While seemingly every member of the DC Extended Universe version of the Justice League technically showed up during this year's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, next year's Justice League will serve as the true introduction to Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Barry Allen/The Flash (Ezra Miller) and Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher) as they exist in the DCEU. The upcoming Zack Snyder-directed film will also further flesh out the DCEU's version of Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), following on the heels of director Patty Jenkins' DCEU Wonder Woman solo movie being released in theaters.
It's long been assumed that Justice League would feature an appearance by Batman V Superman baddie Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) too, seeing as he was the one responsible for inviting Justice League's antagonist, Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), to Earth in the first place. Eisenberg has all but confirmed his involvement with the film in the past, but Warner Bros. Pictures has now formally revealed that Lex's return to the DCEU will happen in 2017. It also turns out that a key supporting player in the Wonder Woman solo film (making their DCEU debut in that movie) is likewise part of the Justice League ensemble.
WB has issued an official preview press kit for its 2017 film slate that, naturally, includes details about Justice League. The main cast for the film includes all of the aforementioned Justice League superhero actors, as well as Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne/Batman), Amy Adams (Lois Lane) and Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Ka-El/Superman... once he recovers from being "killed" by Doomsday in Batman V Superman, of course. Meanwhile, the supporting cast for the film not only includes Eisenberg, but also Connie Nielson - who is playing Hippolyta, the Queen of Themyscira and mother of Wonder Woman in the DCEU, starting in Jenkins' film.
Jenkins' Wonder Woman solo film will explore Diana's backstory prior to the events of Batman V Superman, revealing why the Amazonian warrior turned her back on mankind after her experience during WWI. It sounds as though Justice League will see Diana make a brief trip back to Themyscira, perhaps to explain to her mother why she has decided to help humanity again, to warn Hippolyta about the dangerous forces that are now headed to Earth - or maybe for some other reason altogether. (To learn more about the history of the Mother Boxes on Earth, perhaps?) Either way, it makes sense for a film about the formation of the Justice League (and, to a lesser degree, the approaching threat of Darkseid) to touch on what the powerful leader(s) of Diana's home make of everything that's happening.
As for the return of Eisenberg as Luthor: that character was one of the more controversial elements in the already-plenty divisive Batman V Superman, so it's probably for the best that his screen time in Justice League will have to be limited by necessity. Lex will be in the same boat as characters like Alfred Pennyworth (Jeremy Irons), Hippolyta, Mera (Amber Heard) and Vulko (Willem Dafoe) when it comes to the roles they play in Justice League, in this respect. These supporting players' inclusion, if handled well, should help rather than hurt this movie - by keeping its narrative flowing along and building a richer sense of connection between the different pieces of the DCEU, rather than making Justice League feel overstuffed itself.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures
- Wonder Woman (2017) release date: Jun 02, 2017
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Cyborg (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Green Lantern Corps. (2020) release date: Jul 24, 2020