With many film writers now reporting back from their visits to the Justice League set in London, new details about the big Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice sequel have begun to filter out. Although some of it confirms previous rumors about the film, Warner Bros. has allowed a surprising amount of new information about Justice League to be released, to the point where we now have a pretty good picture of what the film is about, and the lessons director Zack Snyder and his team learned from its critically-panned predecessor. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most interesting details that have been revealed about Justice League, courtesy of ComicBookMovie and an in-depth piece from Devin Faraci of Birth.Movies.Death (which you should definitely read).
Oh and there’s a potential for heavy SPOILERS ahead, so if you want to avoid finding out any Justice League plot details, you should probably stop here.
10. J.K. Simmons is Playing a Classic Gordon
We all saw those photos of J.K. Simmons looking absolutely jacked in the gym, with the assumption being that he would be playing a buff version of Commissioner Gordon. He isn’t. Instead, Simmons is going for the classic Gordon look, with a brimmed hat, grey hair, big bush mustache, and of course, the trench coat. Simmons is also reportedly playing up the world-weary detective angle, which should play well with Ben Affleck’s Batman and his own “I’m getting too old for this s–t” persona.
9. It Won’t Be As Dark As Batman v Superman
Justice League will be a standalone movie and perhaps most surprisingly, will have a lighter tone than Batman v Superman. It’s set to be a fun ensemble not unlike The Avengers (although likely not as comedic and bright as that film), focused on the team coming together to face a common threat. Evidently, Warner Bros. is aware of how much people disliked Batman v Superman’s interpretations of DC’s most popular heroes, as producer Debbie Snyder tells Birth.Movies.Death: “I think the main thing we learned is that people don’t like to see their heroes deconstructed. I think that’s hard because it’s people we’ve grown up with and that we care about. They like seeing them in all their glory.”
8. Batman Takes The Lead
Unsurprisingly, a significant portion of the film deals with Batman assembling the team. Justice League is set months after the events of BvS, with the first half of the film dedicated to the Dark Knight recruiting the likes of Cyborg, The Flash, and Aquaman. Here’s what Ben Affleck has to say about where Batman’s head is at in Justice League and how he’s changed from the last time we saw him:
“The interesting thing about this Batman is that on the one hand, he’s sort of the ultimate loner, but on the other hand, he’s sort of tasked with putting together a group. So is the guy who basically broods in a cave all day really the best person to put together a team of superheroes? And he doesn’t have huge success initially. He rubs some people the wrong way or they rub him the wrong way, he’s got to figure out how to play well with others. He barely knows how to play well with Alfred.”
7. The Plot Borrows Heavily From Jack Kirby
The movie is heavily influenced by the work of Jack Kirby, revolving around the quest to find three Mother Boxes – one on Earth, one in Atlantis, and one in Wonder Woman’s home of Themyscira. The Mother Boxes originally come from Apokolips (Darkseid’s home world) and are basically powerful super computers with vast abilities, such as the ability to open up portals that can teleport someone across the universe. We actually saw one of these Mother Boxes in BvS during the Cyborg sequence, as it’s the device that turns Victor Stone into Cyborg (Ray Fisher). Oh and Superman is definitely coming back, with reports indicating that he’ll be showing up later on in the movie sporting longer hair than we’re used to seeing.
6. Steppenwolf Is The Main Villain
As you would expect, the Justice League won’t be the only ones seeking out the Mother Boxes. Last month, it was reported that Steppenwolf would be the main villain of Justice League and it turns out that those rumors were true. He’ll be hunting down the Boxes too with the help of the Parademons (those winged creatures from Batman v Superman’s “Knightmare” sequence). Darkseid will still play a role in the film, but he’ll be working from the shadows, much like how Thanos has been utilized in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. Additionally, Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is rumored to be involved somehow, although it isn’t yet confirmed if he’s officially involved or not.
5. The Flash Is Going To Steal The Show
Some have taken issue with the fact that Grant Gustin, who currently plays The Flash on TV, won’t be a part of the DC Movie Universe, but if these set visit reports are any indication, Ezra Miller is shaping up to be a great Flash in his own right and it all starts with the costume. The Flash will reportedly have two costumes over the course of the film: one he designs himself and a better one designed by Batman. At least one of the outfits will feature cool red and gold Flash sneakers and wires built into the suit itself, which will help The Flash conduct energy as he runs. More importantly, Miller could very well end up stealing the movie, as much of his dialogue is shaping up to be snappy and hilarious, and it’s all helped along by his chemistry with Ray Fisher’s Cyborg. We’re talking Cap and Bucky levels of camaraderie here.
4. Willem Dafoe is Playing Vulko
Justice League sure is filled with Spider-Man (2002) alum, isn’t it? In addition to J.K. Simmons, Willem Dafoe is also involved and it’s been confirmed that he’ll be playing Nuidis Vulko. Vulko is the chief scientific adviser of Atlantis and is an important supporting character in the Aquaman comics. He has a bit of a complicated relationship with Aquaman, as sometimes he is his ally and sometimes not, although it’s sounding like Dafoe’s version of the character will be a “good guy.” Dafoe’s reportedly sports a long silver mane of hair and has a wizened look about him, suggesting that he will be an adviser of sorts to Aquaman.
3. Batman Has Some Cool New Vehicles
Batman always has to have some new toys and it looks like he’s going to be quite busy with a wide range of new weapons and gadgets in Justice League, as well as a few costume redesigns for his new super friends. Two of the biggest additions (literally) to Batman’s arsenal are a pair of new vehicles he’ll be utilizing. The first is called the Knight Crawler, an all-terrain vehicle with four big spider legs instead of wheels that Batman uses to climb around places, such as an abandoned tunnel under Stryker’s Island. Concept art for the film depicts Batman using the Knight Crawler’s flame throwers to incinerate some pesky Parademons. The other vehicle is a new jet called the Flying Fox and it’s so big that it can transport not only the Justice League team, but the Batmobile as well. Batman is nothing if not prepared.
2. It’s Not A Two-Parter
The Justice League movie has often been referred to as “Justice League: Part One,” as Warner Bros’ initial plan was reportedly to split the film into two parts, with the first half coming in 2017 and the second in 2019. While there are still two Justice League movies planned for release during those times, they’re both going to tell complete stories and not just stop halfway through like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. So yeah, the first movie is going to just be called “Justice League,” meaning that Warner Bros is going to have to come up with a catchy subtitle for the second one.
1. It’s Going To Have Humor
From the sounds of it, Zack Snyder is attempting to course correct hard with Justice League, as he admits that BvS’s negative reception has made him readjust his approach to this new film (that and he almost surely got a mandate from Warner Bros to make some big changes). One of the most significant changes is that Justice League will feature a lot more humor than BvS and the best part is that it seems to fit with the characters’ personas. For instance, Affleck describe’s Batman’s sense of humor as being very sardonic, as one scene has him telling Gordon that, “The Bad guy’s flying monkeys,” in response to a Parademon abduction in Metropolis. Gal Gadot probably puts it best when she says, “I think we found a very interesting dynamic. It’s fun, it’s funny. It’s different, each and every character brings their own flavor and color to the team.”
So will Justice League be any good? It’s hard to say, as even with the many changes being made, this is still very much a Zack Snyder movie, and he’s the definition of a hit and miss director. Still, it’s reassuring to hear just how much work Warner Bros is doing to make sure this isn’t another Batman v Superman and personally, I’m looking forward to Justice League a lot more now than I was before. The DC Movie Universe may be okay after all.