justice-league-logo

A giant info dump!

We got a ton of info regarding WB’s upcoming Justice League today, including a synopsis, villain reveal, and some fancy new logos (pictured above).

Firstly, the synopsis:

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.

Sounds about right. Director Zack Snyder said his Justice League was partially inspired by the classic Seven Samurai, and I took that to mean that we would see Batman traveling the world to recruit the rest of the Justice League, and that looks to be the case. Just who is this newly awakened threat you may ask? Well I tell you reader.

As I previously reported, it looks like our villain for the film is none other than Steppenwolf. This has been confirmed by Justice League producer (and wife of Zack Snyder) Deborah Snyder to the press, and while he has yet to officially be cast, they are close to sealing the deal.

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Presumably our first look at Steppenwolf, from the Batman v Superman Ultimate Cut

Steppenwolf is the uncle of Darkseid (big time Justice League villain, think DC’s Thanos), and one of his most trusted lieutenants. He will be leading the army of Parademons, first seen in Batman’s Knightmare sequence from BvS, to Earth in order to obtain the key technology known as Mother Boxes. For those of you not well versed in DC comics lore, don’t worry, Deborah Snyder mentioned that Justice League will get the audience up to speed on what exactly Mother Boxes are in the film’s prologue. Zack Snyder briefly touched on how he will utilize the Mother Boxes in the film:

“You know, Kirby’s crazy in a great way, and there’s a lot of influence, you know, kind of the New Gods stuff, and we were digging on that — and that’s the Mother Boxes and that sort of Apokoliptian world and all that stuff. I mean, you can’t really do that stuff without some larger-than-life [influence]. But the kinda scope-y, sci-fi, what I think is fun stuff. I think inherently when you start to talk about… a bad guy that would justify the Justice League, not to make a thing, to “Double Justice,” but I think you have to have a good threat that’s fun and kinda crazy. And the Mother Boxes are always fun DC weird tech, you know?”

Snyder mentions fun, and that seems to be a key element moving forward with Justice League. Everything coming out of the Justice League set points towards everyone involved knowing how badly they screwed up with Batman v Superman, and thankfully they seem to be making an effort to rectify that. In an interview with Birth.Movies.Death., Deborah Snyder touched on what the crew has learned from the negative response to BvS:

“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.”

Justice League is much more inclusive. I think also it’s all about the characters too. And we have these two very young characters, Flash and Cyborg. And you know, they’re definitely lighter. I think they’re going to appeal to a younger audience.”

“I think the darkest where we’ll be is where we’ve been.”

That last quote is key. Batman v Superman was an extremely dark, almost nihilistic, film, and it definitely didn’t need to be. It was our first time seeing Batman and Superman on screen together, and by all intents and purposes, it should have been a blast. But alas, it wasn’t, and they turned Superman into a brooding ass hole for some reason. But just as Snyder said, the darkest moments are behind us, and based on everything we’ve learned here, the future is looking brighter.

The film is looking to have a much lighter, and for lack of a better word, more fun tone than BvS. With the addition of younger characters such as Flash and Cyborg, that seems like an inevitable conclusion. But the addition of those characters brings some levity to the current cast we have now, as demonstrated in a scene from the film that Zack Snyder showed off:

A young skater-looking kid, short hair and clean-shaven, enters a warehouse covered in spray paint. He opens an electrical box, plugs in a fuse, and fires up the power. He enters a main room with TV monitors (at least one with Rick & Morty on in the background) and computers positioned all over the place, stacks of books in every direction. And as the power comes on, the light illuminates a chair in the corner – where Bruce Wayne has been sitting, waiting.

Bruce Wayne: Barry Allen. Bruce Wayne.

Barry Allen: You said that like it explains why there’s a total stranger in my place, in the total dark, sitting in my second-favorite chair.

Wayne presents Allen with printed-out screenshots from Lex Luthor’s hacked files of security camera footage in BvS; the ones that showed Barry getting milk and stopping a robbery in a convenience store.

Wayne: Tell me about this.

Allen: This is a person that looks exactly like me but who is definitely not … me. Somebody, I don’t know, hippie, long hair. Very attractive Jewish boy who drinks milk. I don’t drink milk.

Wayne remains stoic and tells Allen, “I know you have abilities; I just don’t know what they are.”

Allen: My special skills include viola, web design, fluent in sign language – gorilla sign language.

Wayne looks at the costume, The Flash outfit on display in Allen’s warehouse apartment.

Wayne: Silica-based, sand quartz fabric. Abrasion resistant, heat resistant.

Allen: Uh, yeah. I do competitive ice dancing.

Wayne: It’s what they use on the space shuttle to prevent it from burning up on re-entry

Allen: I do very competitive ice dancing. Look man, I don’t know who you are, but whoever you’re looking for, it’s not me.

Upon this, Wayne throws a batarang at Allen, and the scene cuts to slo-mo (with temporary effects) as Allen sees it flying towards him. He looks at the batarang sailing past, and easily moves out of its way, and plucks it from mid-air. As time begins to speed up again, he turns back to Wayne.

Allen: You’re the the Batman?

Wayne: So, you’re fast.

Allen: That feels like an oversimplification.

Wayne: I’m putting together a team. People with special abilities. I believe enemies are coming …

Allen: Stop right there. I’m in.

Wayne: You are? Just like that?

Allen: Yeah, I … I need friends.

Wayne: Great. Great.

Allen: Can I keep this?

So much energy and fun can be felt just from reading the transcription for the scene. Barry Allen is a witty character, and his natural wit and humor helps to bring out the sardonic sense of humor that Batman has always been known to have. This is just a small example, but I think it helps show the general direction their taking Justice League. There is banter between the members of the Justice League, and with that hopefully a sense of real camaraderie. It won’t be a joyless slog like Batman v Superman, but instead the real celebration of DC characters that Batman v Superman should have been. Which is what Zack Snyder wants to achieve.

To elaborate on this further, I’ll let Snyder himself wrap this article up:

“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 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 I feel pushed it that little bit further.”

“You know, when Batman Superman first came out, I was like, ‘Wow, okay, woof.’ It did catch me off-guard. I kind of felt like – and I have had to, in my mind, make an adjustment, and maybe it is my hardcore take on characters as far as I love ’em, and I love the material. I do, I take it really deep. So I think the nice thing about working on Justice League is that it is an opportunity to really blow the doors off of the scale and the bad guys and team-building and all the stuff that I think I could justify as a big, modern comic book movie, if that makes any sense.”

And there you have it, more Justice League info than you can shake a stick at. I’ll be the first to admit, I was feeling very cynical about Justice League, and had little to no hope. But after this massive info dump, I have definitely changed my tune from feeling almost totally negative about Justice League, to cautiously optimistic. All signs are pointing towards Snyder and the gang learning the right lessons from BvS, and making a true effort to course correct themselves. There may still be hope yet for the DCEU.

Justice League has just finished their first month of shooting, and with a ways to go to completion. We’ll have to wait until November 17th, 2017 to see the Justice League on screen for the first time.

And as a bonus just for you guys, here’s a look at the new Batmobile:

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