Superhero teams have long been the delight of comic fans everywhere, bringing together our favorite heroes from all corners of the comic book world. So once the comic book universes movies showed up on the big screen, we couldn’t wait for the team up films. The solo films were great but something was still missing. It all started with the X-Men films and then progressed into the Avengers. Now DC is finally stepping up to the plate with Justice League. This November we will finally receive the first superhero team up film from the DCEU.
Zack Snyder, the director of both Man of Steel and Batman V Superman, will be heading up this project. Since Justice League is fast approaching, we can’t help but speculate the ways this landmark movie could go right or wrong. With the debate going back and fourth, we decide to give our two cents into the discussion of the famous superhero team up. Here are 8 Things We Want to See in Justice League and 7 Things We Don’t!
15. Want: Snyder Returning to His Former Glory
Zack Snyder has received quite the bad rap over the past few years. With his two most recent films being Man of Steel and Batman V Superman, several movie lovers have forgotten Snyder’s non-DC resume. Beginning his career with a remake of the acclaimed Dawn of the Dead, Snyder proved from the get go that he is a force to be reckoned with. He has a powerful visual style that is engrossing and he understands how to create interesting characters. Snyder may not be a master filmmaker but he certainly has a grasp on how to make entertaining films.
With Dawn of the Dead, 300, and his incredibly well made Watchmen adaptation, Snyder had a pretty solid career early on. From crafting strong characters to nearly mastering the formula of the action sequence, Snyder deserves to be in the running for one of the best action film directors working today. With visuals obviously being his strong suit, he deserves to be paired with stories that are more exciting and more interesting. So if Justice League‘s story has strong roots with great pay off we could see Snyder return to the pedestal he once stood upon.
14. Do Not Want: Characters We Can’t Connect To
Even though Snyder has made some incredible action films, there has long been criticism about certain aspects of hist storytelling His visuals have still remained in tip-top shape but his storytelling abilities have suffered, but there has been criticism about his characters – namely that the audience struggles to connect with many characters in Snyder’s film.
It is difficult to decide what this could be attributed to, whether it is the large amount of characters added to his films, or just the disconnect he seems to have with the subject matter.Snyder is losing his touch in terms of character. After the decidedly mixed reception to Batman V Superman, Snyder will need to tread carefully with his character dynamics in Justice League. If he does not focus on making us connect with the individual members of the Justice League, to allow them to be human amidst all the meta, the film will fall flat, character-wise.
13. Want: Fight Scenes That Make Sense
Obviously one of the things we adore about comic books is the awesome action. Back when superhero movies were first being made, it seemed impossible that they could recreate the complicated fights from comic books. With the advent of modern technology, the interesting, complex fight scenes from comics should be completely attainable, and some superhero films certainly manage it. On the other hand, CG has allowed for fights that are so large scale that they become nonsensical. Huge skyscrapers and monuments get destroyed; ships fall from massive heights to crash down on city blocks, all to demonstrate that the fights are truly superpowered. At this point, superhero fans are also growing tired of action sequences revolving around buildings being destroyed. Unfortunately the DCEU has fallen victim to this, along with the Transformers franchise. Marvel is guilty of this as well.
12. Do Not Want: Plots That Will Not Pay Off
With a film like Justice League, which involves so many characters, it is difficult to ignore the amount of storylines that the DCEU could pursue. We saw a glimpse of this with Batman V Superman, where the writers tried cramming so many different plot points and subplots into the move that it was almost overwhelming as a viewer. With so much to remember and focus on in a two and a half hour runtime, it’s difficult to enjoy the major plot points.
Justice League has the potential to set up quite an interesting plot while also establishing several subplots that will drive the film and the DCEU as a whole. The one area where they could go wrong is if they set up too many of these plot points. If they overwhelm us with subplots again and then decide to either not pay them off or even overwhelm themselves to where they don’t want to pay them off, this could immensely weaken the film.
11. Want: A Significant Green Lantern Role
The original members of the Justice League team were Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, and Flash. From the marketing of the movie we have seen most of those characters (except for Superman, for obvious reasons) appear throughout the photos and the trailers. Yet for some reason – whether it is being kept from the fans or because he actually is not appearing in the film – there has been no mention of Hal Jordan (or any variation of Green Lantern).
