Zack Snyder’s Superman Won’t Appear in ‘Justice League’ Movie

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 23rd, 2013 at 3:14 pm,

justice league1 Zack Snyder’s Superman Won’t Appear in ‘Justice League’ Movie

After many a comic book, the Super Friends, and two (or is it one-and-a-half?) successful animated series on Cartoon Network, the Justice League is easily the most iconic superhero team in the history of superhero teams. Every major DCU superhero has, at one point or another, been a member.

With the announcement that Warner Bros. is planning a film adaptation of The Justice League to be released in 2013 (and the knowledge that the Christian Bale Batman will not be returning after The Dark Knight Rises), one wonders: will Zack Snyder’s Superman, played by Henry Cavill, be appearing in this new Justice League?

According to Snyder: Nope.

HeyUGuys spoke with Zack Snyder at the UK premiere of the critically-acclaimed (he said sarcastically) Sucker Punch and asked him how his version of Superman would fit into the upcoming Justice League film. Snyder said:

“It doesn’t. Like what Chris Nolan is doing and what I’m doing with Superman, what they’ll do with Justice League will be it’s own thing with it’s own Batman and […] Superman. We’ll be over here with our movie and they’ll kind of get to do it twice which is kind of cool.”

Check out the full video below:

I can’t help but be reminded of George Miller’s aborted Justice League film from way back in 2008. That film had absolutely no connection to the characters in Warner Bros.’ preexisting franchises – Christopher Nolan’s Batman and Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns. Frankly, I was rather disappointed when Miller’s JLA fell apart from the bottom up. Partly because George Miller of Mad Max fame was directing it, but mostly because Australian beauty Megan Gale was perfectly cast as Wonder Woman.

Ah, what could’ve been…

Some fans will no doubt be irritated that Warner Bros. isn’t taking the Marvel approach to their tentpole team-up by interlinking each of their superhero films before the big unveiling of the team film – a la The Avengers.

Now, I’m looking forward to Joss Whedon’s film almost more than any other upcoming superhero movie, but it’s not exactly a proven approach. On the one hand, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were pretty universally appreciated and Superman Returns reactions were mixed at best. Three standalone films. Two successes out of three.

On the other hand, Iron Man was a surprise hit and incredibly enjoyable, while Iron Man 2 was bogged down by all the shared universe shenanigans (well, that and the fact that the most memorable thing about the villain was his love of birds). Thor and Captain America could be amazing for all we know – or they could be horrendous. Time will tell.

the justice league of america film Zack Snyder’s Superman Won’t Appear in ‘Justice League’ Movie

My point is, before we stomp off in anger that Christian Bale, Ryan Reynolds, and Henry Cavill won’t be appearing in The Justice League, let’s keep in mind that the most important thing is that we get a good film. As every comic book fan knows – and Kofi Outlaw wrote about in detail – sometimes comic book continuity can be more of a hindrance than a help.

What are your thoughts on The Justice League being a separate entity from Warner Bros.’ other superhero properties? Drop us a line in the comments.

Superman: Man of Steel hits theaters December 2012, while The Justice League will hit theaters – if all goes well – in 2013.

Source: HeyUGuys

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  1. I dont really see this concept workintg unless the snyder movie is a one-shot, which I sincerelly doubt is what WB is going for. I’m completelly behind pushing out standalone work ahead of trying to tie things together that just doesnt mesh well, but having the same characters appear in more than one active franchise(superman) played by different actors, doesnt seem very sound to me. And neither does a Justice league without Superman to draw in the masses.

  2. Yes I agree the mainstream actors of the individual movies should be in the Justice League movie. For me it’s a no brainer for any sequel / crossover film, especially if the actors make a good impression in the role.

    No other actor could play Tony Stark, Jack Sparrow etc and expect to attain the same level of success. They could’ve got a younger lead for Indy IV but that would’nt have worked because of everyone’s affiliation with Harrison Ford. Ditto John McClane, John Rambo etc, etc

    Yes, the Bond franchise has maintained success with different actors, but each actor always gets 3 – 4 movies to make the role their own before changing over.

    In regards to the release of the Justice League movie, I should’ve said 5 -6 years instead of 2 – 3.

    So if it means taking a bit longer tying actors to long term contracts, organising a multi-picture deal then so be it. You will ultimately end up with a better result in the long run.

  3. lhh,

    The Snyder Supes movie is a one shot. The whole rights issue won’t be solved for a while after 2013.

    • That frees up Cavill to be used in Justice League then. Hooray. Problem solved.

