Justice League is one of the year's most hotly anticipated superhero films, but even just a few months out, there's still so much of the movie that remains a mystery. The DCEU's big superhero mash-up will attempt to ride on the franchise's critical high following Wonder Woman, but there's no guarantee that it will be able to match it, simply because not much is yet known about the movie. Most of the information that is out there about Justice League is in the form of unconfirmed reports and far-from-official reports.
Sadly, most of these rumors (like the rest of DCEU) have been of a negative nature. Justice League, like every DCEU film before it, has been plagued with reports of production problems and reshoot scramblings. All rumors are not necessarily negative, of course. While there are certainly some things floating out there about Justice League that no one wants to come true, there are just as many that every fan would kill to see become a reality.
This list is a collection of some of the biggest and most persistent rumors. Some of them would greatly enhance the movie, but others seem like far more trouble than they’d be worth. All of them, no matter how far-fetched, have related to the production of the film.
Here are 10 Justice League Rumors We Hope Are True (And 10 We Hope Aren’t).
20 Don't Want - Batfleck's Swan Song
This is the DCEU rumor that just won’t die. Ben Affleck’s future as Batman has been in doubt since nearly the second he was cast. It’s exhausting to hear as a fan, but what makes it even more disappointing is that Affleck is one of the best aspects of the DCEU so far.
The world-weary Dark Knight seemed to be a cause for concern at first, but Affleck was amazing in Batman v Superman. No previous actor has been able to tap into the anger and sorrow of Bats with such ease. Affleck has thus far proven to be a perfect choice to bring to life the darker elements of the character. There’s so much potential for him to grow too, since for the majority of BvS, he was on a misguided revenge mission.
The idea of a Justice League without the Caped Crusader is kind of intriguing, as it’s rarely been done. But Batman is too important a character, and Ben Affleck too good in the role, for Justice League to be his last appearance in the DCEU.
19 Want - Deathstroke Says Hello
As much as rumors continue to circle about Affleck's future in the cape and cowl, the status of his solo flick’s first villain has also been left in doubt. The fact that Deathstroke will appear in The Batman and be played by Joe Manganiello is no longer a done deal. It also continues to be unconfirmed if Deathstroke will make his first DCEU appearance in Justice League, or if the character will ultimately be left on the cutting room floor.
While Deathstroke doesn’t necessarily even need to be a secondary antagonist of the movie, the superhero team-up would be a nice way to introduce him to the universe. A cameo would more than suffice, as a quick glimpse of the world class mercenary would flesh out the world nicely and efficiently set up a return in The Batman.
Deathstroke is one the best villains in the DC Universe, and one of its most interesting characters, period. The sooner he appears, or is at least confirmed to appear, the better.
18 Don't Want - Darkseid Will Be the Real Villain
Steppenwolf is definitely an odd choice for the main villain of Justice League. Even accomplished DC fans aren’t exactly familiar with this New God, so rumors continue to circulate that the Apokolips-born baddie is just a fake-out. The real villain of the movie will be Darkseid, who will appear in the third act, and Steppenwolf is just a pawn.
While a cameo or after credits sequence with Darkseid would be fine, he definitely shouldn’t be the main baddie. The DCEU has been rushed in many areas, and it should build up to a villain who's powerful as Darkseid, not just dump him in right out of the gate and declaring his uncle (at least in the comics) a red herring. It would be fun to see him appear before his MCU counterpart, Thanos, because that wait has been indeterminably long, but it’s best to show restraint.
The DCEU also has a growing issue with the secret villain twist. Save for Man of Steel, each film has featured a surprise antagonist lurking in the background who makes a sudden third act appearance. It’s not shocking anymore. It's just vaguely annoying.
17 Want - Nightwing!!!
A Nightwing movie is in the works for the DCEU, but so far, there have been no real hints about him even existing in any of the movies. BvS features the big Robin memorial (that's seemingly dedicated to Jason Todd, as far as we know), but nothing about Bruce’s first protege, Dick Grayson. We're certainly not calling for him to be a full-fledged member of the League, but it would be awesome to see him make a brief appearance in Justice League as rumors have suggested.
It certainly would make sense. If Bruce is building a group of superheroes, you'd imagine that Nightwing would get cursory phone call at the very least, even if the two might be estranged. As many Batman movies as there have been over the years, the Bat Family has been severely underrepresented in live-action. Justice League could be the first step towards wiping out the bad taste left in everyone’s mouths by Batman & Robin.
It certainly doesn't hurt that Nightwing is one of the most beloved superheroes among comic fans. If the movie is shooting for a lighter tone, the character who originally brightened up Batman's life should pop in for a brief appearance. Hell, an actual acknowledgement of his existence in the DCEU would suffice.
