and character information. Click on those links for much more than we included here.
** What’s the story? The first half of the movie will apparently be Batman getting the band together, picking up where Batman v Superman left off. With the team in place, the plot involves trying to track down three “Mother Boxes” (seen in the video above) and get to them before Steppenwolf does. (Mother Boxes are sort of living supercomputers, also from Kirby’s New Gods universe. If you saw BvS, one of them was used to create Cyborg in the footage Wonder Woman was watching.)
** Speaking of Cyborg, his outward appearance will be a CGI creation, mostly because his body won’t look like a regular human one with robotic joints and visible machinery.
** In April, Willem Dafoe was added to the cast, but no information was given about his role, other than he wouldn’t be a bad guy. He’ll be playing an ally of Aquaman in Atlantis named Vulko. Perhaps that means a decent part of the story will be taking place in Aquaman’s underwater territory? It also seems likely that Dafoe will be in the standalone 2018 Aquaman movie, directed by James Wan.
** Batman will have more than the Batmobile to drive around, as Slashfilm’s Peter Sciretta explains. One vehicle, called the “Night Crawler,” is basically a tank with legs that can unfold into a spider-like structure that can navigate terrain that wheels wouldn’t be able to handle. Another is the “Flying Fox,” a three-level aircraft that can transport the entire group, along with all of Batman’s weapons and the Batmobile.
** During an interview with reporters, Affleck mentioned that the Oct. 5, 2018 release date for his solo Batman film isn’t set in stone because he’s not yet happy with where the script (written by him and DC Comics veteran Geoff Johns) is at this point.
** In case you were wondering, Ben Affleck’s Batman costume does allow him to use the bathroom.
— Aaron Sagers (@aaronsagers) June 21, 2016