Now, the Green Lantern film starring Ryan Reynolds is absolutely atrocious, but that does not mean we don’t deserve to see a resurrection of Green Lantern. Green Lantern is one of the most exciting characters in the DC universe so he absolutely deserves to be in the movie. If for some reason he does not appear in the film, we will be incredibly disappointed. Some consolation least we get to see all the Hal Jordan we want with Injustice 2.
10. Do Not Want: People Being Thrown Through Buildings
If there’s one thing that has become way too cliche, and almost a pure annoyance, in action films is characters being thrown through buildings. Snyder has proven that he is a genius in terms of how to execute an action scene. His early films have some fantastically edited and shot action sequences, which makes us wonder why Man of Steel and Batman V Superman seem to just glorify the cliched retread of two superpowered characters tearing through the walls of multiple buildings in a fight. There are hundreds of ways two (or more) meta-human characters could engage in a fight that doesn’t just involve smashing buildings. Superhero films have the potential to craft some interesting and exciting action sequences and Justice League must capitalize on this if it doesn’t want to feel like Batman V Superman 2.0.
9. Want: A “Buddy Cop” Style Movie
The major thing that makes superhero team-ups so enjoyable is the dynamic of the group. The interactions between all these epic heroes are some of the most compelling, and entertaining things within the comics. Naturally fans are absolutely dying to see this translated onto the big screen. The cast is quite a stellar; Ben Affleck, Gal Godot, Jason Mamoa, Ray Fisher, and Ezra Miller are remarkable group of actors that can bring a high energy and comedic vibe to the film.
One thing that could make Justice League not only a more exciting movie, but also a more complex one would be if they brought a “buddy cop” element to the film. If the characters interact in a Lethal Weapon, End of Watch kind of way, the film could stand out. Character interaction is something that needs to be one of the strongest and most prevalent elements in a superhero film. If the writers and actors can perfectly translate the beautiful interaction from the comics, Justice League could stand tall above the rest of the DCEU movies.
8. Do Not Want: Forced Or Unnatural Character Interaction
As mentioned earlier a vital part of superhero team-up movies is the interactions – something that has been lacking in the DCEU films so far. Suicide Squad particularly falls short in how the characters interact with one another. Now this is not necessarily the actors’ fault. The cast give fine performances, but the writers force characteristics that are unnatural to these characters. The banter and dialogue shared between the characters are not native to them. In the comics we get a complete understanding of how the characters interact, but that doesn’t seem to have transitioned to the screen.
With Justice League, there is plenty of opportunity for the character to share witty banter and interact in ways that feel genuine. If there are uncharacteristic traits forced into the dialogue, the teeam-up won’t work and the film will drag. Justice League must find its balance between fun and serious. It has the potential to be satisfy both sides of the spectrum, but natural and enjoyable character interactions are vital to accomplishing that.
7. Want: A Flash Racing Scene
One of the most difficult things to achieve in superhero ensemble films is giving each character their own spotlight. It would be great if each character could get an equal amount of development and number of shining moments. Obviously that is unachievable with most films, therefore more focus is put on one or only a couple of characters versus the team as a whole. Maybe Hollywood should start considering an entire team as one protagonist?
Anyway, one character that has the potential to shine greatly is Barry Allen, aka The Flash. The Flash is an interesting hero with a lot of complexities that could absolutely shine on screen, especially through the performance of Ezra Miller. One thing that could be done with Flash could be a racing scene between him and a villain. If only an incredibly limited screen time is given to Flash, he definitely deserves to have a few shining moments. One way that he could totally shine would be with car chase-style scene where instead of cars, it’s just two people trying to out-run each other. Whether it’s a villain or another superpowered member of the team, this would be a great moment for Flash fans everywehre.
6. Do Not Want: Batman Being Portrayed As Just “The Rich Guy”
“What are your superpowers again?” “I’m rich.”The silly argument of Batman not having any powers making him pointless makes an appearance in the trailer for Justice League, and while it’s probably just an off-hand joke from Affleck’s self-deprecating, world-wear Batman, we’re still worried. There is so much exciting complexity to Batman and it is totally undersold by this one line.
