It’s a bit of a chore separating the wheat from the chaff, the fact from the rumour and the official from the speculation when it comes to the Justice League news. In my first article I tried to pare away as much rumour and speculation as I could but as more news emerges from credible sources I thought it might be pertinent to include the following…
When Warner Brothers released this deleted scene from Batman V Superman shortly after the film’s release many fans identified the horned extraterrestrial as the DC villain Steppenwolf.
Team Snyder have confirmed that Darkseid’s uncle will indeed be the “newly awakened threat” mentioned in the plot synopsis. If you’re curious as to why the filmmakers would choose such a relatively obscure villain to unite their legendary super team rather than jumping straight to Darkseid himself you’re not alone.
My guess is that Steppenwolf will be our gateway to Darkseid in the same way that Loki and / or Ronan was a gateway to Thanos… Although as I asserted in our latest podcast, for my money Oceanmaster would be a more suitable equivalent to Loki and a great way to involve the Atlanteans in the plot. Nonetheless, the fact that we’ve already seen such Apokoliptian accoutrements as parademons and the omega symbol in BvS leads me to believe that the New God of Apokolips will be turning up soon enough which leads us to…
Part One, No More
Justice League will be a standalone film and not one half of a sprawling two part film. I’m hoping Warner brothers have learned their lesson after the Mockingjay debacle but somehow I doubt it. While Justice League 2 maintains its place in the upcoming DCEU schedule it’s looking like it will be a discrete sequel. I’m guessing this will potentially have a more cosmic tone, introducing the Green Lantern Corps and indeed Darkseid himself but that’s just speculation on my part.
I’ll be more than a little upset if we don’t see a Green Lantern in the Justice League on film, though.
Motherboxes (Apokoliptian supercomputers that can do pretty much whatever the story needs them to be able to do) have already been proven to exist in the DCEU. You can see Steppenwolf showing Lex Luthor what certainly look like Motherboxes in the above scene and we have already seen how a Motherbox is responsible for the creation of Cyborg.
It doesn’t take a leap of imagination to suppose that these boxes will have the exact same narrative function as the Tessaract in Avengers, though with a hint of the One Ring thrown in for good measure (given that producer Charles Roven has promised us a prelude scene that shows how the 3 boxes ended up on Earth in ‘ancient times’).
If you saw Whiplash (2014) and thought that it looked like celebrated actor JK Simmons had been working out, you ain’t seen nothing yet! This image of the 61 year-old actor pumping iron in preparation for the role of the Commish earned the clever moniker ‘Gym Gordon’ amongst fans.
It’ll be curious to see if Commissioner Gordon will wear the familiar white wig and moustache or if the filmmakers will stick with Simmons’ natural bald ‘n’ bearded look. I’ll be happy either way. Den of Geek reportedly witnessed the filming of a rooftop scene between Commissioner Gordon, Batman and a hastily assembled Justice League:
“Gordon has called in Batman to help with the disappearance of eight missing scientists in Gotham and Metropolis that have all been kidnapped by creatures from another world. Actually, make that nine scientists, as Fisher’s Cyborg reveals when materializing separately from the other three heroes, much to Wonder Woman’s surprise and delight. He mentions a ninth disappeared PhD of obvious personal importance since he was stolen from S.T.A.R. Labs [where Cyborg’s parents work, and where they saved him from death via mechanical enhancement]. In this moment, Wonder Woman knows well about the insectoid beasts responsible, and the Jack Kirby-styled MacGuffins that they seek: Mother Boxes.”
More Wonderful Toys
Fans who were averse to Batman’s use of vehicle mounted firearms in BvS might not be too happy to learn that the slightly refurbed Batmobile will now be even more tooled-up! In an interview with Empire production designer Patrick Tatopoulos said:
“It doesn’t need more armour, what [Batman] needs is more weaponry, because he’s gonna have to really compete seriously. Missile launchers. Cannons. Little missiles on the back. All integrated into the shape of the car.”
Bats will also boast some new vehicles in the film including “The Crawler”; reportedly an experimental military vehicle from the ’60s which is essentially a cockpit on legs equipped grappling hooks and flame throwers, and ‘The Flying Fox’; a beefed-up version of the Batwing that can fit the whole Justice League inside.
It looks as though Batman will have not one but two costume changes in the film. Moreover, we’ve already seen one of Bats’ costumes in its early stages. According to Comic Book Movie the black suit behind Zack Snyder in that set photo is not (as some suspected) that of Black Manta or even Nightwing but a tactical suit that will develop throughout the film, encompassing the iconic logo, utility belt and goggles that will give Batman’s eye’s the white glow from the comics.
Oh, and that Atlantean looking armour? That will reportedly belong to Willem Dafoe’s character who has been confirmed as an Atlantean by the name of Vulko.
A World Without Superman
While it’s looking increasingly likely that the Man of Steel will be pushing up daisies for at least the first act of the film, I think it’s pretty safe to say that we can expect to see him return in the film.
Not only is he plastered all over the concept art but images of Cavill working out for the role have been quite openly posted online. Superman is, make no mistake, a huge cash cow for Warner Brothers. There’s no way they’d put him out to pasture this early and this quote from Deborah Snyder leaves me to believe that his return will be something pretty spectacular:
“Obviously Superman is part of the Justice League … There wouldn’t be a Justice League without Superman, but his way back to us, we don’t want to spoil that. But he’s here.”
Of course whether or not he rocks up in the third act sporting a black and silver suit and a mullet is anyone’s guess.