Since last July when fans received their first sneak peak at Warner Bros.’ Justice League, everybody’s been wondering when we’d get another official look. Well the wait’s finally over, because the studio dropped a new trailer for the film this morning and it is absolutely bananas! Lighter, with a sense of palpable fun that’s been sorely lacking in previous DCEU films so far, the glimpse we were provided with today fully embraced the off-the-walls action and wackiness of its source material – and that’s a good thing.
So without further ado, let’s break down what we were shown and try to parson out what we can expect when the movie hits theaters this November.
The trailer starts off with Bruce Wayne somewhere isolated and extremely cold, with glaciers and walls of ice around him. It’s not until he steps up to the ledge of a cliff and looks down at a small fishing village below that we realize he’s searching for Aquaman. It’s also here that we get our first glimpse of his face, which is sporting a heavy salt-and-pepper beard, which indicates both that he’s been searching for Aquaman for quite some time, and that he probably hasn’t been patrolling the streets of Gotham City at night for quite some time either. It begs the question – how much time has passed since the end of Batman v. Superman when Bruce Wayne implored Diana Prince to help him track down the other metahumans like her?
There are also some new lines of dialogue overlaying Bruce’s lonely hike through the snowy tundra, in which he can be heard telling somebody: “We have to be ready. You. Me. The others. There’s an attack coming from far away.” Apparently he’s warning Diana Prince about this at some point early on in the film, because she replies – also via voiceover – “Not coming, Bruce. It’s already here.”
It’s at this point I’m thinking to myself what both of them experienced to make both Batman and Wonder Woman so sure of their convictions. Do they each experience something separately during the beginning of this movie? It seems like that’s probably the case for Diana, but in terms of Bruce, I’m wondering if he’s witnessed anything to make him so sure of his beliefs, or whether he’s just being paranoid because of the weird “Knightmare” that he had in Batman v. Superman?
We then get a shot of Dr. Silas Stone, whom we briefly glimpsed via Lex Luthor’s hacked files in Dawn of Justice, returning home to his dark apartment. In the corner, he notices a Mother Box – also glimpsed quickly in the aforementioned movie – glowing and beginning to shift its shape. As the doctor approaches it warily, we get a look at a black parademon rising up in the darkness behind him, its eyes glowing red and its wings spread wide. It looks sufficiently creepy, and it appears things aren’t going to be going well for Dr. Stone.
We then switch to Diana and Bruce standing in what’s probably the Batcave, the Flying Fox, or the airplane hanger that we found out about via set reports, in which Bruce supposedly stores many of his vehicles and gadgets. It’s here that the Amazonian asks the billionaire, “The others. Where are they?”
It’s at this point that the trailer quickly introduces us to three other important members of the Justice League. First, “Arthur Curry. The Aquaman.”
We get a gorgeous shot of Curry standing tall above a fisherman who is flat on his back on what appears to be a rock or an overturned vessel of some sort, as a monstrous wave crashes around them both. It then cuts to Aquaman carrying said fisherman over his shoulder with ease into a bar and depositing him roughly on the floor before grabbing a beer and intoning, “It’s on him.” He then turns to walk back out of the establishment, beer in hand, without another word. It’s worth noting that the bar itself appears to be little more than an old, rickety shack in the middle of nowhere, so wherever it is exactly that Bruce Wayne tracks Arthur Curry down, it’s clearly a long way away from Gotham, Metropolis, or any other major city.
We then get some well framed shots of Cyborg that made me pretty excited because he’s the member of the League that we’ve seen least of so far in terms of action. Overlaying a shot of Cyborg turning to the face the camera (his left eye glowing red beneath the hoodie he’s wearing) and a quick look at him standing tall atop what appears to be a rocky mountain, holding a mother box at his side, we hear Diana Prince say, “Organic and Biomechatronic Body Parts. He’s a Cyborg.” We then get two fast glimpses of Cyborg saving people. (Yes, we’re actually going to see our heroes save people in this movie!) The first is a shot of our metal hero standing in the doorway of a brick building and using his arm cannon (which made me geek out so much! It looks awesome in live-action!) to save two ducking men from some falling debris. The second is Cyborg ramming a military tank – which is on fire and tumbling through the air across a football field – with his shoulder, just managing to knock it off its trajectory before it collides with a police officer. He then advises the public servant, “You should probably move.”
