Some of the early reactions to a test screening of DC's superhero team-up blockbuster Justice League suggest that the DC Extended Universe may have another winner on its hands.
Justice League is the followup to 2016's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film sees Batman and Wonder Woman assembling a team of superheroes to take on Steppenwolf, a lieutenant of the ultra powerful DC villain Darkseid, who believes Earth is ripe for the conquering in the wake of Superman's death. The film has endured a troubled production; director Zack Snyder departed the film in May to be with his family after the tragic passing of his daughter. Avengers helmer Joss Whedon - who Snyder had already brought in to tweak the script - assumed directorial duties in Snyder's absence, reportedly overseeing substantial reshoots, further script adjustments, and the film's massive post-production process. This behind the scenes upheaval has left fans not only wondering if Justice League will be more a Snyder or Whedon movie, but more importantly, if it can possibly be a good, cohesive entry into DC's film canon.
The earliest reactions to the film suggest DC fans can perhaps breathe a sigh of relief. Batman-News.com spoke to multiple people who were in attendance at one of the test screenings for Justice League, and the reactions were all enthusiastic:
Spoke to 3 people who attended the #JusticeLeague test screening. They loved it! "Epic". One person didn't like BvS/SS but loved JL.
— Batman-News.com (@BatmanNewsCom) September 20, 2017
Warner Bros. is no doubt hoping that Justice League will continue their nascent winning streak. Following the financially successful but critically disappointing Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad, the DCEU had its first unqualified hit with this summer's Wonder Woman - a film that has not only dominated the summer box office, but has also been so critically acclaimed there's discussion of it mounting a serious Oscars campaign.
Justice League is meant to be a launching pad for a massive expansion of the DCEU, which currently has a plethora of films in different stages of development. Aquaman's solo outing will be the next to hit theaters in 2018, with Shazam!, Green Lantern Corps, and a Wonder Woman sequel also on the way. There's also something of a backlog of potential entries that haven't been given official release dates yet, like Matt Reeves' solo Batman film, Flashpoint, and Gotham City Sirens. If Justice League ends up being the success Warner Bros. is hoping for, it seems a safe bet production on many of those films will ramp up considerably. There's still a long way to go before we know the film's fate, but the initial reactions are an encouraging sign.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Cyborg (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Green Lantern Corps. (2020) release date: Jul 24, 2020