The story of the DCEU has largely been one of division, with critics not seeing much to recommend in each film so far, while hardcore fans have been for the most part much more positive. Of course, each new entry in the series represents a potential chance to try and bridge this divide. This summer will offer that chance to Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot's first solo film as the iconic warrior princess. Of course, that film will in many ways just serve as an appetizer for the DCEU's purported main event, the Avengers-style superhero team-up flick Justice League.
Justice League's new trailer has been met with a lot of positivity, with the film clearly taking steps to not be quite as dark and dour as Batman v Superman, and focus more on the fun factor inherent to watching one's favorite childhood heroes stand side by side against the forces of evil. One thing that even many of BvS' detractors conceded though is that Ben Affleck did pretty well as an older Batman. Still, Batfleck wasn't exactly in the greatest of places emotionally and drew flack for not really caring whether bad guys lived or died.
To that end, director Zack Snyder recently told USA Today how he plans to use Justice League to advance the DCEU's Batman:
"He’s been a loner for certainly his crime-fighting career, maybe with the exception of Robin. When we meet him in BvS, he’s definitely at this low point of isolation. That was always our intention, that Justice League would be this continuation for Batman to evolve into a more complete hero."
Batman's journey aside, another big question mark going into Justice League is how exactly Superman will find his way back into the story. One clearly can't have a fan-pleasing Justice League movie without the Last Son of Krypton, but fans will recall that he met his demise near the end of Dawn of Justice, sacrificing himself to stop Doomsday's chaotic rampage. Snyder had the following to say teasing Superman's potential return from the dead:
"It’s hard to have a Justice League without Superman. That’s how I feel about it. It was always a super-intriguing concept to me to have this opportunity to have him make that sacrifice but also have him be this, in a weird sort of way, the why of Justice League: What do you do now with him? What does the team think? What does the world need? All that comes into play. It’s fun for us but it’ll be interesting for audiences what we do with him.”
While it's hard to imagine that Justice League will suddenly manage to turn the DCEU's critical fortunes around entirely, the film definitely presents an opportunity to solidify the characterizations of Batman and Superman going forward into future films, as well as how they'll interact with their fellow League members. One wonders how The Flash or Cyborg might react to the sight of an undead Superman flying in to save the day.
Source: USA Today
- Wonder Woman (2017) release date: Jun 02, 2017
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021