Then comes our glimpse of the fastest man alive, “Barry Allen.” The shot of him, in full costume, running across the countryside with the blue and white lightening around him is spectacular, and looks like it was pulled right out of a comic book. I know that fans are a little wary about Ezra Miller’s performance, given how incredible Grant Gustin is as the character on television, but the more I see of this incarnation, the more I like it. At least in terms of costume, spectacle, and effects, this version of The Flash will at least be as good as the one on the small screen.
The trailer then proceeds to show us a slightly different, more truncated version of the scene they showed in the special footage they released during Comic Con last year. Bruce Wayne is confronting Barry Allen in his apartment. The latter tells the former, “Whoever you’re looking for? It’s not me.” Bruce replies in turn by lobbing a batarang at the young hero, which Barry sees coming toward him in slow motion. Plucking it from the air easily, he asks incredulously, “You’re the Batman?”
Whoever edited this video answers this question loud and clear that yes, Ben Affleck is the damn Batman, for it immediately smash cuts to a glorious shot of the Dark Knight in his suit, gliding down a mountain toward a ground that appears littered with fire below. As he glides, lasers are firing at him from all directions. Upon finally hitting the ground, he tumbles gracefully and whips some kind of small, exploding object at a parademon nearby. This is followed by a voiceover from Diana Prince who insists, “They said the age of heroes would never come again.”
Following Diana’s proclamation, we hear Bruce’s voice reply, “It has to.” This line of dialogue overlays quick shots of Cyborg, The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman, seemingly standing side-by-side against a bright dawn sky. I found it great to finally get a glimpse of our heroes in sunlight, though – judging from the expressions on their faces – I’m almost certain this is probably one of the final shots of the film. Steppenwolf and the parademons have most likely been defeated at this point, and the entire league is probably standing together overlooking one of their home cities that they just saved. Interesting to note that Batman isn’t shown in this line up. My guess? He and Superman are both in the lineup as well, but Batman is probably standing too close to the Man of Steel to show off a shot of him without revealing the presence of the Last Son of Krypton, whom the WB seems to want to keep hidden for the time being.
We then get a title card that reads ‘Justice’ before we get a glimpse of Aquaman, his trident in hand, leaping into the air and dodging laser fire on what looks like the same location that Batman was gliding around earlier in the trailer. As two parademons fly quickly at him, the King of Atlantis shows off that he’s no joke by throwing his trident and impaling the two monsters.
Another title card pops up at this point, this time reading ‘For’ before we get to see Wonder Woman sliding across the polished floor of what appears to be the lobby of a bank, museum, or government office building during the middle of the day. (More sunlight!) She slides by a man who is already unconscious on the floor, before kicking the legs out from beneath another man and springing to her feet. Gal Gadot was one of the best parts of Batman v. Superman in my mind, and the minds of many others, and judging from what we’ve seen so far, she looks like she could be the scene stealer in Justice League as well. (Though it’s clear that Aquaman is going to provide her some stiff competition on that front.)
A third title card pops up, showing the word ‘All’ before the trailer cuts to a shot of Cyborg flying through the air, staring upwards. A metal mask forms over his face as he flies, obscuring it completely, before we cut away to a shot of a figure bursting through some clouds in the night sky. Though I think we’re supposed to believe that’s Cyborg, I’m not entirely convinced, because the camera is far enough away from the flying figure that we don’t get a good glimpse of him. (Perhaps it could be Superman?) Either way, I thought this was a pretty well crafted shot. It actually reminded me of the scene in Tim Burton’s Batman when the Batwing burst from the clouds and hovers in front of the full moon, forming the Bat Signal in the sky against it. Though this flying figure didn’t appear directly in front of the full moon that loomed largely in the picture, he certainly came close enough.
We then get to see The Flash fighting what appears to be a heavily armored parademon who is shooting at the Scarlett Speedster. The young hero easily managers to dodge the attacks due to his super speed, before coming up right beside the alien monster and punching him through two metal doors of the warehouse in which they appear to be fighting.
We then get a glimpse of Barry Allen seated beside Bruce Wayne in the latter’s car in broad daylight. (Again! It appears DC is literally trying to make their films less dark, not just figuratively.) As the automatic doors close on either side of them, Barry asks, “What are your superpowers again?” To which Bruce replies, “I’m rich.” Though the answer was obvious to me before Bruce replied, it still made me chuckle. Also, I believe this scene in the car directly follows the scene in Barry’s apartment when Bruce comes to recruit him, judging from the fact that he’s asking the billionaire such a “getting to know you” type of question; they also appear to be wearing the same clothes as they did in the recruitment scene.