16 Don't Want - More Knightmares
The Knightmare sequences in Batman v Superman were one of the movie’s weakest elements. While visually interesting, they felt very jammed into the plot of the film and added very little to the narrative. Therefore, it’s disappointing to hear that they will might make a reappearance in Justice League.
The Knightmares served their purpose already. They convinced Bruce that he needs to find others like himself and prepare for a big incoming war. There’s no reason to revisit such a depressing and apocalyptic landscape, especially if they shoe-horned in like they were in BvS.
Justice League should be about the DCEU getting on more solid and optimistic footing. The emphasis in the trailers has been about the team trying to emulate the hopeful ideal of Superman. To go back to Knightmare landscapes and murderous Justice Leaguers would be step in the exact opposite direction.
15 Want - Tonal Balance
Following along that same line of thought, the rumor about the movie becoming much funnier will hopefully also prove true. Joss Whedon was brought on board by Zack Snyder to provide a helping hand, long before he became the second director, for a reason. Whedon is very good at mixing humor and dramatic pathos, especially in a team setting. Justice League should bring out the best in the creator.
There has been some humor in the DCEU before now. Wonder Woman was almost a romantic comedy (and an excellent one at that) at points, and there are even a fair bit of jokes to be found in Man of Steel and BvS. No one thinks of the DCEU as a humorous shared universe, though.
The movie doesn’t need to be a Marvel affair with quip firing a mile a minute. That simply wouldn't work here. But a lighter and more optimistic tone is exactly what the DCEU needs for its big team-up. It’s time to have fun again with Batman and his friends.
14 Don't Want - Super Deus Ex Machina
It’s probably safe to say that Superman will be play a big part in the endgame of Justice League. Hopefully, Supes won’t be so important to the end of the film that he becomes the deus ex machina that ends the conflict. Rumor has it that Henry Cavill’s Superman won’t be in the movie until the third act, where he will rise from the dead and swoop in to save the lives of everyone at the last possible second.
This would be, well, lame. The Man of Steel shouldn’t be reduced to a tired plot device - he should be an actively participating character. Superman is a cornerstone of the DC Universe and the Justice League. To reduce him to just a thing that saves the real heroes would be the definition of disappointing, as it would completely punk out his fellow good guys.
The chances are very good that Superman won’t be around for a large chunk of the movie. He is still very much dead when the movie begins, but he'll hopefully be more than just the perfunctory savior.
13 Want - Black Canary lets her voice be heard
Granted, if all the cameo rumors we've heard thus far come true, then Justice League will start to feel very overstuffed. Yet there’s no doubt that some of these characters making appearances could make for some crowd-pleasing moments. Black Canary, like Nightwing or Deathstroke, shouldn’t be a huge part of the movie, but a quick cameo and set-up would be welcome.
The DCEU is a bit of a sausage fest now. There’s Harley Quinn, Lois Lane, and Wonder Woman holding down the female fort, but that’s about it. Black Canary is one of the premiere female heroes of DC Comics, and someone that deserves a proper live-action adaptation. Dinah has even been a founding member of the Justice League in some iterations.
A quick cameo or reference is all that is really required here - just some confirmation that Black Canary is out there in the DCEU (and that future movies have plans to use her) would be great nod to fans.
12 Don't Want - Cliffhanger Ending
One of the big rumors about the need for the Justice League reshoots is that the ending is being completely overhauled. Whispers have been floating for months now that the original ending of the movie was meant to be a big cliffhanger. Though the idea of a two-part Justice League movie has been scrapped, things were reportedly still going to function as if the second half of the story was still to come.
No one wants a cliffhanger, especially not now. The DCEU is just getting some good word of mouth and fan support with Wonder Woman. A cliffhanger could undo all that goodwill, even if Justice League is an otherwise amazing movie. Set-up for sequels is fine, but no one wants to see a movie that feels half done.
Fans should want to see a second Justice League movie because of the merits and entertainment value of the first outing. They shouldn’t want to see it just to complete a story that was left unfinished. A cliffhanger is acceptable in the comics when there's only a few weeks or months in between installments. It's much less excusable with two years or more passing between big screen adventures.
11 Want - An Actual Ending
Accompanying the rumors that the film originally ended on a cliffhanger, there are reports that an entirely new conclusion has been crafted. The reports are that the sense that Darkseid's imminent arrival on Earth has been greatly reduced in the new cut. The movie is meant to end by properly wrapping up the Steppenwolf conflict, and only hinting that Darkseid might be out there and planning a future full-scale attack.
This is definitely the right way to go. A major strength of the DCEU's two best films, Man of Steel and Wonder Woman, is that they each told complete stories. Just because all these movies are a part of the same universe doesn’t mean they constantly must set-up the next film. Justice League can have cameos, references, seeds planted for future films, but first and foremost it must be able to stand on its own.
