Beware of possible spoilers to the Justice League film, Ye who enter here

The Pieces are Coming Together

Things are looking up for Justice League! There’s a fantastic new trailer to be found. Before that they released the famous “Heroes” trailer which left plenty of easter eggs. In fact, just as many as the previous trailer did. Some test screenings and rumors have led to praise for the film. And with Joss Whedon behind the helm for over six months now, fans have no reason to expect this to be a thoroughly Zack Snyder-run outing. And now that the film is under one month away, it’s about time to sift through the rumors to see just what can be expected from the upcoming Justice League. 

Let’s begin with the heroes. The current, confirmed Justice League slate is as follows: Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. Marketing has played any other reveals very close to the chest. In fact, our first glimpse of Clark Kent didn’t come until the most recent “Heroes” trailer. WB has been very careful about spoilers. But on Friday, WB revealed that Zachary Levi would play Shazam. His presence in Justice League is still an unknown, but it’s one of the 3 or 4 possible cameos. Just who are the others?

The Heroes

Probable appearances

Zeus

The recent international trailer revealed that Steppenwolf has a history with Earth. He’s been here before, and the armies of Themiscyra was one of his opponents. But how was he dealt with before? By the power of a literal god. That’d be Zeus. There are rumors that there have been massive changes to Wonder Woman in Justice League, perhaps her “father” was included to add a little more depth to her part of the story.

Hal Jordan

The character’s presence has been a possibility since the film was even announced. The first major slogan for the blockbuster was “Unite the Seven.” It was initially seen as Aquaman’s tagline but it could also be construed as a hint to the formation of a 7 member league. With Superman’s appearance likely happening in the latter half of the film, there’s a chance for another new hero to appear. Since Steppenwolf declares that Earth has “no lanterns” it’s possible he won’t be getting his ring in the film. However, a reference or appearance is likely.

Possibleappearances

Supergirl

One of the more controversial and debate-worthy images in the Justice League trailers is Bruce Wayne starring at a holographic projection of a character wearing the “Superman” outfit. However, there’s a detail to the character’s costume that have some fans believing it’s actually a depiction of Supergirl. Bruce could possibly have dug up news on another Kryptonian after realizing the importance of the one his world lost. If Clark isn’t up to the task, Kara could be the savior this world needs.

Batgirl

Before becoming Justice League’s director, it was announced that Joss Whedon would write and direct a Batgirl film for DC. Since he’s had to work on their biggest film yet, he probably hasn’t had any time to devote to his follow up. However, it’s been on his mind. What if DC and Whedon wanted to get the character into a small role in Justice League? Bruce and company go to Gotham. They meet with Gordon. There’s a good chance J.K. Simmons’ Commissioner Gordon will make a reference to her, at the very least.

Justice League Dark

Unfortunately, Doug Liman left the Justice League Dark project. But DC is still looking to dip their toes in the magic aspect of their universe. With a minor nod somewhere in the film they could easily pique the public’s interest in the characters. Zatanna making a brief appearance due to a cosmic shift in the magic forces; Swamp Thing turning up because of a disruption to Earth’s environment. There’s a multitude of reasons one of the magically enhanced team could pop their head in for a moment or two.

Unlikely appearances

Highfather

A confirmation of the existence of Apokolips is a confirmation of the existence of New Genesis. The leader of which is Highfather, an incredibly powerful god-like character who serves as the counter to Darkseid. His presence would be surprising and likely confusing for most audiences, but it would leave many DC fans’ jaws dropped on the theater floors. However, there’s one other character of New Genesis that could be even more exciting for fans to see grace the screen…

Mister Miracle

The team is going to face some incredible odds in Justice League. They’re going to come against the toughest armies mankind has ever seen. They’re going to need a miracle. What if Scott Free made a small appearance at some point in the story? As New Genesis is mentioned, an emissary is sent to aid the Justice League against their enormous threat. One who could shine a bright light on the darkness that has overcome the DC Universe. Mister Miracle is one of DC’s brightest stars. To see him on screen would be a literal dream come true.

The Villains

Steppenwolf is one of the lesser-known villains in the DC Universe. Because of this, there’s probably another villain lurking in the shadows somewhere in the dark of Justice League. Steppenwolf is the star of the show, there’s no doubt about that. But much in the same way that Loki was being godfathered by Thanos in The Avengers, there might be one or two figures pulling strings of their own.

