Justice League to Feature Humor & Lighter Tone

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By: Matthew Goodman (@CreedsDelight)

 

DC and Warner Bros. have been making some changes lately; recently, DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns was put at the top of the food chain for the DC Comics Extended Universe (DCEU) and Ben Affleck was given a bigger creative role for Justice League and directing the solo Batman movie. The folks over at JoBlo reported that changes are being made to the film, adding humor and a lighter tone to compensate for the abysmal reception that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice received. Zack Snyder is still directing Justice League; starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher and Jason Momoa.

 

Here’s the official synopsis released by Warner Bros.

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.

 

Lots of new info was revealed at the recent set visits, as Zack and Deborah Synder assured fans that Justice League will reignite hope and optimism in the DC cinematic universe, following the grimdark Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (both serviceable films, in my opinion). The first big chunk of news is that Justice League will no longer be split up into two parts; it will be its own film that will feel more complete than a two parter with a shoed-in cliffhanger. The film will also take place a few months after Batman v Superman, though no concrete details were given regarding Superman’s fate at the end of the last film. It’s likely that he won’t be present for the majority of the film, but a third-act entrance should be expected.

 

batman-v-superman-steppenwolf

 

 

The villain has been revealed as Steppenwolf, who was first introduced in a deleted scene from Batman v Superman, shown above. If the creative teams choose to stay true to the comics, Steppenwolf will be the immortal uncle of Darkseid. Steppenwolf will also have an army of Parademons, who were shown in the Knightmare sequence of Batman v Superman. He will also have some connection to Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, who will also appear in the film. There is no word on who will be portraying Steppenwolf.

 

One of the bigger stories coming out of this slew of Justice League news is that Junkie XL will be doing the score without Hans Zimmer this time around. This is surprising considering Zimmer did the music for the entire Dark Knight trilogy and Man of Steel. It will be different without Zimmer, but Junkie XL has my full attention after Mad Max: Fury Road and the extraordinary Wonder Woman theme in BvS. It’ll be exciting to hear Junkie XL carry a mammoth film like Justice League on his back.

 

justice league cast

 

Producer Deborah Snyder said that Justice League will appeal to a younger audience. While I would have preferred a wider audience to a younger one, it seems like they are heading in a positive direction. One of the main complaints audiences had for Batman v Superman was how morbid and depressing it was. If Justice League can achieve a feeling of hope and aspiration for its audiences that is prominent in the comic books, the DCEU will have a solid foundation to build upon.

 

Regarding the evolution of this experienced, murderous Batman, Ben Affleck said that going into Justice League, his character has a new attitude:

 

“…a little bit more sardonic, humor, a little more irony. He’s on a little more man on a mission this time. As opposed to like he was so full of anger because of what happened at the Black Zero Event. That kind of character, that sort of rage that possessed him. And now he’s on a mission to get this group together.”

 

Affleck also promised to show more of Batman’s detective skills:

 

“the world’s greatest detective aspect of Batman is more present in this story than it was in the last one, and will probably be expanded upon further in a Batman movie that I would do. I think all the great Batman stories are, at their heart, detective stories.”

 

affleck batman

 

Atlantis will be shown in the movie and will be portrayed as an ancient culture. The producers are apparently doing their own rendition on Atlantis. No word on whether or not it will be similar to the classic environments. Willem Dafoe’s role was revealed as an older, more experienced, more evolved version of Aquaman. His character is named Vulko. James Wan will be directing his solo film which comes out July 27th, 2018.

 

The Flash, played by Ezra Miller is said to be the lightest part of the film. Barry Allen’s costume is made from 3D printers that he used when he supposedly broke into NASA. This iteration of The Flash will not try and compete with Grant Gustin’s version from the CW. The design of the costume is intended to be believable and applicable to the universe Zack Snyder is creating. They filmed a scene similar to Robert Downey Jr. meeting Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War where Barry arrives at his home to find Bruce Wayne there, where he inevitably recruits Barry into the Justice League. According to those who saw the scene, Barry immediately agrees to join the League once Bruce Wayne reveals that he is Batman. He also has a bunch of quips and one-liners. The solo film for The Flash is slated to release on March 16th, 2018 and will be directed by Rick Famuyiwa.

 

Some new information about Cyborg was revealed as well. His powers were (sort of) explained in Batman v Superman when you see a Mother Box create his robotic skin. His robotic suit will be fully digital from the neck down. According to Collider, some of Cyborg’s scenes will show him in sweat pants to lower costs.

 

flash movie

 

 

Looks like a new tone is just what the doctor ordered! Here’s Zack Snyder responding to criticism of the tone:

 

“I think I’m obsessed with tone in the movies. Tone has always been the main thing that I go after with a movie, and I really wanted the tone of the three movies to be different chapters and not be the same note that you strike like, ‘Okay, there’s this again.’ I really wanted that, and I do believe that since Batman v Superman came out and we’ve wrapped our heads around what Justice League would be, I do think that the tone has, because of what fans have said and how the movie was received by some, is that we have kind of put the screws to what we thought the tone would be and crushed it that little bit further.”

 

There are also two new vehicles featured in the film. One is called the “Flying Fox” and the other is called the “Nightcrawler.” The “Flying Fox” is a giant ship big enough to fit the Batmobile and all of Batman’s signature gadgets. The “Nightcrawler” is a spider-like vehicle with four legs that has the ability to mount buildings and other high area places. Additionally, the Batmobile has been upgraded to include more advanced weaponry. Take a look below at the updated Batmobile.

 

BATMOBILE

 

One Final Thought

There’s a lot hinging on this movie. Think of it this way, if Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman turn out rotten, Warner Bros. will likely hold off making more DCEU movies unless Justice League drastically changes the direction that this franchise is going. The studio has all the right ingredients; a talented cast, a gifted writer, a great visual director and a whole team of people I hope are dedicated to adhering to the source material. In Geoff Johns we trust.


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