  4. I don’t see this happening. And to be honest until the cameras start rolling I don’t think The Avengers will happen either. Both for pretty much the same resons. Money. To much has to go right to justify the money it will take to make and promote these films. Iron Man surprised everyone with how good it was and the money it made and now both Thor and Captain America need to follow suit. Both Hulk versions failed and I think even if 1 of the 2 coming this summer don’t do well the plug will be pulled. You can’t have 2 out of the 4 biggest attractions in the film be box office duds and expect audiences to forget that when it’s time to shell out 12-15 dollars to see the movie. Even if you cast a different actor like they did with the Hulk. I hope I am wrong but I really doubt that we will ever see a live action Justice League or Avengers movie…

    • Production on the avengers has already begun, like a week ago.

      • I didn’t know. Foot inserted in mouth and glad to be wrong…

    • I just read this page today for some reason, (may 15th, 2012) and I’m so glad your wrong dude. Way wrong. The Avengers movie came out, and it was AMAZING! Maybe you shouldn’t make anymore false movie assumptions

  5. The only way this makes sense is if the Justice league movie is itself a one-shot (for a reason)…something like “Kingdom Come” where the current actors arent right for the roles… Otherwise, this just sounds confusing.

  6. Julian McMahon can make an awesome shrewd powerful businessman of the Justice League as Maxwell Lord, like he did played Dr. Doom in the Fantastic 4 film. I heard the Justice League movie has mentioned the powerful shrewd businessman name Maxwell Lord should be appearing in this Hall of Justice film

    • WOW, that was pretty damn good. Too bad the game didn’t live up to the hype.

  7. I can totally see not using Bale as Batman in JL. If I remember correctly, Bale said he wouldn’t make another Batman film without Nolan and Nolan has said that TDKR is the final Batman movie he’s going to do. I also can’t really see Bale’s Batman as part of a superpowered team, either.

    They ARE making a HUGE mistake not using Cavill as Superman in the JL film. It’s just about the dumbest move that a studio could make next to casting Seth Rogen as the Green Hornet! They don’t have to necessarily link the new Superman film to JL, but to have TWO different actors playing Superman in TWO different universes is going to alienate ALOT of people. Then again, maybe they are waiting to see how Cavill does as Supes before deciding whether or not to use him in JL. There is also no reason not to use Ryan Reynolds as the Green Lantern, either.

  8. I can see not using Bale, but if you’re also not going to use Cavill and Reynolds, what’s the point of a Justice League film?

  9. Just wait about 10 more years and this will ALL become a moot point. By that time they will have perfected the CGI/MoCap tech to the point they can create realistically any character. It will then be us arguing over who’s voice is best suited to their roles! :)

  10. A justic league movie any time soon is just gonna be dumb. Firstly, the Avengers is coming out soon. Second, We’d get a different Batman and now Superman? No thanks.

  11. believe me as much as i want this justice league film and more.. . . this is all wrong, and rediculous. .. we cant have 2 or 3 superman and batman and green lanterns, they need to make a couple superman movies passing the dark knight and make other hero stand alone and established first, then do a world’s finest and or justice league. . . gog i hat wanrner brothers if this happens, thy dont know anyting and never listen to the fans. . . and as much as it pains me to saythis but marvel is doing things right and tey need to take a page out of there book, ‘dc’ should be back at top on number one but if tis happens they fall behind marvel forever and contnue to be 2nd.. . . . this is sad

  12. I’m pretty certain that audiences don’t want to see the Bale/Nolan batman hop into a batplane and jet off to paradise island or Star City.

    This is just an opportunity to have the characters step out of the respective worlds in their movies and participate in a more wild and loose version of “reality.” Metropolis can look more futuristic, Gotham can look more “gothic,” there can be a Paridise Island. There can even be an “Apokolips.”

    In other words, they can bend all the “rules” and make a more balls-to-the-wall superhero movie. The individual movies are going to have all the rom-com, family drama elements.

    Everyone could feel completely different after the Marvel experiment culminates with the Avengers. It may simply fail to live up to expectations.

  13. Perhaps they will get smart and choose a “Superman” with a built in following…Tom Welling….

  14. Tell us something we don’t know. That movie will bomb, because they don’t have any iconic actors in those roles. Christain Bale is the only A-list actor to fit one of the main characters andhe’s not going to be in. Do they really expect that movie to make any money. Would be as bad as Street fighter with Van dam compared to Mortal Kombat when it came out, but worse. Who’s going to play Batman and Superman, can’t have a justice league without them, where’s flash and aqau-man. Wonder woman is already a joke. Are the going to bring in the wonder twins for he kids. What a waste of an opportunity

    • I think all this talk about DC needing to be more like Marvel in their continuity is not necessary. Honestly I think Marvel is doing their whole cameo/same actor thing because they HAVE to. Think about it, they try so hard to cast actors that will make audiences relate to their characters more, and I think it’s pretty obvious that those casting decisions make the character.