Batman is the mastermind behind the Justice League He has the attacks planned out in full, he is 15 steps ahead of the enemies, and is directing the other members during the battles. If Batman is not depicted as the brains of the entire operation, his character will be irretrievably weakened. If this is the approach the film take, then Batman becomes just a suit to be filled for the sake of having to fill a suit.
5. Want: Tease A Larger Universe, But Focus On The Story At Hand
Even though the DCEU has been set up already, Justice League could set up something even greater. We know that the DCEU has so much potential with the side-roads that it can take in terms of solo films – or even more installments of Justice League. A lot is riding on this first installment, not only with the set-up for the solo films. It’s also teasing something greater for the DCEU. Still, the filmmakers need to make sure that the sole focus of the film is not setting up this larger universe.
Justice League needs to maintain a focus on the story the film is actually telling versus just place-setting for the DCEU. Justice League has the potential to have a compelling and complex story that could satisfy not only DC fans but movie lovers as well. In order to remain successful as a story, it needs to focus on the main plot points of the film. The filmmakers need to find a careful balance between the story at hand and the larger universe – and if they succeed, then Justice League could be the film we are all hoping for.
4. Do Not Want: Little Use of Minor Characters
Obviously the big players of Justice League are Batman, Wonder Woman, Steppenwolf, etc. But considering that this is a team-up film, we will be seeing many of the supporting characters for different heroes making appearances in the film. If the film does not utilize these minor characters effectively, it will ultimately be a waste.
Characters like Cyborg and Flash are obviously lower-billed in the film, but they still are interesting and unique characters. The writers need to give these smaller characters more screen time and give the audience something more to chew on. If the film is focused solely on Batman and Wonder Woman then it isn’t a Justice League movie, it’s “The Batman and Wonder Woman Show”. The filmmakers need to make sure all the supporting characters feel realized. Not only will it add levels to the film but it will add more the “buddy cop” dynamic mentioned earlier. It will also strengthen the universes being built in the solo films for Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash.
3. Want: Get the Audience Excited for the Solo Films
Justice League will obviously be an exciting team-up film and it has DC and movie fans excited, but what happens after the credits roll? The most important thing for Justice League to capitalize on is the excitement or hype it will build for the solo DCEU films. DCEU has a few solo films planned already, and we hope to receive more than those that have already been announced. The individual characters that are apart of the Justice League are already exciting enough, but if this film can help set up our excitement for those solo films that will make it all the more powerful. When Justice League ends, the hype train for Aquaman, Flash, etc. must be full speed ahead. Through the character interaction, the action sequences, and hopefully the solo film set up, we must be excited for these solo installments leaving the theater. Justice League has a lot of weight on its shoulders and it can possibly create a lot of hype for the entire DCEU if done correctly.
2. Do Not Want: A Cliffhanger Ending
As most people know, there is a planned sequel for Justice League. We are not sure of the details just yet (release date, storylines, etc.) but we do know that after some more DCEU solo films, we should be receiving another. Since the DCEU is so large and there are so many stories to chose from it makes complete sense that there would be a part two. One thing that we hope to see is two distinct installments. Instead of a part one and part two style film like the final Harry Potter or Hunger Games movies, we would hope to see two separate storylines and plot points in the separate films. Therefore the first film should wrap itself up with a beautiful little bow while leaving open room for the universe to continue. They could set up subplots in this first film that would pay off in the second film. In terms of the major plot points, it would be refreshing and satisfying to see those wrapped up in the first film.
1. Want: A Compelling and Layered Villain
A major critique of superhero films today is the bland, forgettable villains. The greatest movie villains are the ones that are complex, fully-realized characters. It’s just about how they play into the plot of the film; it’s about how they interact with the heroes. As more and more news about Justice League is released, we have recently learned that Steppenwolf will be one of, if not the main villain in Justice League. One way that Justice League could get the leg up on the competition is by making Steppenwolf a true villain versus just a super-tough badass. If the writers make Steppenwolf one dimensional on the level of Doomsday, then he will fail as a villain. If they humanize him for the audience, this could bring a whole other layer to the film.
What has you excited, or not excited about Justice League? Let us know below!