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After years of watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe slowly build into the powerhouse that it is today, now it is time for DC Comics to do the same. Teaming up with Warner Bros., the company began an incredible journey in 2013 with the release of Man of Steel and continued with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. Much like how Marvel worked towards making the first Avengers movie, however, DC's ultimate goal is to make a Justice League film -- and we are now well on the way to seeing that happen.
Just like we have with many of the other major blockbusters set to come out over the next few years, we have researched and gathered as much information about the development of the Justice League movie as we could possibly find to try and put together a picture of what we can expect from the superhero team up movie that arrives later this year. So, let's get started with what we've seen from the film in the form of the latest trailer. Take a look below:
See? Aren't you intrigued now? If you want to get the details on what we know about the film thus far, read on to find out!
What Is The Justice League Release Date?
Rather than start off slow and only work on one Justice League movie at a time, Warner Bros. opted to double down and announce both Justice League: Part One and Justice League: Part Two at the same time. Recently, however, Zack Snyder confirmed to us (on a set visit that we attended on the London shoot of Justice League) that the first Justice League movie will be a standalone adventure and is NOT part one of a two-part story. That being said, Justice League is set to open on November 17. The sequel is still in development, but it was removed from its 2019 release date and remains unscheduled.
What Is The Justice League Rating?
So far all of the DC movies have been rated PG-13, and we don't expect Justice League to be any different. There will be some intense violence, maybe some suggestive material and a few curse words sprinkled here and there. That said, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice came out with an R-rated Ultimate Edition cut when it hit home media, and this film was also directed by Zack Snyder. So, there's always a chance that the Justice League adventure could be given a similar treatment depending on the material being shot that doesn't make it into the theatrical release. Still, if Suicide Squad didn't earn an R rating, then I doubt this movie will.
What Is The Justice League Story?
Obviously Justice League will deal with the team forming, as Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) seeks to recruit more metahumans to defend our planet in the wake of Superman's "death" in Dawn of Justice. The Comic-Con preview and first theatrical trailer have indicated that Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Batman will recruit Cyborg (Ray Fisher), The Flash (Ezra Miller) and Aquaman (Jason Momoa) for a team that eventually will include a resurrected Kal-El. Spoilers. Sorry. Their mission will involve Mother Boxes, Parademons and a villain that we will explore in an upcoming section.
After helming Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, director Zack Snyder is returning to oversee the Justice League movie, arriving in 2017. Following Warner Bros. bringing him aboard to write Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Argo's Chris Terrio is also writing the first Justice League movie, though presumably Snyder has a good amount of creative and story input, having played a huge role in getting the DC Extended Universe to the place where it is right now.
Following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's poor critical reception, it's unclear whether Snyder retains the same amount of creative control as the previous two movies or if he's working more closely with other creative minds behind the scenes (like producers Geoff Johns and collaborator Ben Affleck). Either way, the Justice League movie will be one of DC's biggest movies yet, so extra care needs to be taken with it. So far, Snyder has been sharing interesting things on social media tied to Justice League. Fans seem excited... for now.
After debuting as Superman in 2013's Man of Steel, Henry Cavill reprised the role in 2016 for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Although the Kryptonian hero initially clashed with the Caped Crusader, by the climax of the movie they were working with Wonder Woman to defeat Doomsday. Unfortunately, the monster was so powerful that Superman was forced drive Batman's Kryptonite spear into its chest himself. Doomsday died and so did Superman -- or so it seemed at first. At the end of the movie, the dirt above Clark's casket began to levitate, hinting at his eventual resurrection. Cavill has since been seen on the Justice League set, and he even teased his costume, so we know he'll be featured in the movie, though how Superman will be brought back to life is still a mystery.
After spending years with Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale's incarnation of Batman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice introduced Ben Affleck's version of the Caped Crusader, who has been fighting crime for 20 years when the movie begins. Thanks to his paranoia and dreams of an apocalyptic future, Batman believed Superman was a threat to humanity and set out to eliminate him. By the end of the movie, he realized he'd made a mistake and while he failed the Man of Steel in life, he won't fail him in death. Batman briefly returned for Suicide Squad (where he jailed both Deadshot and Harley Quinn), but it's Justice League that will find him traveling around the world to recruit the metahumans he learned about to form a team to protect Earth.
In addition to appearing on camera, Ben Affleck was also named as an executive producer on Justice League. That means he'll have creative input behind the scenes to make this movie the best it can be. Batman is also expected to appear in a solo Batman movie, though a solid release date for that movie hasn't been set in stone just yet.
