The DC Extended Universe has only just gotten started, but a course has already been plotted for where the franchise will take its biggest heroes. After the events of Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice not only explores the aftermath of Superman’s debut and Batman’s distrust towards the Kryptonian, but also introduces the main members of the Justice League (minus Green Lantern). These movies subsequently form an unofficial “trilogy” with 2017’s Justice League: Part One, but the first official team-up adventure with these heroes will adopt a different tone from its predecessor.
Having described Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as being similar Empire Strikes Back or The Two Towers, writer Chris Terrio told The Wall Street Journal that he doesn’t expect Justice League: Part One to quite as dark the previous entry in this “trilogy.” He stated:
I expect Justice League will be tonally not quite as dark as Batman v Superman. From that point of view, I felt compelled to go back and try to lift us and myself into a different tonal place because I think when you write a darker film, sometimes you want to redeem it all a bit.
Ever since Man of Steel delivered a Superman story that was darker than its cinematic predecessors, some fans have been worried that the DCEU might be going too dark with their storytelling. While the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice previews certainly show that the movie will be intense and emotional, it’s becoming clearer that this won’t be the case for this entire cinematic universe. For instance, The Flash and Shazam will reportedly be more lighthearted, and Terrio’s comments point to Justice League: Part One being brighter than the earlier films. If Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is Empire Strikes Back, then Justice League: Part One is Return of the Jedi. Sure, there will be some dark moments, but they won’t take hold of the entire story.
Chris Terrio also mentioned that despite Justice League: Part Two following in 2019, he’s not sure yet if he’ll pen the sequel, noting that writing the first movie has been “the most rigorous intellectual exercise” he’s had with writing. His research for characters like The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman has included reading about physics, mythology, and even what kind of sealife may exist at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean.
Aside from new characters being added, like Mera and Commissioner Gordon, details are scarce about what to expect from Justice League: Part One, aside from Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg officially joining forces for the first time. Still, it will no doubt be a comfort to many fans that the movie will lighten up a bit in the midst of all the action. So, no matter which villain they’re battling (whether it’s Darkseid, Brainiac, or someone else), these heroes won’t be in a somber-feeling environment,
Justice League: Part One hits theaters on November 17, 2017, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in a few weeks, on March 25.