      Now DC on the other hand has ICONS. They’re heros are more hero than any of Marvel’s could dream to be. What I’m getting at is that DC characters don’t rely on their actors anywhere near as much as Marvel’s IMO. As long as DC has a good establishing movie on who that character is, it wont matter as much what actor plays him/her because the characters are icons or ideas as apposed to faces and personalities. Just think of comic books, they all have different artists and writers that take the characters in their own unique direction, but they still adhere to the essence of the character. So while you can say Christian Bale is playing Batman, Henry Cavill is playing Superman, and Ryan Renolds is playing Green lantern; Marvel has an approach that is more like: Iron Man IS RDJ, Wolverine IS Hugh Jackman, and Captain America IS Chris Evans. So in short, Marvel’s actors make their movies whereas DC’s characters make theirs.

      • To say that Marvel has no iconic characters and relies more on acting talent to make their characters watchable is a joke. Hugh Jackman was a nobody until he played Wolverine and Chris Evans is far from a household name. If his Captain America movie sucks, he will continue to be a second rate hollywood actor. If it’s a success, he will have Captain America to thank for his increased celebrity. What matters is whether or not the producers/directors share the vision of the characters creators and make a movie that is true to the source material. What about Toby McGuire? How many huge roles do you think he has in his future. Not to say that he will never work again, but he will likely have Spiderman to thank for his most successful years in Hollywood. Robert Downey Jr may be the exception, in that he was more well known in Hollywood than the character he played, but I recall most fans feeling that he was an “interesting choice” when he was announced to star in Ironman. Folks certainly didn’t start talking about how great Ironman was going to be BECAUSE of Downey Jr. Rather, it was the unforgettable Ironman movie trailor that got the buzz going. Of course, Downey Jr did a great job and certainly contributed to making the movie great.

        Now how about DC icons. Did the Superman icon catapult Brandon Routh’s career? Many people complained about Superman Returns, saying that it made Superman into too much of a peeping tom weenie. Superman’s iconic status, as great as it may be, did not save the movie from much deserved criticism. This wasn’t necessarily the lead actors fault, but Superman, as a brand, didn’t save the movie.

        I don’t recall anyone who wasn’t excited to see Michael Keaton (another “interesting choice”) and Jack Nicholson battle it out on screen. Actors portraying Batman after Keaton included George Clooney and Val Kilmer. Both were celebrities when they were cast. To play villains, WB/DC has cast Jim Carry, Uma Thurman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Pheiffer, and Danny Devito. Hardly B-Movie names either. I doubt that they paid out for Arnold Schwarzenegger “just because”. No, it was to draw people to the movie theatre. As a side note, most of these Batman movies sucked, despite the big names and despite the Batman icon.

        It’s fair to say that Christopher Reeve was not a household name either, prior to putting on the red cape. But ‘Superman The Movie’ was a good movie. Still is, in fact. But outside of these examples, what has DC actually done in Hollywood? Batman…again. Christian Bale’s Batman. I’d argue that Bale was much more well known prior to playing Batman than, oh say, Chris Evans is right now. I personally was intrigued when I heard that Bale had been selectd. Evans will have to surprise me. I’m not much of a fan of his so far. But where is the rest of the DC icons in Hollywood? MIA? It’s been all Batman and Superman since the 1970′s. And in terms of movie quality, it’s been hit or miss with both fanchises despite the use of many big name movie stars.

        Oh, DC is breaking out some of there properties now with Green Lantern and recent annoucements regarding Wonder Woman, the Flash and JLA. But truth be told, they are playing catch up with Marvel Studios. I for one, hope DC does well. But to say that movies based on DC characters don’t require good actors is silly. They also need good directors, producers and writers. As does Marvel’s characters.

        • @ Himself

          Well said. I thought Batman & Robin was the worst Batman film due to the direction WB took the franchise in & lousy script w/ bad lines of dialogue. Namely Arnold’s Mr. Freeze but that due to script writers & partly director. Not the actors imo.

  15. Good points ethan

    • I didn’t mean that DC’s movies didn’t need good actors, I just meant that the overall goal of DC is to convey over-arching ideas or ideals in their heros, not so much a story about a person with powers. This format makes it easier to have different actors than Marvel’s approach IMO.