What really strikes me about all of the Bruce Wayne/Barry Allen interactions we’ve been lucky enough to see so far is the fact that Warner Bros. seemingly wants to develop a relationship between the two characters similar to the one that Tony Stark and Peter Parker have in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Considering how much I love that specific dynamic, I’m not complaining, and I do think it could work just as well for these two specific DC characters.
The trailer then gives us a glimpse at what I can only assume is Batman’s new vehicle, the Night Crawler. Per set reports, the Night Crawler is “a new, off-road four-wheel drive vehicle that can traverse areas that might be inaccessible to the Batmobile. Think of it like a tank that has four tread wheels, that can morph into a spider-like configuration.” Considering the vehicle we see in the trailer is rising into the air on what looks like mechanical legs, I think it’s clear this is indeed Batman’s newest vehicular weapon. It appears to be in a tunnel as well, which – per the same report linked previously – was being built to connect Gotham to Metropolis in the ‘30s and is now abandoned. It’s also been confirmed that the Night Crawler is used in a big sequence that takes place in the tunnel.
After briefly getting a look at the Night Crawler climbing to its feet, at which point Aerosmith’s Come Together begins to play over the remaining length of the trailer, we quickly cut to Batman jumping off of a ledge within the tunnel, dodging laser fire, before climbing into his vehicle and stating, “My turn.”
At this point, the music really begins to blare loudly as the trailer ramps up in intensity. In quick succession, we get the following
- What I assume is the Night Crawler out of frame shooting down a parademon that is hovering above Wonder Woman, who is sitting splayed on the ground of the tunnel. One of the vehicle’s mechanical feet then steps into frame besides the Amazonian.
- A shot of Victor Stone playing football before the accident that turned him into Cyborg. I assume we’ll see this via flashbacks since Dawn of Justice already established Stone had his accident already.
- Wonder Woman, with Aquaman standing over her right shoulder, letting out a war cry and slamming her bracelets against her shield, causing a magical blast of light to burst forth. I can’t be 100% sure, but I’m pretty positive the two are standing in the same alien spacecraft in which they are located with Cyborg in a still released by Warner Bros. a few weeks ago. (And which we get to see toward the end of the trailer.)
- Barry Allen running through the Speed Force, surrounded by blue and white lightning. I’m not the biggest fan of The Flash’s costume in this movie, whenever I see it in a still, but in motion, it looks incredible!
- Lois Lane on a street in Metropolis, turning around and looking skyward. Could this be when Superman makes his triumphant return?
- Aquaman sticking his trident into the ground and holding it steady, struggling to remain standing as a massive wave crashes down upon and all around him.
- A beautiful shot of Mera – Queen of Atlantis – underwater. She seems to be surrounded by armed assailants who, again, I assume are parademons. From what little we’ve seen of the underwater effects Snyder has utilized in Justice League to help bring Aquaman, Mera, and Atlantis to life, I’ve been impressed. I’m curious to see a full scene in Atlantis though – one in which they’re walking and talking; I’m dying to know how realistic it will look!
- Barry Allen visiting his father, Henry Allen, in jail. They’re sitting on opposite sides of a glass barrier, placing their hands against it as they talk on the phone to one another. In a movie that’s tasked with not only introducing each individual member of the Justice League, but also bringing the team together for the first time against a cosmic threat that the majority of audiences will not be familiar with in advance, I’m surprised Snyder found the time for little moments like this. It also heartens me too though, and gives me hope that he realized character is more important than senseless action. (I was also pleasantly surprised to be reminded that Bill Crudup is playing Henry Allen! Though I do hope if the DCEU decides to go down the Rebirth route currently occurring in the comics, the WB allows him to reprise his role of Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen.)
- An army of Amazonians fighting an army of parademons, which gives the film an even grander, more epic scope than I was expecting. I’m guessing this is part of the now-famous “history lesson” prologue that is said to be opening the movie, in which we’ll see the women of Themyscira and the people of Atlantis team up with the humans during medieval times to defeat Darkseid and his army of parademons. Though I suppose they could also show up in modern day to aid the Justice League, although I’m personally not counting on it.
- The Batmobile driving backwards, firing at two parademons who are swooping low in pursuit. In the cockpit, Batman is wearing protective goggles that make him look slightly like Nite Owl from Watchmen. When the two parademons land on the hood of the car, Wonder Woman comes flying at them from behind and knocks them off the vehicle before landing gracefully in the street herself as the car continues on its way.
- A close-up of Cyborg looking like he’s in distressed pain. Considering his father has a run in with parademons at some point in the film, I wonder if he’s just learned that his dad was taken or killed.
