Volume 5, Issue 26!
“Dawn of The Justice League”
Last week dozens of comic and movie websites got the chance to visit the set of Justice League. Many, myself included, viewed this as a sort of “damage control” on Warner Bros.’ part. After the less than expected final total for Batman V Superman, an executive shake up at Warner Bros, and rumors of director Zack Snyder having more pressure put onto him after the “failure” of BvS, it’s not hard to imagine that this set visit would be designed to try and turn the tide of the public perception of the film.
For the most part though, it’s worked. Everything I’ve read, from the tone, to the plot, to the character interactions sounds really, really cool. Much like DC Comics took a hard look at what customers weren’t happy with in regards to the direction of their comics line and came up with DC Rebirth, WB and Zack Snyder seem to be doing a similar thing with the DC movies. The critical and fan reaction to Batman V Superman was…mixed, to put it lightly. But it sounds like WB has taken that reaction to heart, and is going to use that feedback to course correct the rest of the upcoming DC Cinematic Universe.
Of course, both Zack Snyder and his producer wife Deborah state that this was “always the plan”. I’ll be honest; I don’t buy that for a second. Snyder admits to being taken aback to the reaction that Dawn of Justice received, and I don’t doubt that Warner Bros executives and newly appointed DC Films co-exec Geoff Johns had a long sit down with him to try and change the tone of their universe for Justice League. But even if Snyder won’t admit to this change coming from an executive level, I gotta admit that I’m now really looking forward to Justice League.
For those unaware, Justice League is going to follow Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman as they assemble the other metahumans of the DC cinematic universe to prepare for any other giant threats coming their way. Naturally, the next threat is none other than Steppenwolf, who is searching for the three Motherboxes that were left on Earth. Batman and Co. have to get to them before Steppenwolf does, or else bad things are going to happen. This story already sounds really cool, and feels like it has less to accomplish than BvS ever did. Gone is the set up of a new Batman, Wonder Woman, and a ton of other side characters. All Justice League has to do is introduce Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg in more detail, and then bring them together.
Easily the idea that intrigues me most is the aspect that Justice League will play on Affleck’s Batman. After the events of his confrontations with Superman and Doomsday, the Dark Knight comes to realize that he’s going to need help with whatever is coming to Earth. That alone is an interesting idea, and it’s one that we’ve never seen on the big screen before. Having Batman assemble the Justice League is a really neat story idea, and it builds on the Batman we previously saw. He’s gone from being a completely nihilistic and depressed individual to realizing that there is some hope in the world. More importantly, he’s realized that he is completely outgunned when it comes to certain threats. It seems like the end of the BvS, where Batman kind of hung in the back while Wonder Woman and Superman took on Doomsday has really had an effect on Batman’s outlook on what he’s capable of. He needs more help, and that help will come in the form of beings whose power sets far outweigh Batman’s.
Not only that, but it sounds like the one cast member that I was most worried about will actually end up being pretty damn fun. That’s Ezra Miller’s Flash, who, despite having to deal with the long shadow that Grant Gustin has cast on the Flash TV show, will be able to bring a lot of much needed fun to the movie. In the scenes described in the set visits, where Bruce Wayne comes to recruit Barry Allen and where Batman and his newly formed League arrive on top of the GCPD, it sounds like Miller completely steals the movie. Having a character like his bounce off of Batman will bring a lot of really fun moments to the big screen, and also gives us an idea of what Batman will be like when (or if) a new Robin ever enters the picture.
While there’s still a lot for Warner Bros to do to completely turn the public perception of Justice League, this set visit was a very good start. Amazingly, it sounds like the execs and director have actually LISTENED to the response that Batman V Superman received, and are doing their best to change up their vision to make it more in line with what the public wants. While they’ve still got a way to go to compete with Marvel, Justice League seems like it could be exactly the kind of move WB and DC Comics need. Here’s hoping.