      • @ Ethan

        You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but I suspect that you simply enjoy DC comics more than Marvel. That’s cool.

        Mavel, however, gained it’s popularity in the 60′s, 70′s, and 80′s for creating characters based on the very type of charater developement that you describe regarding DC. But, Superman, for example, in all of his boy scout ways, with Truth, Justice, and the American Way (the reasons we love him), along with his near invulnrability, was clearly becoming stale to many fans. Marvel’s plan was to create characters with real world problems, something that the likes of Superman rarely dealt with. Spiderman was just a kid, who had all the same issues at school as the nerdy fanboys reading the comics (myself included). The Thing, despite his heroics, was a social outcast. The Hulk’s original story line was that of a man tormented with an affliction. Ironman developed a drinking problem. The X-Men dealt with discrimination. These types of story arcs are what drew people to Marvel. Not that DC was totally absent of this type of character development, but I would argue that it was Marvel that took the lead while DC became complacent from it long history of success. I don’t think those in charge of DC at that time believed that comic book fans were a very mature audience. Still, I have heard it said that all superheroes from there inception (from any publisher) were in some way inspired or influenced by either Superman or Batman (or most likely both). I think there is a lot of truth to that. Batman being the tomented mortal and Superman being the God among men. (In my opinion, these two are much more compelling when they face off, rather than when they are “super friends”)

        Since this thread has to do with rebooting movie adaptations of superheroes, however, I would simply say that it was Marvel that rebooted the superhero comic industry. When Marvel was in it’s infancy and a clear dark horse, DC had been around for a long time. They had begun to dabble in Hollywood (and the radio business) from very early on. But by the time Marvel was drawing in swarms of new fans to Spiderman, the FF, Captain America, and even the X-Men (the last of which really didn’t bloom until the 1980′s) DC had put out a Superman TV show (with the flattest possible incarnation of him…but I still loved it!), the Adam West Batman show (a comedy by all rights), the “Super Friends” cartoon, and Linda Carter’s Wonder Woman (campy). Perhaps a lot of this can be chalked up as “a sign of the times”, but it was during those very times that Marvel was churning out the stuff that is inspiring the blockbuster movies of today.

        But back to your original point, that DC/WB hires actors to play their icons, while Marvel is forced to hire icons to play there characters. With Batman, I think I made my point that this has not been the case historically. And the results have been mixed. With Superman, two unknowns have played him, which begins to argue your point. But the results have been a mixed bag. People loved Chritopher Reeve as Superman, while Brandon Routh (who was clearly channelling Reeve) fell short. It remains to be seen if Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern will be a success, but it’s safe to say that he has a strong fanbase (with the ladies too, $$$ cha-ching $$$) I personally think he is miscast. We shall see.

        Marvel is rebooting Spiderman with an actor who is far less known that the actor who previously inhabited the role. So, no big name there. We don’t know how this will turn out either, but it’s clear that Marvel studios is comfortable enough with the Spiderman brand to cast a relatively unknown actor. But, for some reason I simply have a bad feeling about this one. The new costume alone makes me think they are trying to hard to distance themselves from the Sam Rami movies. Which is, for the most part, not a good thing. Rami was true to the spirit of the Spiderman comics. (the 3rd film unfortunately fell into the ‘too many villains’ trap)

        As far as other successful Marvel franchises, you have the X-Men. Wolverine is always at the center of these stories, and the character made Hugh Jackman’s career. Do I think someone else could jump into the role? I do. I like Jackmen, but I think he could be easily forgotten if the right person were to take over the role. There are still a lot of fans who havn’t seen the Wolverine that they want to see. This isn’t necessarily Jackman’s fault, but I certainly don’t believe that a fresh face would destroy the franchise.

        In the flop category, you’ve got such attempts as Ben Afflect’s Daredevel and the Fantastic Four movies. Daredevil is a good example how a big name actor alone cannot carry a movie, be it superhero or otherwise. The movie was simply bad. The FF movies starred no huge names. Jessica Alba possibly, but most agree that the was terribly miscast. But it wouldn’t have mattered if all the casting was spot on (which none of it was). The movie took too many liberties. Why the producers felt that it deserved a sequel I will never know.

        Bottom line. You’ve got good movies and bad movies, from both DC and Marvel. It doesn’t appear (to me) that the celebrity status of the actors in the leading roles is a very good measure of success for either comic company.

  16. I agree with Ethan. The focus should not be on the actor who is playing the characters that wear costumes. It should be about the character and the interactions they have that makes the story. Bond style has always worked for me. 007 is about 007 and the villains not the actors.

