The Justice League On-Set Media Scrum
I wasn’t there, but I read all the articles so you didn’t have to!
by Chris Morris
Lapsed DC Fanboy
So if you are like me, you woke up the other morning to a blitzkrieg of articles on my Facebook feed, all about the upcoming “Justice League” movie, set to hit theatres in November of 2017. So why did this even happen? Apparently, with the internet being all like that these days, promoting movies is important to do, even while the films are still shooting and won’t be out for 17 months!
Clearly WB/DC has ALOT riding on the success of the Justice League film and are doing their best to get people to forget about how BAD Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was and want us to focus on how Justice League is going to be, like, so awesome! And it’s totally a coincidence this is happening a month before Comic Con! Really!
Like a political campaign run amok, the media blitz can be summed up by having Ben Affleck, Zack and Deborah Snyder saying “We got it, we went too far, we’ve learned our mistakes, Justice League is going to kick ass”. Funny, I don’t remember them saying that after Man of Steel.
But back to the point of this article. Here are the beans spilled at the media blitz on the Justice League set:
*with my sarcastic notes too…the notes and my sarcasm, they are a set, can’t have one without the other, sorry…
– “inclusive” was the word of the day…that’s what WB/DC think is what Marvel movies are…
– Deborah Snyder on what they learned from the “relative failure” of BvS…”The main thing we learned, I think: People don’t like to see their heroes deconstructed.”…nope we want them deconstructed properly, big difference…cause all those Marvel movies are just stuff blowin’ up and no character development at all, amiright?
– more kids will want to see this film (and therefore it will make more money at the box office, especially at the tail end…something a grim and gritty PG-13 or R-Rated movie can’t do…see they are learning!)
– The Flash and Cyborg, two younger characters, will get the kids into the theatre. You know, there is a character out there that kids LOVE…his name is BATMAN…maybe you’ve heard of him?…he could get butts in seats…just throwing that out there…
– Affleck joked that Batman will make jokes in this film but not too many jokes cause people don’t like that…see failure of Batman: The Brave and The Bold…
– Batman should be more of a detective, the world’s greatest detective, in fact…
– Steppenwolf, Darkseid’s uncle, is the film’s villain
– no one has been cast yet to play Steppenwolf
– the movie’s synopsis: “Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face and even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes – Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash- it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.”
– that synopsis sounded shockingly straightforward and not really complicated at all…I like it!
– Apparently, Batman won’t be such a murdering unsympathetic jerk in this film
– the Death of Superman affected Batman a lot, he “starts to regain his faith in humanity” after an alien dies saving us…but what if Steppenwolf’s mom is named Martha too?…sorry couldn’t resist…
– I haven’t made any jokes about Steppenwolf being “Born to be Wild” or sending the Parademons to Earth on a “Magic Carpet Ride” so gimme a break!
– “Superman was like that for two movies so that we could get him to where he needs to be for this film…it was all a plan!” I’m paraphrasing here but basically…
– Superman is coming back but they wouldn’t say how other than it involves some kind of special levitating dirt…
– reporters got to watch a whole scene, where Batman meets The Flash which HAD JOKES IN IT and stuff…that kinda sounds like when Wolverine met Quicksilver in Day of Future Past but whatever…
– Ben Affleck has a script written for his Batman movie but isn’t happy with it and they are working on it…he hates working on movies with bad, half-written scripts…I’ll let you insert-joke-there…
– this Batman movie probably won’t be ready as soon as WB/DC want it to be, Affleck says with a “I’m not going to be in another crappy superhero movie dammit – two is enough!” kind of way
– Alex Ross was Zack Snyder’s inspiration
– later Snyder said Jack Kirby’s New Gods were also an inspiration
– the movie will be about there being 3 Mother Boxes on Earth, one on Themyscira (where Zeus will make an appearance in a history-lesson type flashback), one in Atlantis and one in Man’s World (likely at Star Labs with Cyborg’s dad); The Justice League has to get them all before Steppenwolf does and puts them all onto his yellow gauntlet…oh wait, wrong movie…
– Willem Dafoe is playing Vulkro, one of Aquaman’s friends and mentor in Atlantis. I wonder if he’ll have an eyepatch and be married to Rene Russo?