Cliffhangers are easy. A complete ending that still leaves people wanting more is harder, but infinitely more satisfying.
10 Don't Want - More Jolly Ranchers
There are a lot of divisive elements to Batman v Superman, but few are more controversial that Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor. Rumors have circulated for a while now that Lex will make a brief appearance in Justice League, but it’s probably best to leave this jolly rancher popping sociopath alone for just a bit.
BvS really undermined Lex as strategic mastermind. He did engineer Batman and Superman’s big battle, but when that didn't work out, his intensely shortsighted Plan B (unleash a mindless, nigh-unbeatable killing machine that he has no control over whatsoever) could have easily destroyed the world. To cap it all off, he seemingly wraps up his DCEU debut with a newfound devotion to the New Gods for...reasons. To have him play a part in Justice League would just further underline the fact that the DCEU’s Lex isn’t one of its greatest villains - he's just a peon in a greater scheme.
Regardless of people’s feeling on Eisenberg’s performance, no wants to see Lex sink that low. The DCEU needs to take some time off from him, possibly rework him, and then reintroduce him as the evil super-genius everyone knows and loves to hate. Leave him in that Arkham cell for a while longer and think about what he did.
9 Want - Cyborg To Not Be A Total Bummer
Another of the big reshoot rumors is that the tone of Cyborg is being revamped. Reportedly, he won’t be the ultra-serious or downright miserable character he's appeared to be in trailers. Instead, he will be an overall much lighter and funnier figure in the movie.
A serious Cyborg wouldn’t necessarily be an inaccurate portrayal of the character, mind you. Victor Stone is a pretty tragic hero with a downright awful origin story, and the comics have leaned heavily into that aspect in recent years, but even his original appearances emphasized the sadness the young man is consumed by after his life-saving metal makeover. In the movie, however, the brooding levels of the League would be off the charts.
Justice League already has a perpetual grump monster amongst its ranks. Cyborg doesn’t need to join the pouting party, especially since much of the audience will have very little familiarity with the character. If DC wants to make a splash with Cyborg, he'll need to heed the professional opinion of one Dr. Jonathan Crane.
8 Don't Want - The Clown's Back In Town
The debate over Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker is nearly as contentious as that over Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. This isn’t why the rumor about Leto appearing in Justice League is hopefully false, however - the Joker just doesn’t need to be in Justice League.
The Clown Prince of Crime might be Batman’s greatest foe, but that’s just it, he’s a Batman villain. There have been times when Joker has gone up against other heroes, but he works best as a Dark Knight rogue. There would be nothing to gain from Leto appearing Justice League (even if it’s brief) beyond fan service.
This is not even to mention the fact that the character is teetering dangerously close to oversaturation, especially in live-action. We haven’t seen much of the DCEU Joker, but we’ve seen enough of the villainous clown in other movies that there’s little benefit to him appearing in this team-up adventure. There's no sense wasting time on Joker when this is the big screen debut of Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, an entire alien race, and a brand new big bad at the center of it all. Besides, it looks like the clown's dance card is pretty filled up these days.
7 Want - The Hall of Justice
One of Joss Whedon’s rumored additions to Justice League is he's adding in the famous HQ of the Hall of Justice. The Hall of Justice isn't quite as hip as, say, Avengers Tower (another comic building that Joss brought into live-action), but it's still an important part of the League's mythos.
The Hall of Justice has appeared in many different iterations of the Justice League with varying tones, though it may be most closely associated with the campy Super Friends era. This isn’t a bad association at all. The DCEU has been very straight laced, but something like the Hall of Justice would manage to fit right in while still loosening things up nicely.
Logistically, there are a few reasons why the Justice League shouldn’t have a publicly known meeting space, but nearly every aspect of a superhero story can be second-guessed in the same way. The Hall of Justice is just too much fun to be ignored.
6 Don't Want - Black Adam steals the thunder
Dwayne Johnson being tapped to play Black Adam is one of DC’s most well-known casting announcements, despite the fact that there still hasn’t been any official confirmation for him to appear in a movie. (He's no longer in line to appear in Shazam!, and his solo movie is still without a release date.) Johnson has suggested however that Adam will appear in a surprising way in the DCEU, and it'll happen sooner rather than later.
This would seem to imply that Adam will pop up in Justice League, but that seems like the wrong move. Any of the other rumored cameos would likely be played by relatively unknown actors, or at least not full-on A-listers. The Rock is a bonafide movie star. It's an impossible scenario where he suddenly appears in Justice League and it doesn't pull the entire audience out of the movie.
