A glorious four minute Justice League trailer was released this weekend during Warner Bros. Hall H presentation and I nearly lost my damn mind because I was so overcome with excitement. Here are the top five things we’re looking forward to after watching the trailer!
The ‘presence’ of Superman
And no, I don’t mean just that scene at the end of the trailer. I mean the fact that his absence in the world of Justice League is so keenly felt.
There are times within shared universe films when the real consequences of storylines or an individual character’s choices in one film are not really felt in subsequent films. These consequences instead become plot points to be mentioned, rather than an aftermath to be dealt with.
Far from simply being a one off plot point, Superman’s death is shown to have a widespread impact on the world around him.
It also continues to provide the ongoing character arc and motivating force for Bruce Wayne that we initially saw at the end of Batman vs. Superman.
It likewise provides the reasoning for Steppenwolfe’s — and, we assume, Darkseid’s — sudden interest in Earth. With no Kryptonian around to protect the planet (and apparently the Green Lanterns likewise preoccupied), Steppenwolfe sees Earth as having no protectors.
Of course, I do also mean that scene at the end of the trailer. Despite the absence of Henry Cavill at San Diego Comic-Con, it’s basically all but confirmed from multiple sources, in multiple ways, that Superman will be returning in this film.
We can only assume that his return/resurrection will be a major plot point in the film and I’m not only excited to see how it all plays out, I’m also really pleased that WB has so far been pretty strict with how it teases his return.
While we are essentially assured of a Superman return, the how and why is still shrouded in mystery — questions that I’ll be glad to see answered come this November.
Admittedly, while I’m much less into the narrative of ‘superhero movies need to be funny to be good’ than most, that’s not to say that I don’t like humor in my superhero films. I do — I just want it to be natural and contextual.
Which is actually what it looks like we’ll be getting in the upcoming Justice League.
Both trailers showed the rapport between Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince and Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne, as well as Bruce’s own tendency towards dry humor.
Both the rapport and the sense of humor from Bruce Wayne are a direct result of his character’s journey. Yes, he was humorless and brooding all throughout Batman vs. Superman — because that’s who he was meant to be. That was a Batman after 20 years of struggle, a Batman who was questioning the value of his mission, a Batman who had lost all hope.
The Batman that we see in Justice League is different than this previous iteration. This is a Batman who has been inspired by Superman’s sacrifice and rediscovers the pursuit of justice as a duty he’s glad to uphold, rather than a burden he’s forced to bear. Batman is never going to be the quippy, one-liner hero — it’s not in his character — but the film does highlight the dry, slightly sarcastic humor that Batman fans are familiar with.
However, we do have Ezra Miller’s Flash to fill in the role as quippy, one-liner hero. As one of the youngest members of the Justice League, Miller has described his Barry Allen as a “really endearing, altruistic nerd” who feels a little bit out of place — basically the “13-year-old Metallica fan, and Metallica says, ‘We lost our drummer in a freak accident. We need you to play drums, bro!’ I don’t even have drumsticks!”
Miller shows both of these facets of his character’s personality in his scene-stealing, high-energy performance in the newest trailer. As someone who’s both young and new to his powers, he lacks the cool gravitas of either Batman or Wonder Woman, instead playing Barry Allen as someone who’s both excited and a little bit overwhelmed to be playing with the big kids.
Given this, it makes sense for his character to bring the most levity to the group, and I’m incredibly excited to see his energy on the big screen.
Stunning visuals and action scenes
One thing that Zack Snyder always delivers on is his visuals. In fact for some, it’s about the only thing he delivers on.
I won’t go into my Zack Snyder defence diatribe here, but I do feel like no matter how you feel about him as a director, it’s hard to argue with the fact that he has an eye for framing shots and presenting scenes in a way that’s visually impressive.
Comic books, after all, are a medium that rely just as heavily on their art as they do their writing — it’s why the Eisners have numerous awards for coloring, lettering and illustrating as well as for writing.
In an era where franchise film directors are becoming less and less important and director-as-storyteller is becoming increasingly rare, it’s refreshing to see a comic book film in which visual storytelling is still highly valued.
For whatever other faults Snyder may have as a director, it’s obvious that he takes the medium of comic books seriously. He takes care to present a movie that looks like a comic book come to life, rather than a movie that’s shot like a multi-cam sitcom.
I’m excited to see the visually stunning scenes we saw in the trailer on the big screen, along with a hundred more impressive shots I’m sure are included in the film.
More Wonder Woman and the Amazons
Wonder Woman has just officially become the summer’s highest grossing film — and for good reason. It gave audiences a badass female superhero who was both incredibly empathetic and well-versed in ass kicking, as well as an entire island of badass women who we spent far too little time with.
In the trailer, we are taken back to Themyscira as we witness Steppenwolfe using the Themysciran motherbox to create a boom tube to teleport to the island. We also get a brief glimpse of the Amazons riding into battle against the parademon army.
While it remains to be seen just how much the Amazons will factor into the the overall story line of the film, even these two small scenes were enough to fill me with excitement. Basically, I’ll take whatever little bits and snippets we can get of the Amazons as I impatiently wait for Wonder Woman 2.
Likewise, the trailer also heavily features Wonder Woman. The Diana we see in Justice League is older and wiser, a hero with more world-weary experience and skill than the one we saw in this summer’s film.
We see her navigating both hero and civilian life with experience and aplomb, easily stepping into a leadership role of the Justice League as both recruiter and battle-hardened general for the newly minted superhero team.
While this was likely already going to be her role anyway, given that Justice League was close to wrapping up when Wonder Woman was released, it’s still exhilarating to know that we’ll once again see Diana back on the big screen, kicking even more ass.
Jason Momoa’s Aquaman
At this point, I’m not sure how much of what we’ll see on the screen is actual Aquaman characterization and how much of it is just Jason Momoa being Jason Momoa.
I will tell you this — I don’t really care. I could watch an entire two hours of Jason Momoa’s Aquaman riding parademons like surfboards and then doing the world’s hottest hair flip and leave the theater ecstatic.
Of course, I’m sure we’ll see more than that from Aquaman — his struggle as a man who’s half Atlantean and half Human, his journey from deep skepticism of the Justice League to becoming part of the team.
Likewise, with Jason Momoa as the face of the character, we’ll finally be able to see Aquaman as a badass superhero, rather than the silly talks-to-fish guy that most people think of him as.
But we also get to see Aquaman spear parademons with his trident, leap off of the Batmobile onto oncoming monsters and almost certainly (if the trailers are any indication) give Batman a ton of crap. I feel like that alone would be worth the price of admission.