Warner Bros. and DC Films will be trying to follow the success of Wonder Woman with the release of Justice League this fall, the biggest movie in the studio’s line of DC Extended Universe films.
Justice League will see the milestone team-up of DC Comics icons like Batman, Superman, The Flash, and Wonder Woman, while also introducing characters like Aquaman and Cyborg to mainstream audiences. However, in the final stretch leading up to Justice League’s release, there have been quite a few shakeups and changes that fans may not be aware of.
Here is Everything You Need to Know About Justice League Before Its Release:
A Tale of Two Creators
Like Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, Justice League was supposed to be the creative vision of director Zack Snyder; however, Snyder had to drop out of the project due to a family tragedy, and Avengers director Joss Whedon was brought in to finish the picture.
Ever since that massive shake up, rumors have been hounding Justice League, claiming that the film is in Jeopardy, and that Whedon has basically been brought in to perform life-saving surgery. Warner Bros. has steadily denied these claims, stating that Whedon is simply putting the fine touches on the movie.
Regardless of what the truth is, talk of Justice League has certainly been changing, as of late. You have stars of the film now calling it the “product of two directors,” with rumors circulating that Whedon will get both writing and directing credits for the film. That certainly sounds like Justice League got a major makeover, rather than a helping hand; however, if the finished product entertains, few will care about the winding road we had to travel to get there.
The United Seven
Justice League will see the following DC Comics superheroes coming together:
Batman (Ben Affleck)
Superman (Henry Cavill)
Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot)
The Flash (Ezra Miller)
Aquaman (Jason Mamoa)
Cyborg (Ray Fisher)
Heroes like Batman and Superman need little introduction, and Wonder Woman is now a worldwide phenomenon. The Flash has also seen a major uptick in mainstream appeal, thanks to CW TV series based on the character.
This leaves Justice League with the bigger challenge of selling the lesser-known characters of Aquaman and Cyborg to the masses. With Aquaman being the next solo film entry in the DC Extended Universe, that sales pitch needs to be effective.
*NOTE: We have an asterisk next to Green Lantern because the character has been rumored to be getting a re-introduction in Justice League, though it has not yet been confirmed.
In Justice League, the team will come together in order to stop an invasion attempt from the war-mongering planet Apokolips.
That invasion will be led by Apokolips’s fearsome general, Steppenwolf, who will played in motion-capture by Game of Thrones actor Ciaran Hinds. Steppenwolf will have an armada of fearsome soldiers in the form of the “Parademons,” who were the fearsome winged creatures we met in the “Knightmare” dream sequence of Batman v Superman.
However, even though Steppenwolf will be a major threat to Earth and the Justice League heroes trying to protect it, he’s really just the harbinger of a bigger threat: his master, Darkseid, lord of Apokolips. It’s still unknown whether or not Darkseid will appear in the first Justice League film or will be saved for the sequel, but DC Comics fans are excited that he’s one the way!
Mother Box MacGuffins
Every superhero movie needs some kind of device or object that will bring about worldly destruction in the wrong hands – a MacGuffin that the heroes and/or villain(s) can compete over.
In Justice League, the MacGuffins in question are The Mother Boxes, living computers that were developed by ‘The New Gods’ of Apokolips and its rival, New Genesis. We already know from DCEU films and merchandise that there were three Mother Boxes hidden on Earth, in ancient times:
One box was given to The Amazons of Themyscira, Wonder Woman’s home.
The second was given to Atlantis, the kingdom of Aquaman.
A third box was given to mankind.
In Batman v Superman, we saw Dr. Silas Stone (Joe Morton) use one of the Earth Mother Boxes to save his fatally-wounded son Victor (Ray Fisher), thereby creating the superhero Cyborg. The other two boxes are connected to both Wonder Woman and Aquaman’s backstories, making this battle in Justice League intensely personal for several of the heroes.
An Expanded DCEU
Justice League won’t just be introducing fans to the main superheroes of the Justice League team: it will be blowing the doors of the larger DC Extended Universe wide open.
In addition to the main Justice League heroes, we’ll also be getting the following:
More Gotham City – This includes Batman’s allies like Commissioner Gordon, iconic elements like The Bat-Signal, and new locales in The Batcave and Gotham City Sewers. All of which will help set up The Batman solo film.
The City of Atlantis – Aquaman’s home will be featured when Steppenwolf attacks it and tries to steal the Mother Box hidden there. In that time, we’ll meet important characters of James Wan’s Aquaman solo film, like the character’s wife, Mera (Amber Heard), and trusted advisor, Vulko (Willem Dafoe). We’ll also get to know Atlantis itself.
Themyscira – Wonder Woman’s mystical island home is where Steppenwolf first arrives on Earth, in order to obtain the Mother Boxes. Even though we learned some initial lore about Themyscira in the Wonder Woman movie, in Justice League we’ll learn more about how the history of The Amazons is directly tied to the threat of Apokolips.
Flash & Cyborg – We’ll get to also visit the worlds and characters of The Flash (like the DCEU Iris West) and Cyborg (the iconic locale of S.T.A.R. Labs).
We’ll also get the first brushstrokes of the mythology surrounding The New Gods of Apokolips and New Genesis – story elements that could be important foundation for future cosmic-themed films in the DCEU.
The Return of Superman
You won’t find Henry Cavill in the marketing for Justice League, but rest assured, Superman will be making a return in the film.
The questions of how Superman returns in Justice League, and what capacity he’ll be in (good or evil) remains to be seen. We expect that it’s going to be a pretty important part of the story – and hopefully, a fittingly epic moment when it does occur.
You can catch Justice League in theaters on November 17th.