– speaking of Atlantis, Game of Thrones actor Kristofer Hivju will play “An Ancient Atlantean King” in Justice League
– there will be lots of new toys, er, tech for the Justice League to play with…yet another new Batmobile, a “Flying Fox”, a “Knightcrawler” and others…coming soon to Toys R Us shelves near you!
– speaking of toys, Batman will have more than one suit…
– Flash’s costume will be 148 pieces, with several points of articulation, I’m sure!
– apparently Flash’s costume only takes 5 minutes for him to put on, which sounds unlikely but what do I know?
– Flash sneakers are going to be HUGE with the kids!
– The Flying Fox is a huge three story ship that can fit the Batmobile and other Bat gadgets and members of the League too. Sounds expensive and probably won’t fit under the Christmas tree!
– The Knightcrawler (not to be confused with X-Men’s Nightcrawler of course) sounds like Jon Peters’ wet dream come to life…a Batmobile with SPIDER LEGS!
– Cyborg’s costume allows him to grow extra arms…like a spider! Is Jon Peters producing this??? Seriously!
– one major action sequence takes place in a Ventalation shaft that was supposed to be a tunnel between Metropolis and Gotham, a project that was abandoned and now the tunnel is home for a nest of Parademons. Did I mention SPOILERS!
– reporters got to watch a scene being filmed, with Commissioner Gordon, JK Simmons, meeting the rest of the League on top of Gotham’s Police Headquarters next to the Bat-signal. Unfortunately, no one got to see Simmons’ new 24 inch pythons, BROTHER!
– nine scientists are being kidnapped from STAR Labs which is the main reason the League comes together at first, one of them being Cyborg’s dad Silas Stone
– they haven’t yet filmed a scene where the entire Justice League has assembled…and won’t for a few years, until if/when Green Lantern shows up, presumably…ZING!
– Batman uses the Gotham City Ironworks as a place to hideout and plan stuff and make new toys, er, tech…which will presumably be located on Happy Harbour?
– the new Batmobile has added two machine guns and a missile launcher which to me is SO WRONG but apparently every Batmobile in every Batman movie, from Burton to Nolan to Snyder, has to have guns so whatever…boys and their guns…
– Alfred shoots the crap out of some Parademons while inside the gunner station inside the Flying Fox which is twice the size of Marvel’s Quinjet apparently. So apparently Alfred gets to kick some ass too! That’s what’s been missing from the other representations of Batman – an Alfred who fights! With guns!
– no more Hans Zimmer score…it will now be by Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL, who apparently worked on the BvS score so nothing really changes there…
– the day the reporters visited the set, they were on day 31 of 111 days of shooting in Leavesden, England, later moving to LA; filming is scheduled to wrap in October
– originally it was going to be two films but now it’s just one
– they are shooting on film, but not in IMAX
– the film has 3,000 extras and 200 speaking parts!
– they are backing off previous statements that all the DC films will be tied really close together; now they are saying the films will be independent but linked..kind of like the Marvel films. Could this be because Zack Snyder used to be the man in charge and now he’s just one cog in a big wheel?
– Atlantis actually plays a big role in the film
– Michael Wilkinson returns as costume designer
– they are manufacturing their costumes in-house and using 3D printing
– even Diana Prince’s clothes, for instance, are made in-house not bought in a store
– Cyborg will be mostly CG
– Flash’s costume is a prototype he stole from NASA and later Bruce Wayne gives him an upgrade…this is likely true for all the League…everyone gets TWO costumes for their action figures!
– also Flash is a thief…
– they’ve added more red to Wonder Woman’s 5,000 year old costume (more on that later) but other than that it’s pretty much staying the same
– they think of Metropolis as New York City and Gotham as Philadelphia…shouldn’t Gotham be in New Jersey? Or Delaware?
– Amber Heard is still playing Mera despite the recent controversy
– Jesse Eisenberg is appearing as Lex Luthor but it wasn’t revealed if his role is a cameo or a larger piece of the puzzle
– ditto Amy Adams and Lois Lane…
– there will be a scene where Wonder Woman fights Parademons next to the Batmobile…I wonder if she prefers snapping necks or sword-stabbing for her killing method?
– Zack Snyder and Geoff Johns are working together on a super-secret project that’s not a movie…way to kiss ass with your new boss Zack!
