2016 was a transformative year for the superhero genre. Deadpool proved that an R-Rating can actually be profitable. Captain America: Civil War kicked the door down for the next age of Marvel movies. Not to be overlooked, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice kicked things off for DC’s own film universe, subsequently setting the stage for the next five years of planned releases from Warner Bros. Unlike Marvel though, who waited four years before its first team-up movie, DC will be diving in headfirst, releasing The Justice League Part One in November 2017.
[Update, 7/25/16: Added ‘Justice League’ footage that debuted at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 (see below).]
The only lead-in we’ll be getting comes in the form of BvS, Suicide Squad (August 2016), and Wonder Woman (June 2017). This calls for a fast build-up and introduction to all our various heroes, as DC rushes to catch up with their Marvel competitors. Rushing straight into The Justice League is a move the studio really couldn’t afford not to make, especially when you take into account the fact that they’re upwards of eight years behind right now. So what can we expect once it hits theaters? Here’s what we know so far.
[Update, 7/25/16: Added first released image of Justice League team (see below).]
[Update, 10/7/16: Added ‘Justice League’ behind-the-scenes footage that debuted at New York Comic-Con 2016 (see below) .]
— Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) October 7, 2016
1. The roster
In terms of their Justice League roster, DC/Warner is leaning on known quantities to populate the team. We of course have Batman and Superman leading the charge, along with Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, and Cyborg. Notably absent will be Green Lantern, likely an attempt to further distance the studio from the disappointing standalone film they released back in 2011. We saw teases at each of our main heroes in Batman v Superman, shown to us by a encrypted file Bruce Wayne stole from Lex Luthor’s servers. It was a quick and dirty way to flesh out each introduction, so here’s hoping we can get a little more depth into everyone’s story soon.
[Update, 7/25/16: Added new images of Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg from ‘Justice League’ footage that debuted at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 (see below).]
[Update, 9/14/16: Added new image of Batman in ‘Justice League’ wearing what director Zack Snyder called a “Tactical Batsuit.”]
[Update, 10/12/16: Added image of Amber Heard as Mera, the Queen of Atlantis and wife of Aquaman]
2. The villain
There’s been little doubt as to who the big bad character of The Justice League will be, with strong hints in Batman v Superman pointing toward Darkseid. For those unfamiliar with the character, Darkseid is actually the character Marvel originally based Thanos off of, in a not-so-veiled attempt to compete with Jack Kirby’s popular villain. His main motivations revolve around universal domination and killing everyone who gets in his way, and canonically, he’s the most powerful being in the DC universe. All this makes him a formidable adversary for the fledgling Justice League we’ll see next year, teased at by Batman’s “Knightmare” in BvS (pictured above).
[Update, 5/11/16: A rumor reported by Birth Movies Death claims that while Darkseid will be playing a large role, his uncle, Steppenwolf will be the main villain. In the comics, Steppenwolf is more of a minor character, giving director Zack Snyder plenty of creative license to tell a new story.]
[Update, 5/20/16: Another report from Birth Movies Death tells us that Darkseid won’t play as large in a role in ‘Justice League Part One’ as originally thought, nothing that while “Darkseid is a presence in the movie, and fully appears at the end of the film, don’t expect him to do much.”]
[Update, 9/14/16: According to The Wrap’s Umberto Gonzalez, one villain who definitely won’t be showing up in ‘Justice League’ is Jared Leto’s Joker.]
[Update, 9/30/16: Director Zack Snyder recently shared an image of himself (see below) that suggests Deathstroke — a villain who will appear in Ben Affleck’s as-yet-untitled Batman solo film — will make an appearnace in ‘Justice League’. As noted by Collider, the storyboard Snyder is working on appears to show Deathstroke with his signature eyepatch.]
— Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) September 29, 2016
3. The return of Superman
Massive Batman v Superman spoilers ahead!
The ending of BvS looked pretty grim in terms of Superman’s fate, having been killed battling Doomsday. Of course, DC’s movie franchise can’t get far without its most iconic hero, so that’s far from permanent. The most prevalent theories out there say that Supes is in some form of Kryptonian hibernation as he recovers from his injuries. What role he’ll play in the Justice League once resurrected isn’t exactly clear though. Bruce Wayne’s Knightmare shows him at odds with the Man of Steel once again, with Superman teaming up with what appear to be Darkseid’s alien minions. All signs seem to point toward the death of Lois Lane pushing him over the edge, so let’s hope Batman keeps that Kryptonite-tipped spear handy.
[Update, 8/16/16: Added image of black Superman suit (see below).]
Superman actor Henry Cavill recently shared an image that may hint at parallels with a comic book storyline that also featured the death of Superman. In “The Death and Return of Superman” story, Superman returns after seemingly dying in a battle against Doomsday. He later returns, sporting a black costume similar to the one seen below.
4. Batman’s role
Everything we see in BvS indicates that Batman will be the one to gather all our heroes together. With access to Lex’s secret superhero files, he now has all the information he needs to track down Barry Allen, Aquaman, and Victor Stone (a.k.a. Cyborg). And as we know, Wonder Woman is already in the mix as well. Bruce Wayne, having seen a vision of the future, and warned by the insane ramblings of Lex Luthor, now sees it as his responsibility to assemble a team capable of battling Darkseid. He knows what’s coming. Now it’s up to him to ensure the world is ready to fight it.
[Update, 9/6/16: J.K. Simmons recently revealed that he’s wrapped filming as Commissioner Gordon, noting how “just kind of introduce him and see a little bit of his interactions with Batman and with most of the Justice League” in the film.]
[Update, 9/20/16: Zack Snyder shared an image of J.K. Simmons as Commissioner James Gordon in ‘Justice League’ (see below).]
— ZackSnyder (@ZackSnyder) September 17, 2016
5. Yes, Zack Snyder will be directing
Zack Snyder has found himself the subject of a fair share of criticism following the release of Batman v Superman. While the movie was a financial success, a 28% Rotten Tomatoes score was evidence enough of just how unpopular it was with critics. That did little to instill doubt in Warner though, with Snyder remaining in charge of the DC movie-verse. He’ll head up The Justice League Part One and Part Two, so a lot will be riding on the success of both those releases. Should they be received in the same way as BvS though, we can’t imagine Warner/DC sticking with him for much longer.
6. The title
This one is far from a confirmed certainty, but still, it’s juicy information all the same. The folks over at Heroic Hollywood claim they’ve been hearing rumors about potential titles for the first Justice League movie, with a shortlist that includes Justice League: United, Justice League: Angels and Demons, Justice League: Gods Among Us, and Justice League: Gods Among Men. The latter two titles harken back to the Gods Among Us comic series, and if that ends up being the final title, it’ll come with a whole lot of implications concerning Superman’s potential turn to the dark side.
[Update, 7/25/16: Per the official movie website, it appears that the movie title is simply ‘Justice League’.]
[Update, 10/3/16: As announced by Jason Momoa via his Instagram account (see below), shooting has officially wrapped on ‘Justice League’.]
There’s to many people to thank for all their hard work JL. Tonight is our wrap party. I am so thankful for my cast and crew. I love you. I have never in my life missed a wrap party But as you all know I’m a huge fan of the food and merriment!!!! 🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻👿👿👿👿👿😜😜😜😜😜Unfortunately I prepare for the north. For those that will be there. I WON’T let you down Shaka aaalllooohhhaaa see u Monday xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx aquaman
Stay tuned for more information as it arrives!
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