If you’re anything like us, you’ll have been eagerly counting down the days until November 16th.
There’s loads of reasons why too. Firstly, it’s taken a full ten years to get the idea out of planning stages and into the studio. Then, of course, there’s all the great merchandise, video games, slot machines, and everything else that would look better with a superhero’s face plastered onto it – and let’s face it, what doesn’t look better with the addition of a super hero’s face? Finally, we’re looking forward to an amazing movie loaded with our favourite characters from the DC Extended Universe, as well as all the potential spin offs and side stories which another edition always ensures.
It’s been anything but a formality bringing everybody’s favourite team of planet-saving, ever-powerful mutant heroes together on film. Ten years have passed since the initial rumours began to surface about a movie to be titled Justice League: Mortal. The Dark Knight series’ success made adding another story to the extended DC Universe a tricky issue back then and as Adam Brody aka The Flash joked at the time: “They [Warner Brothers] just didn’t want to cross their streams with a whole bunch of Batmans in the universe.” This shelved the idea but only temporarily. Over the last decade there have been multiple different edits of scripts hoping to be selected as the one eventually chosen as the debut blockbuster outing for the entire Justice League together at last.
The final draft of the script was co-written by Chris Terrio, Zack Snyder, Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon. Handling production issues would be Snyder’s wife Deborah, Charles Roven, Jon Berg, and Geoff Johns with Batman himself, Ben Affleck, and others receiving an executive producer credit. The plot sees Affleck’s character with a restored faith in humanity. He saw Superman give his life to save an alien planet at the end of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This selflessness humbled the usually stoic caped crusader. The events spur him on to create a team of heroes to stand against a greater peril facing the planet. It’s not a head scratcher of a plot by any means but it’s not like most of us fans are watching these movies to be challenged anyway.
With a solid plot in the bag, and a cast shaping up, it looked like we were finally going to get to see Justice League get the full Hollywood treatment. However, the dramas which plagued the very planning of movie from day one didn’t cease once details had been finalised and shooting commenced in April 2016. The following May, Snyder was forced to step down as director following the tragic passing of his daughter during the post-production phase. Fortunately, Joss Whedon was on hand to take over and add the finishing touches to the title. He’d been already drafted in earlier to help with rewriting duties for a few scenes so made for an obvious replacement. Under his guidance production was concluded but only after Warner Bros. dropped an extra $25 million into the kitty. Whilst it’s not at all uncommon for a studio to top-up a potential smash hit’s budget, the size of the contribution clearly showed that the production giant was not messing around.
With a fresh set of hands steering the ship and a load of extra cash to ensure smooth sailing home, Justice League looked set to finally conclude production. However, there was yet another spanner in the works. The additional scenes which needed shooting coincided with Henry Cavill’s working on Mission: Impossible 6. Unfortunately, Cavill’s character in the movie has a moustache which, under his contract with the producers, he was contractually obliged to keep during the duration of shooting. Of course, Superman doesn’t have facial hair and whilst no one doubts the Man of Steel’s ability to force out a fine Tom Selleck, it would be a continuity nightmare and just wouldn’t work. Fortunately, the good folks in post-production had an answer. They managed to digitally remove the offending facial fluff later in the editing studio. With production able to be wrapped up, us fans could finally start getting excited for real.
After all, it’s not like we just get an awesome movie when the extended DC Universe’s ever-growing back catalogue gets added upon. There’s loads of extra perks that come too. Of course, in time for Christmas, there’s a bunch of new action figurines and you just know that the likes of Aquaman is going to make an awesome figurine. As with every great DC movie, we’ll see tones of other merchandising opportunities too – these are the greatest heroes in the universe, remember. We’ve already had an awesome DC video game this year in Injustice 2– the sequel to the wildly popular next generation fighter Injustice. It seems unlikely, given the lends-itself-ideally-to-video-game content of super hero blockbusters, that this will be the sole spin off game from the creators of Justice League. For now, however, it seems that the only title in the works is an addition to the Arkham series. Well, at least at the time of writing.
There’s tonnes of other neat stuff we can look forward to that does carry the movie’s title, however. Take the Justice League watch from Police, the range of New Era caps — one for each of the main team – and the “mighty minis” collectable figurines which come in “lucky dip” packaging to promote trading amongst friends. Of course, we’re also expecting a Justice League virtual slot machine too. Just about every other DC blockbuster has had the Las Vegas treatment so we’re sure this one too will soon join the extensive list of hero slot machines over at Nodepositfriend.com.
As we draw closer to the movie debut, we’ve had a fair few supporting character cameos from the DC Universe teased through the release of the soundtrack. There are rumours that Snyder plans to introduce several additional figures from the world of classic comic books. The soundtrack subtly nods towards the inclusion of the Green Lantern, Super Girl, Red Hood, and the darker version of the classic John Williams’ Superman theme suggests we might get see a slightly different portrayal to the classic red undies/blue tights hero we’ve come to expect.
Naturally, as the universe expands to accommodate new characters, the likelihood of even more awesome DC comic-based movies increases too. The Justice League certainly won’t be the last effort in a similar vein. We’re expecting plenty of intriguing avenues to be left open for exploration by subsequent writers and directors and we can’t wait to start day dreaming about them too.
All told, there’s a lot to look forward to and the wait is over. First, there’s the movie itself to get all fanboy/girl about and then we get to do it all over again at Christmas time with an absolute raft of collectibles, clothing, and everything in between for us super-fans to get drooling over. This is a fine time to be a DC fan, here’s hoping it’ll long continue.