- Aquaman swimming gracefully underwater as he dodges some sort of explosive attack.
- The Flash running through what appears to be Heroes Park in Metropolis, where the memorial to Superman was erected at the end of Dawn of Justice. (And where I believe the Kryptonian ship the turned Zod’s body into Doomsday is still erected nearby. Could they possibly use the ship to bring Superman back to life somehow?)
- Wonder Woman, sword and shield drawn, flipping through the air and landing in-between Aquaman (who has his own trident in hand) and Cyborg. The three appear to be standing in some sort of alien craft that looks suspiciously Kryptonian. Upon straightening up, she asks her comrades, “Shall we?” as they face some unknown threat off screen, clearly ready to attack.
A title card bearing the movie’s title – “Justice League” – then pops up before we get to see Batman and Commissioner Gordon (J.K. Simmons looks exactly like the traditional Commissioner Gordon in the comic books!) standing side-by-side somewhere in Gotham, staring across the bay at Metropolis. The policeman tells the vigilante, “It’s good to see you playing well with others again.” At this point, Aquaman appears and takes in Batman’s appearance for what seems to be the first time, leading me to surmise that this is the moment that he decides to join the other heroes in the League. “Dressed like a bat? I dig it.” At the King of Atlantis’ comment, Batman turns back to Gordon and says, annoyed, “It may be temporary.”
And then we get what may be the coolest shot in the trailer in my opinion. The Batmobile is racing down a city street with Aquaman surfing atop of it, letting out a joyous “Yeah!” As three parademons fly at them in the distance, he glances down at Batman who nods at him in return. The King of Atlantis then leaps off of the car and into the air, colliding with the space invaders, and in one big mass, they go careening around the corner of a building as the Batmobile continues racing down the street.
We’re then reminded by one final title card that the movie is coming in November in both RealD 3D and IMAX 3D before the trailer finally ends.
All in all, I thought it was a pretty fantastic look at the movie. It was light, it was fun, it had plenty of action, and there was humor and drama sprinkled in there as well. I really appreciated the fact that they didn’t show any shots of Superman. Even though we all know he’s going to be in the movie, and is coming back to life, the less we see of him the better. I don’t want any indication of when or how that happens, so I hope the WB keeps that under wraps as long as they can. I also loved the fact we haven’t gotten a glimpse of the villainous Steppenwolf yet, nor of Lex Luthor whom we also know is in the movie. Clearly there are a lot of pieces to the story they’re not showing or telling us yet, and for that I’m grateful, considering the fact that they showed us all of Batman v. Superman in the trailers released for that film. I’m hoping they learned their mistakes with that marketing fiasco, but it’s still early in the year. Time will tell as we get closer to November.
Besides characters we know are in the film and plot points we expect to be in the film that the WB seems to be intent on hiding for now, I loved the overall aesthetic of this trailer. I’m glad that there seem to be a fair amount of scenes that take part in the daylight, as opposed to just night fights, and I think the costumes and designs are great all around. I was excited by how colorful it all seems, because a bright, colorful palette is definitely something that DC has been lacking in their films thus far. (As much as I’ve enjoyed them.)
Visually, the movie looks like it’s going to be stunning. But I expected nothing less from this film because visuals are the one thing Zack Snyder has always excelled at. Without characters we care about and a story we can become invested in, however, spectacular visuals amount to nothing. And quite frankly, as excited as I am to see this movie, I’m nervous that Snyder is going to drop the ball on those fronts. He has a massive task ahead of him, and so much he needs to achieve in this movie – the introduction of three new heroes and their individual worlds; an entire cosmic mythology that needs to be explained to the general audience; bringing the League together and Superman back from the dead in a satisfying manner; and making each hero a three-dimensional, rounded character – that I’m afraid some of that will be sacrificed during the editing process in lieu of giving the audience more action. I hope I’m wrong.
Overall though, I was very impressed with the first official trailer for Justice League. It makes me slightly more optimistic about the movie’s chances of succeeding, and I look forward to seeing more from this film (though not too much!) as the year progresses and we get closer to its release date.
But enough about what I think – what do you think of the trailer? What shots stood out to you the most? Are you more or less optimistic for Justice League and the DCEU after seeing this trailer? Leave a comment below and let me know!
In ‘Justice League’, 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.
Justice League is directed by Zack Snyder, from a screenplay by Chris Terrio, and features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Ciarán Hinds, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Jeremy Irons and Jesse Eisenberg.