She may not be mentioned in the title of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but Wonder Woman, played by Israeli Fast & Furious star Gal Gadot, proved to be an integral player in the movie. This version of Wonder Woman is taking a lot of cues from her New 52 counterpart, and she came off as a major badass in Snyder's second film. Following her big appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Gadot's starring in her own Wonder Woman solo movie, set for release this June, which will help set up the Justice League movie. There, we will learn about her first trip to "man's world" during World War I and the reason she became disillusioned with humanity prior to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Wonder Woman seemed amenable to assisting Batman in helping protect the world to make up for Superman's absence, but when Justice League kicks off, that's when her Amazon warrior skills will be most valued, regardless of what the threat is. Following this, Wonder Woman will return for future Justice League movies, and by then she'll likely have a closer relationship with her fellow superheroes.
As popular on the page as The Flash has been, he has sadly never gotten his time to shine on the feature stage. He's had much more success on the small screen from his one-season 1990 show and the enormously popular CW series that spun out of Arrow, but now Barry Allen finally is getting his chance to shine on the big screen. The Stanford Prison Experiment's Ezra Miller made his debut as the Scarlet Speedster in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, then appeared briefly in Suicide Squad as well (in a scene we later learned was shot by Zack Snyder on the Justice League set). Now he's ready to join the team full time.
The footage that Snyder showed at Comic-Con revealed that Miller will play Flash as the eager comic relief, quick to join Bruce Wayne's team (no pun intended) because he "needs friends." Following Justice League, Miller's Barry Allen will lead his own movie, but due to numerous setbacks, it's not yet clear when that will come out. The hero's also expected to race back for future Justice League movies, and could start teaming up with heroes in their DC solo movies, as well. Just don't get your hopes up about one day seeing Miller's Flash and Grant Gustin's Flash team up together in a Flash of Two Worlds-style crossover.
Aquaman has spent an unfortunate number of years as a punchline in the comic book world, his powers mocked for being more limited than some of his fellow heroes, but DC is on the path of completely turning that reputation around. The Aquaman books in the New 52 line are considered some of the best titles in the series, and the character has been reinvented to a certain degree to be much more of a badass. The next big step for improving his image is finally getting him on the big screen, and we won't have to wait long for that.
Former Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa debuted as DC's (eventual) King of Atlantis in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where we saw footage of him destroying a remote-controlled camera underwater before swimming away at super sonic speed. We'll see him fully in action for Justice League, during which we'll also get our first look at Atlantis, and some of its denizens. Amber Heard has been cast as Mera, Aquaman's love interest and queen, while Willem Dafoe has been confirmed as Vulko, a confidante for Momoa's warrior. On our set visit, we learned that the Atlanteans are protecting a Mother Box that the lead villain in this film, Steppenwolf, is trying to obtain. This is why Arthur Curry and Bruce Wayne eventually cross paths.
Following Snyder's Justice League, Aquaman will star in his own solo movie in December 2018, and then he'll be back for future Justice League movies. As you can tell from the image of him in the JL movie, Aquaman looks much more intense than his comic book counterpart, and Momoa has promised that once this iteration of the character is seen on screen again, no one will make any more Aquaman jokes.
Cyborg is the final member of the Justice League that we can confirm has made it into the movie, due in theaters in November 2017. In the comics, Cyborg was classically known as a member of the group known as the Teen Titans, but ever since DC Comics rebooted its universe with The New 52, that story has changed. The character -- real name Victor Stone -- is now a full-fledged member of the Justice League, and that version of the narrative is being adapted for live action. Broadway actor Ray Fisher was cast as Cyborg, and we saw him in action in the first Justice League footage.
Like Aquaman and Flash, Cyborg was the subject of one of Lex Luthor's metahuman files. Just like his comic book counterpart, his body was almost destroyed in a tragic accident, and his father, scientist Silas Stone, was at a loss as to how to heal him. He finally found the key in a Mother Box, an alien supercomputer used on New Genesis and Apokolips, which reformed a new body for Victor and turned him into Cyborg. Now Victor has all sorts of high tech tools and weaponries on his person, but the Mother Box in his system may hold the key to defeating whatever threat the Justice League has to defeat in the near future. Following the Justice League movie, Cyborg will lead his own big screen adventure that's still scheduled for April 2020.
During our trip to the Justice League set, it was confirmed that Steppenwolf would be the chief antagonist in the first JL movie. As Darkseid's top general, Steppenwolf will invade Earth in Justice League to battle the team and possibly find three Mother Boxes that have been protected by the Atlanteans and the Amazonians for centuries. It's expected that Steppenwolf and his Parademons will eventually pave the way for Darkseid (who we may see cameo).
