Warner Bros. Pictures/DC will release director Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in theaters at the end of March, but the studio and filmmaker alike shall waste little time in moving onto Justice League Part 1 thereafter. Snyder’s first Justice League is currently scheduled to arrive in Fall 2017 and will bring together DC’s greatest superheroes on the big screen at last, after years of rumors that a Justice League movie is right around the corner – not to mention, director George Miller’s Justice League: Mortal film, which nearly went into production before it was cancelled at the eleventh hour by WB/DC back in the 2000s.
DC Extended Universe producer Charles Roven previously stated that Justice League: Part 1 is gearing up to begin filming “in the first or second quarter” of this year, with production also slated to take place primarily on sound stages in the UK. The project now has an official April 11th, 2016 filming start date, further demonstrating that WB/DC ultimately expects Batman V Superman to perform well enough – in terms of both the general reception and box office performance alike – to justify further continuation of Snyder’s vision for the Justice League cinematic universe.
WB/DC and Snyder confirmed the April 11th Justice League Part 1 filming start date to EW, while the latter also spoke briefly to EW about how the task of kicking the doors open to the DCEU is easier said than done:
“The idea that we could begin to boot up a Justice League concept was a cool thing. It was a little bit of an ‘about time’ moment, and I don’t blame [the studio] for feeling that way, because it’s a long time coming. But I do feel like it’s a little bit of a creative hurdle. It seems like an easy thing to do at first glance, the idea that, ‘Oh, we just get the rest of the superheroes in there.’ But you have to [establish] a world where they can exist.”
Snyder, in the past, has offered his assurances that the Batman V Superman narrative – co-written by David S. Goyer (Man of Steel) and Chris Terrio (Argo) – does focus first and foremost on the battle of ideologies/punches between the Son of Krypton (Henry Cavill) and the Bat of Gotham (Ben Affleck), while the other members of the Justice League – save for Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) – will play small roles in the film. Or, as Snyder has put it, Batman V Superman is “a whisper” that superheroes like Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller), and eventually Cyborg (Ray Fisher) also exist in the DCEU.
Nevertheless, it remains to be seen exactly what role the Justice League superheroes outside of the DC Trinity do play in Batman V Superman. A “blink and you’ll miss it” cameo (as has been rumored) might be too little for fans – but on the other hand, having the Justice League properly assemble in the film’s third act for the big fight against both Doomsday and Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), which is a scenario that has also been rumored in the past, runs the risk of coming off as too much, too soon, depending on how things play out. Execution will be the key, either way.
That’s the bigger question hanging over Batman V Superman‘s head right now: can the film deliver on its potential to offer both a satisfying introduction to Ben Affleck’s Batman – through his first encounter with Superman – as well as an engaging prologue to Justice League Part 1? There’s fair reason to think that Snyder will deliver “true” versions of DC’s Finest on the big screen and that WB/DC isn’t getting ahead of themselves by moving forward with a full-on Justice League movie so soon after Batman V Superman is released… but taking into consideration the mixed receptions for Snyder’s previous comic book adaptations like Watchmen and Man of Steel, it’s also possible Batman V Superman will earn a similarly split reception. Only a month or so left till we find out…
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25, 2016, which is followed by Suicide Squad on August 5, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps. on June 19, 2020.