    • but even with Bond there is continuity. We aren’t given a new face to bond every film. nor are we given multiple bond films in a span of a year to two years, and even when the timing is close i.e. Casino Royal and Quantum of Solace, its the same actor(s) reprising the role(s). No one would be happy is a bond film came out one summer to be followed up the next summer with a new bond that doesn’t fit with the previous. And that is the problem with this justice league stuff, too many faces playing the same person…but i have doubts this film will actually be made.

  17. My “Super” Opinion:

    First…While I have nothing personal against Zack Snyder, or any British actor, How can you cast a Brit in the role of the Number One AMERICAN Hero Icon? It was never done in “007″

    Secondly…How could you NOT consider Tom Welling, when the “Smallville” series is set to end on the transition of Clark Kent to Superman…And the “reboot” is set to start the story over…It was the most natural transition sitting right in front of the “SUITS” in charge of Warner Bros…Apparently, they never considered it…

    Thirdly…There is a “BUILT IN” audience base for Smallville and Tom Welling and the cast ensemble from the TV Show…Guaranteed “Asses in the seats!”…Again…Did they consider that?

    Fourth…JUST $$$$$ wise, wouldn’t it have been cheaper to NOT hire expensive actors to do this film? What is WARNER BROS thinking?…It seems…THEY DON’T!!!

    Personally I hope it’s a FLOP!!!…Then the RE-BOOT of the RE-BOOT features the cast of Smallville…Or Justice League does

    Hey Warner Brothers…Take a lesson from Paramount…Don’t “Re-Make” Star Trek without Shatner, Nimoy, Doohan, Kelly, Takei, Nichols, & Koenig…Yes…Paramount re-booted now that some have “passed on”, and the rest are in their late 70′s and in Shatner & Nimoy’s case now 80…But can you imagine the first few films without that ensemble? NOT!

    As I said…Just an opinion…But I will be boycotting this one…Hopefully with a lot of Smallville fans joining me…


    Richard Anthony (Sullo)

    • @ Richard Anthony

      I agreed with what you said in your post & thought Tom Welling would be a better choice. But anyways hopfully he or Brandon Routh get another shot at the role in Justice League instead. Im one Smallville fan thats with ya.

  18. I feel like it’s not smart for them to have green lantern come out two years before this movie and then have the superman and batman movies come out a year before and then suddenly change the faces of their antagonists while continuing two of those series. i feel like that would get confusing and really makes no sense

  19. Anyone remember the first 10 Justice lague members’ names (c’mon, I’m not the only old fanboy out there)? Picture above is a hint (can you do it without peeking back?). Well, here, not in order, they are: Superman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhumnter, The Atom, Hawkman, Aquaman, Green Arrow, & Wonder Woman. I believe Black Canary was soon after that, as well as possibly Hawkgirl…but I could be wrong about those two. I also seem to remember Johnny Lightning and his Thunderbolt…or am I starting to drift into Justice Society territory?
    For Justice Society on earth 2, I rmember Mr. Terrific, Dr. Fate, Hourman, Sandman, Dr. Midnight, possibly The Spectre (?), Wildcat, and a different Atom. Also a different Hawkman, different Flash, different Green Lantern, and possibly Starman. I am a little more shakey on the JSA than the JLA, though. No particular point, just being nostalgic. But just foir the record, I would love to see a team-up movie between Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and The Flash (Barry Allen); and also a team-up movie between Dr. Fate (Kent Nelson) and Hourman (Rex Tyler).

  20. I really wish DC would connect their films because, unlike Marvel, they own all the film rights to their characters right? It would work so perfectly! I wouldn’t even care that Marvel did it first, DC has a chance to do it better. But even if it doesn’t happen, I’m still psyched for it.

    • @ Superboy

      I agree. Like you said, unlike Marvel Studios-DC won’t have much of anything holding them back using whatever characters they want for Justice League film & it’s sequels. Not to mention solo films that are connected to the Justice League film.

  21. Honestly, I feel like having a separate Batman and Superman in the JL movie would just kind of kill the legitimacy. We have all these entertaining stories lines and they just want to start anew? It would make more sense to feed off of the Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Batman cliff hanger and include him and the WW, Superman, re-done Green Lantern, and whoever will be the Flash, MMH, and Aquaman. Unfortunately, they won’t have individual movies to cover their back stories, but how much better would it be with JG-L as Batman II?

  22. Sometimes the reasoning of the Executives at Warner Brothers escapes me. The new “Green Arrow” TV show does not star Justin Hartley…The new Justice League does not seem to be considering ANY of the actors from Smallville…I mean why use people with a built in 10 year following…lol