Considering how prominently Darkseid has been featured in Justice League stories and how Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice alluded to his existence, it's inevitable that the Lord of Apokolips will eventually fight the team. However, that deleted Communion scene with Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) showed us, briefly, what Steppenwolf will look like. It's since been revealed that Game of Thrones' Ciaran Hinds will play Steppenwolf through motion capture.
Green Lantern got off to a bad start in the feature world, with Martin Campbell's 2011 film both failing to perform with critics and audiences. Still, the character is certainly one of the biggest names in DC Comics, and it's impossible to believe that Warner Bros. would write him off completely. Sure enough, that won't be the case for the DCEU.
Before we see multiple Green Lanterns fly across the big screen in 2020's Green Lantern Corps, the ring slinger will join the Justice League, though his recruitment isn't expected to happen in the first Justice League movie. Zack Snyder told us during our set visit that Lantern will be held for a later date. However, we don't know whether it will be Hal Jordan or John Stewart filling the team's ring-slinger spot, but considering how important Green Lantern has been to the Justice League's history on both the printed page and other media, it's hard to imagine not having an Emerald Knight among the ranks.
While most of the superheroes we've heard suggested as being a part of Justice League make plenty of sense thanks to their name recognition and presence in popular culture, Shazam is kind of the odd duck. Moviegoers will hear Billy Batson shout the magic word when Shazam hits theaters in April 2019, and the movie will feature the World's Mightiest Mortal going up against Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Black Adam.
However, unlike the other DC heroes getting their own movies, there's been no indication that he'll be part of the Justice League, and he certainly isn't expected to show up in the 2017 movie. If joining the team doesn't work out, then maybe other potential sequels will let him finally team up with his fellow DC do-gooders, though the other heroes may not be keen on eventually finding out that Shazam is actually a ten year old boy.
When the Justice League was introduced in the late 1950s, J'onn J'onzz, a.k.a. the Martian Manhunter, helped found the team, and in the decades following, became one of its most treasured members. However, with the New 52 reboot, his status as a founding member was taken by Cyborg, and although he still has some history with the Justice League in this new universe, he's not nearly as prominent as he used to be. Evidently this is the same case for the DC Extended Universe (as this franchise is called), as there's been no announcement of Martian Manhunter being adapted for live action, but there's still hope.
Assuming the cinematic Justice League eventually expands its ranks, we can only hope that he'll be their first new recruit. With abilities like flight, super strength, shapeshifting, intangibility and more, he's a powerhouse that would be invaluable during battles. Who knows, maybe following future Justice League movies, the Martian superhero could be given his own movie. In the meantime, J'onn is one of the main characters on the Supergirl TV series (played by David Harewood), so fans are still getting to see him in live action on the small screen.
The Justice League movies are going to include more than just the main heroes and some antagonists. As with most stories, there will also be supporting characters, and we already know some of the people who will be involved in. J.K. Simmons, previously known among comic book enthusiasts as J. Jonah Jameson in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies, is succeeding Gary Oldman as Commissioner James Gordon. He'll only have a small role in the film, but he's supposed to have a bigger role in the solo Batman movie. Since Batman has been active for two decades at this point, it's assumed that he and Gordon already have a working relationship, though something may have happened before Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that led to a disagreement.
As mentioned above, Amber Heard will also be playing Mera, Atlantean warrior and Aquaman's love interest. However, at this point in the DCEU, she won't be queen of Atlantis yet, so that honor will likely be bestowed upon her in Aquaman. Willem Dafoe has also been cast as Vulko. Knowing the characters Dafoe usually plays, we wouldn't be surprised if this person ends up betraying the superheroes and going to the dark side, in time.
The supporting DC cast members don't end with Batman and Aquaman characters, though. From Superman's personal life, Amy Adams and Diane Lane will reprise Lois Lane and Martha Kent, respectively, while Jesse Eisenberg will reprise the Kryptonian's arch-nemesis, Lex Luthor, who was last seen in prison. Connie Nielsen will be back as Hippolyta following her introduction in Wonder Woman months earlier, and Cyborg's father, Dr. Silas Stone, played by Joe Morton, will have an expanded role following his cameo in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Over in The Flash's corner, Kiersey Clemons and Billy Crudup will debut as Iris West and Henry Allen, respectively. Henry was briefly shown in the Justice League trailer talking to his son Barry in prison. Finally, Julian Lewis Jones and Michael McElhatton have been cast in undisclosed roles.