Justice League's "Unite the Seven" tagline makes even less sense after the release of Aquaman. The unofficially titled DC Extended Universe has changed shape quite a lot over the last few years. Warner Bros. launched their shared cinematic universe off the back of Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, and Snyder was originally central to their plans for the future. As the years have passed, though, the franchise has had a whole host of high-profile problems - meaning there have been a lot of changes in direction.
It's worth noting that DC's main rival, Marvel Studios, is no stranger to conducting major course-corrections either. Marvel's Phase 3 slate proved a statement of intent rather than a firm commitment, with their plans changing quite dramatically as a result of their Spider-Man deal with Sony. There are a number of prominent clues in Avengers: Infinity War that strongly suggest Marvel hadn't planned their Thanos arc as much as they like to pretend, too. But Marvel's advantage is that they do their pivots in private; with the exception of that Phase 3 announcement, Marvel likes to keep their long-term plans as secretive as possible, thus meaning audiences never really realize that ideas changed in the first place. Warner Bros., on the other hand, are a little more open; in fact, they've had something of a PR problem with the DCEU, with a constant stream of leaks that's given the franchise quite a bad reputation.
Ironically, though, one of the most visible pivots from Warner Bros. was related to the initial marketing for Justice League. It promised a very specific character arc for Aquaman - and, in the end, the movie has failed to deliver what was promised, including the "Unite the Seven" tagline that originally introduced Jason Momoa's Aquaman.
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Justice League's "Unite the Seven"
The story of Aquaman begins back in 2015, when Snyder began to market Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League together. Snyder has always been particularly good at social media to generate interest in his films; to this day he uses the Vero platform to interact directly with fans. Back in 2015, the director released a first-look image at Momoa's Aquaman, showing the Atlantean warrior in all his glory. This was Aquaman as he had never been seen before; gone was the blond-haired, blue-eyed man dressed in a bright orange bodysuit. He was replaced with a warrior wielding a quindent. Excitingly, this image was accompanied with a mysterious tagline; "Unite the Seven."
For understandable reasons, it was initially assumed that this tagline referred to the Justice League members. Six members of the Justice League had been officially confirmed; Superman, Batman, Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman. In the comics, though, there are traditionally seven founding members of the Justice League; depending on the timeline, the seventh is either Hal Jordan's Green Lantern or the Martian Manhunter. It was reasonable to assume that Snyder was hinting at the existence of a secret, seventh member. What's more, given the number of nods to the Green Lantern Corps already found in the DCEU, most believed that the seventh Leaguer was a Green Lantern.
When Justice League finally released last year, though, there were only six members of the super-team. Although the final theatrical cut was very different to anything Snyder had planned, he's been pretty open about the differences between his version and the one ultimately completed by Joss Whedon. Snyder has given absolutely no hints that he ever considered a seventh member of the team, which means the "Unite the Seven" tagline had to be referring to something else. Given it only appeared on a teaser image for Aquaman, it seemed to relate to that film.
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