Johnson as Black Adam is a perfect bit of casting, sure but he shouldn’t just cameo just for the sake of introducing him as quickly as possible. Adam is too powerful (and honestly, too weird) a character to just be a bit player in any movie. Johnson deserves to have his Black Adam debut come in a movie where he's either the star of the show or the main antagonist, not just a quick appearance.
5 Want - Jeff Bridges Has Been Cast as Darkseid
This is a farfetched rumor, but there are still reports out there that DC is actively circling, or have already cast, Jeff Bridges to play Darkseid, and that his first appearance will come in Justice League.
While Darkseid’s role in the movie still shouldn’t be more than a brief tease, Bridges would be some terrifically spot-on casting. Sure, he's already played a comic book villain before (in Iron Man, before being unceremoniously killed off). While his Iron Man baddie, Obadiah Stane, wasn’t the most compelling threat in town, Bridges is still a tremendous actor.
Bridges would be able to bring the gravitas and threat to Darkseid, but still has some of his undeniable charm in the role too. The DCEU has some heavy hitters when it comes to their stable of actors, but if this rumor proves true, Bridges would be at the top of the heap.
4 Don't Want - Superman Will Be a Villain
The amount of secrecy surrounding Henry Cavill’s appearance in Justice League has led to rampant rumors and speculation, and one of the most long-running theories is that Superman will come back to the dead in the movie - but on the wrong side. Supes won’t save the Justice League, but will instead be actively working against them, whether it be because of mind control or some other means.
An evil Superman is certainly a terrifying thought, but it’s the last thing that the DCEU needs for the Big Blue Boy Scout. Regardless of how you might feel about Cavill’s Superman (and we dig him quite a bit) the consensus is that he’s a bit of bummer. Not enough people care about this version of the Man of Steel to be super invested if he goes evil, even if its temporary.
Justice League needs to make Superman into a character people love and admire, and Bruce Wayne's professed emulation of him is going to help a lot with that. Making him a villain would be counter-intuitive to that endgame.
3 Want - John Stewart is the Green Lantern of the DCEU
The Green Lantern Corps are evidently coming to the DCEU. If everything goes to plan, fans will be able to see multiple space cops in live-action and on the big screen in the very near future. There still needs to be a face to Corps, however; someone that general audiences are going to think of as the Green Lantern of Earth. Though there are multiple Earthbound Green Lanterns in the comics, it’s likely that the movies will streamline things a bit. The most exciting GL rumor floating around is that John Stewart will be the primary human Lantern, and that he’ll make his first appearance in Justice League.
Making Stewart the main Green Lantern will allow the DCEU to easily distance itself from the unpopular Green Lantern movie starring Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan from a few years back. Though John Stewart's origin is tied to Hal in the comics, the DCEU can easily separate him into his own character.
There’s no one quite like John Stewart in the DCEU, either. A blue-collar worker who is gifted almost unimaginable power would be a welcome addition to the current slate of superhero flicks they have on deck.
2 Don't Want - The Movie Used to Be "Unwatchable"
So before anyone jumps the gun, the reports that came with this rumor confirmed that the the creative minds behind Justice League were aware of its shortcomings and that efforts were being made to fix them. A movie is an almost constant work in progress, and films that appear to be in shambles from the outside looking in often end up being amazing all the same. Still, it’s never good when a movie's original cut is being called "unwatchable", and the idea of Justice League being built on a rocky foundation isn't a comforting one.
There are no firm details on what exactly made the first version of the movie so terrible, but rumors of this ilk have been a constant struggle for the DCEU. Even Wonder Woman, one of the best superhero movies ever, was plagued with production trouble rumors. The hope is that these rumors will turn out to be just as unfounded as those that surrounded Diana Prince's solo outing.
For now, though, it’s just a matter of sitting and waiting for the best. Every DC fan wants to love Justice League - the future of the DCEU could very well depend on its success.
1 Want - Green Lantern Will Make a Surprise Appearance
Whether it’s John Stewart or not, whispers continue to circulate that the movie will close with the introduction of the Green Lantern Corps, that someone sporting a green power ring will appear in the final moments to set up a possible sequel and properly bring the Lanterns into the DCEU. It’s even been speculated that a Green Lantern is the mysterious figure that Alfred is talking to in the SDCC 2017 trailer. If done in the right way (aka not a cliffhanger), this could be an incredible exclamation point on the film.
Green Lantern is a Justice League regular, and to have him (or her) missing from the movie entirely is more than a little strange. DC has made promises that the Corps is coming to their cinematic universe, but such an addition has only amounted to plans and promises thus far. The aforementioned Comic Con trailer did actually namedrop the group, which was great, but we'd still kill to see them pop up and say hello.
What Justice League rumor do you hope comes true? Which do you want to never see happen? Sound off in the comments!