Justice League Preview
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
Picking up shortly after we last saw Bruce and Diana go their separate ways, the story reconnects these two characters who may not always see the same road toward their shared goal. But it’s their shared motivation—to do right by the sacrifice Superman made—that allows them to find common ground very quickly in order to face Steppenwolf, an eight-foot-tall warrior from the nightmare world of Apokolips. He seeks the power to conquer the world and transform it into his own. He is no ordinary villain, and it will take an extraordinary force to defeat him.
Zack Snyder states, “Just the idea of getting the Justice League together on the same playing field, taking their place in the cinematic landscape as a team and embarking on an amazing adventure…the mere concept of it was awe-inspiring.”
In the film, the loss of Superman—of hope—is the catalyst for everything that happens, on both sides. But there is little time to mourn, and even less time to take action. Earth is vulnerable, primed for attack because of that void. And because the hero who stood for hope and justice is gone, the League must unite in his stead, to fight for the world he saved. Producer Deborah Snyder adds, “These characters all have such unique personalities, and such different powers and abilities, and the chance to pool them together to see how powerful they can be as a unit was such a thrill. Not to mention the urgency of their mission. There’s no time to practice. It’s game on from the moment they come together, because this is an extremely formidable enemy.”
To form the League, the story takes us to the ends of the Earth and beyond: from a gritty Gotham to Central City, the populous Paris to the frozen wilds of Iceland, from Themyscira to Atlantis, and from buzzing Metropolis to the serenity of Smallville. If Bruce and Diana can succeed in recruiting the others for this larger-than-life battle in which all their worlds are at stake, they will come together as the greatest team of Super Heroes in the DC universe.
Ben Affleck: “Batman still really resonates because on the one hand he’s a Super Hero, but on the other hand he is just like us,” Affleck states. “He feels vulnerable; he bleeds if you cut him. He is a real person on the inside and yet he is ‘super.’ There are all kinds of contradictions inherent in that, which makes for interesting storytelling.”
Gal Gadot: “Wearing my costume felt like the most normal thing because I had been doing it for six months before,” Gadot states. “But seeing everyone else wearing their own costumes was wonderful. I remember the first three days, I kept looking at all the guys and me in costume, and I just kept laughing because it felt so surreal. So many Super Heroes, standing together. It was really great to be shooting this movie.” “Wonder Woman is the greatest warrior.She has such amazing strength, but at the same time she can be very, well, human. She cares so much for people and she just wants to make the world a better place because she sees the world as very special. Life is so complicated and we forget about the simple things, but she always remembers them: love, hope, do good in the world. And I think that’s something that everyone can aspire to.”
Erza Miller: “The Flash is a scientist in the sense that a scientist studies the natural order of things, makes observations and performs experiments,” Miller explains. “But Barry’s inherently interested in quantum mechanics because he’s literally running into them. “When we first meet Barry in the film, he’s just awakening to his powers. He hasn’t really tested them out, he’s not yet breached the event horizon, as it were. But he’s starting to feel there’s an opportunity waiting for him.”
Ray Fisher : “Cyborg became the very technology that was used to rebuild him. The technology his father used was alien and it imbued him with super-abilities. He has super-strength. He can fly. He’s a technopath, which means he can interface with anything technological. He has worlds of information at his disposal, not just from our galaxy but also from other universes. But it’s all pretty new, so he struggles with it. It begs the question, ‘How deeply should you allow yourself to become entrenched in the idea of who and what you are? ”
Jason Momoa : “He’s the heir to the throne of Atlantis, but he’s not the king yet. So, as always, he’s between worlds. But here at the frozen ends of the earth, he has a purpose. Arthur is a good man, he helps people who genuinely need him, and he’s found a place where they accept and respect him. He can take off his ‘mask’ here.”
Henry Cavill: “There’s nothing quite like playing Superman, It’s still surreal.There was a moment where I was really tired near the end of a long day, and I was thinking ‘I’m hungry and I’m looking forward to getting to bed.’ And then I realized I had Cyborg, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman all standing in front of me, and they were in costume and it looked so fantastic. And all of a sudden, my fatigue went away. I just wanted to live in the moment and appreciate that I’m doing the thing that I wanted to do as a kid, but as real as it gets as an adult. You become very thankful for that kind of thing. Martha is seeing everyone mourning this Superman character, but she’s mourning Clark, her son. And she can’t tell anyone that Superman was her son. It’s a terrible loneliness and pain for her to go through. It’s excruciating for both Martha and Lois to see all these people mourning a man that none of them truly knew.””
Costume Designer Michael Wilkinson and his concept artists came up with an immensely detailed 3D model of Cyborg, defining the graphic language and textures of the alien world. They then handed it over to the visual effects department, who continued to develop Cyborg’s look under Snyder’s direction and guided by the actor’s performance. For the shoot, it was simply a matter of Wilkinson’s team sewing together Ray Fisher’s “pajamas”: the blue-dotted performance-capture suit that the skilled VFX artists would digitally replace, under the supervision of visual effects supervisor DJ DesJardin. Wilkinson also turned his attention to Superman’s suit, marking his third go ‘round. “This time, you’re going to see a Superman that’s a little more lustrous,” says Wilkinson. “We developed an extremely beautiful metallic chromed under-suit that Henry wears, using materials and processes that weren’t available for previous versions of the costume. And for the over-suit, we created a mesh that’s a slightly bolder blue than the last film, so he really jumps off the screen in such a heroic way. And Zack had the fantastic idea of incorporating some Kryptonian scripts throughout the suit, so we wove some of that language, which we’d developed for ‘Man of Steel,’ through the S, across the bicep, through the belt, and in the cuff details. It adds that extra layer of meaning and detail for the audience.”
The suit was created by screen-printing a dimensional print onto a thin mesh that is itself the latest in fabric technology. “It’s even more sheer and beautiful and lustrous than what you saw in ‘Batman v Superman,’” Wilkinson asserts, “but super strong so that it didn’t fall apart when it was stretched tight. We also found amazing new printing inks that make a very dimensional, high-raised surface, and new paints that make it appear almost chromed. All of these little tweaks add up to a bolder, more impactful costume.” Techniques aside, perhaps the newest territory for the “Justice League” costume department was in housing the entire costume crew under one roof. Normally on a film of such scope and scale, each main character’s costume is made by a different manufacturing company, under the direction of the costume designer. But this time, the filmmakers did something they’d never done before.
Finally, Wilkinson’s costumes also had to withstand the “tuning forks.” First developed for use on “The Matrix Revolutions,” they were introduced to the filmmakers by stunt coordinator Eunice Huthart. The device resembles a huge tuning fork, hence the name. The actor is strapped into the middle, and there is a counterbalance that enables him to mimic weightlessness, like being underwater, for example. Not only can he be rotated forward and backwards, but also on the y-axis. Just as Superman can fly, Aquaman can float.
The film also stars Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta, and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.
The “Justice League” screenplay is by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon, story by Chris Terrio & Zack Snyder, based on characters from DC, Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The film’s producers are Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Jon Berg and Geoff Johns, with executive producers Jim Rowe, Ben Affleck, Wesley Coller, Curtis Kanemoto, Daniel S. Kaminsky and Chris Terrio.