– Ezra Miller’s Flash has no friends, lives alone, has lots of TV’s and stuff in his apartment, sounds like a smartass…so that’s why Snyder wouldn’t cast Grant Gustin, he wasn’t casting the Flash, he was casting Quicksilver! At least, the X-Men version…
– Flash is Jewish!
– Aquaman wears jeans!
– Batman wears a cardigan!
– I made that last one up to see if you were still paying attention
– but wouldn’t that be awesome? Like, “Vision-awesome!”
– some new logos were shown, one of the few things the reporters were actually allowed to take pictures of…
– “I love the characters, and maybe to a fault sometimes, I dork out on the hardcore aspects of the comic books” says Zack Snyder who supposedly interpreted The Dark Knight Returns with BvS although seemingly hadn’t actually read it…
So really – what was this all about? Clearly WB/DC are desperately trying to get the internet on their side. So they invited a bunch of specific reporters/bloggers/online film critics (aka Haters; funny my invitation must have been lost in the mail) who contributed to the 27% Rotten Tomatoes rating or at least fed into the negative buzz surrounding the film and Zack Snyder came out, hat in hand for a mea culpa. Snyder, from all accounts, seemed humbled by the bile directed towards his vision of the DC Universe, something he had been working on, including Man of Steel, since October 2010. If Snyder’s Justice League doesn’t go well, presumably he’s out. Hell, at this point most people are shocked he still has a job.
So was this just a way for the Warners/DC execs to try to “wow” the nerds who bashed BvS (and possibly Man of Steel as well), to “get them out of their mom’s basement”, have them get to interview Ben Affleck himself AS HE’S WEARING THE BATSUIT NO LESS, have them watch a scene of (most of) the League coming together and talking to Commissioner Gordon who was standing next to THE BAT-SIGNAL, have them watch the scene where BATMAN meets THE FLASH and they have jokey-jokes, have them see all the concept art, get tongue tied around Gal Gadot WONDER WOMAN herself for pete’s sake! Everybody seemed to be fanboying, and frankly, if I was there I can’t say positively that I wouldn’t have been either. In all honesty, despite my snark, I WANT THESE MOVIES TO BE GOOD! I would have laughed at Affleck’s jokes too! LAUGHED MY ASS OFF!!! But still, even if the “fanboys” who wrote those articles had a great time and were swept off their feet, the movie doesn’t come out until one year from this November! Internet positivity has an expiration date! Whereas snark is forever!
Also everyone seemed to be saying the right things, but something, again from what I’ve read, seemed off. By their own admission, there were still concept art depicting the same mass-destruction and city-smashing ideas from the last two films. *Wonder Woman’s costume has more red in it not because other versions were too drab but because of all the victims she’s killed/maimed/stabbed over the years. Nice! Batman’s vehicles still have a lot of guns for someone who’s no longer into killing/manslaughtering.
Let’s think of this practically. Snyder said they were well into pre-production when BvS came out. And now they are filming. Let’s pretend there was a meeting with WB/DC brass and Snyder and they told him to lighten things up. They were about to start filming, the art was done, costumes, the script…what really could be so different from before, when they seemingly thought BvS was going to be a huge hit? When the WB execs had a screening of the film and gave it a standing ovation a fem months back? Other than a re-write of the script, which in Hollywood tends to take more than just a weekend, how could Snyder’s vision of Justice League REALLY change in that short of time? And remember, that opening weekend it came out, BvS was looking good.
So a cynic would ask how can Justice League possibly be any different now than it was before BvS came out? Maybe Snyder wants Ezra Miller’s Flash to be funnier, improvise his lines more…maybe when they get to the editing process, Snyder won’t have every scene colour corrected to make it look like it’s always midnight? Have Affleck and Gadot and hell Cavill smile more? Maybe there will some…hope?
For that matter, is there hope at all…that this could ACTUALLY be a good film? Despite my “hater” badge, I hope this is all true and that the Justice League movie is going to kick ass. Cause I will be there opening night…just like I will be with Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad!
But what do you think…vote in our poll below!
*thanks to the lengthy recaps from Collider.com, IGN, Nerdist, Buzzfeed, Comicbook.com and a great article on Vulture.com by Kyle Buchanan (who actually seemed to act like a reporter rather someone just writing out bullet points…don’t you hate those kinds of articles? ☺)