A new piece of Justice League fan art has surfaced online, recreating the DC heroes as stars of the 1954 action classic Seven Samurai. Zack Snyder’s Justice League will mark the first time that Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg will team up for a feature-length movie as the latest installment of the DC Extended Universe, battling Ciaran Hinds’ Steppenwolf.
Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice drew a mostly negative critical response and polarizing reaction from fans, but most would agree that it is a “big” movie in terms of scale. The director has teased that Justice League will bring something even bigger to the DCEU, even going so far as to lightly compare it to Seven Samurai, Akira Kurosawa’s monumentally influential action epic. It just so happens that some striking fan art exists online that depicts the iconic team as Kurosawa’s titular samurai heroes.
Instagram user “Junior Logo”, who has the handle “SentryDesigns”, posted fan art featuring the Justice League heroes in the mold of Seven Samurai. Recreating one of the movie’s more famous shots, the black-and-white photo shows the DC heroes lined up much like the men seen in Seven Samurai. The fan art may have been influenced by Snyder’s comments in a 2016 Yahoo! News interview, describing the plot of Justice League as Bruce Wayne “having to go out and sort of ‘Seven Samurai’ the Justice League together.”
It’s no small thing that Snyder compared the upcoming Justice League to Seven Samurai, however minor the comparison may be. The movie is essential viewing for any action movie fan, as it influenced virtually everything that came after it, most directly with The Magnificent Seven. Kurosawa established a variety of visual techniques in Seven Samurai that have long become commonplace in the action genre. Perhaps most importantly, just about any movie involving an assembled team of diverse heroes owes a debt to Seven Samurai’s narrative structure.
Snyder is not seriously comparing the potential quality of Justice League to that of Seven Samurai, widely considered one of the most influential movies ever made in any genre. It’s very likely that no action director in Hollywood would ever go that far. Still, Snyder is certainly paying his respects to Kurosawa’s classic as the movie that decades ago laid the groundwork to make movies like Justice League possible, and the fan art is ostensibly doing the same.
Still, to evoke the name Seven Samurai could also draw strong reactions from film aficionados and action fans with a deep respect for Kurosawa’s work. Few, if any, modern action movies deserve even a cursory comparison to Seven Samurai in terms of quality or influence. Nonetheless, you can be sure to see the classic leave its mark throughout Justice League, as it has done with many other action movies over the years.
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