Possible appearances

Darkseid

He’s the chief villain in the DC Universe, and is otherwise known as the original Thanos. They bear a striking resemblance, with a desire for world domination and destruction. Darkseid is most likely the reason Steppenwolf is making another attack on Earth. If there’s going to be major hype for Justice League 2, then it would be smart for DC to start planting the seeds for their big bad.

Granny Goodness

The trainer of Apokolips’ army is none other than the baddest Granny around. The infamous heathen was mother to characters like Big Barda and Mister Miracle, instilling in them the kind of fear that would have them leaving Apokolips for the likes of Earth. Considering her importance to the power of Darkseid’s forces, it’s not out of the question for her to come to Steppenwolf’s aid.

Unlikely appearances

Big Barda and the Female Furies

The most famous students of Granny Goodness are Mister Miracle, Big Barda, and the female furies. They’re an unstoppable team of badass women who could easily wreak havoc on Earth. Since DC has had a recent success giving a confident, bold film to a female superhero it would make sense for them to want to capitalize on that with some incredible female villains. If Miracle makes an appearance, than his famous love interest Big Barda would likely be in the film in some capacity.

Brainiac

There was plenty of debate when it came to the famous team’s first villain. It would need to be a villain capable of endangering the entire world, if not the galaxy. Brainiac is one of the most interesting villains in the DC Universe, and one that could open the gateway to Kandor and Supergirl.

The Plot Thickens

In all honesty, Justice League will most likely be a very simple movie. Steppenwolf attacks Earth; Bruce puts together a team. Some members are reluctant, some are excited. After a few tragic events they’re forced to come together and fight against the unknown force. Unfortunately, despite their valiant effort it’s not enough. Luckily, an unexpected hero (or two) will add their strength and help the team overcome. Batman is suspicious. Could this just be the tip of the iceberg? Cut to black, end.

Add some infighting between team members, and that is the exact plot of The Avengers. That film had a lot more time to establish their heroes before putting them in a team together. And still the villains of the film were essentially faceless so that the team’s formation could be the central idea of the film. Justice League is establishing at least 3 of its heroes in this film. None of the BvS cameos count. This will be the introduction to The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman. The invasion likely won’t be the most interesting point of the film. There’s not much there except for a global conflict that will unite the heroes we know and love. No, the main focus of the film and its entire point will be introducing the team that will serve as our saviors, and more importantly introducing them to each other.

The Introductions

The Justice League won’t be in the Justice League movie until about halfway through. That’s a generous estimate. There will be: flashback(s) to a previous invasion, the beginnings of the new invasion, Bruce’s attempts to gather team members, Diana discovers the attack on Themiscyra, the opening “heist” that she stops, Lois Lane’s “dreams” about Clark, Bruce finds The Flash, Arthur returns to Atlantis and possibly fights the current King, the “knightcrawler” tunnel attack and the gathering in Gotham during the calm before the storm. The sad truth is that most of this film’s action set pieces have been established already.

The only part of Wonder Woman that remained a mystery was its final villain; the entirety of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was ruined by the final trailer. The most important action set-pieces have been revealed so as to entice audiences with plenty of explosive bang for their buck. Instead, the film will probably have excellent character introductions that will end up being the highlight of the film.

The Ones We Know

Arthur Curry and Bruce Wayne, Aquaman and Batman. These characters are most likely introduced in the same scene. Bruce arrives on his horse, coming in from the cold. He encounters the mysterious man he came to meet, and the scene plays out like it has in the trailers. Simple and effective. Using a character we know (Bruce) to serve as our literal guide to meeting the character we don’t Arthur.

Diana Prince, Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman made a massive impact on the world. She will probably have as much of the spotlight as Ben Affleck’s Batman in the DC film. The beginning of this year’s Comic Con trailer was a heist that she can clearly be seen interrupting. Whether or not she’s able to stop the armed robbers will be revealed soon enough.

Barry Allen, The Flash. Barry’s reveal has been at the forefront of the entire campaign for over a year. His introduction was the first sign that this movie would be more lighthearted than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Though he made a brief appearance in last year’s Suicide Squad, this will be his first real outing as the quirky quickster.

The Ones We Don’t Know

Victor Stone, Cyborg. Cyborg is the “n00b” of the team. He has likely spent the least amount of time saving or helping anyone, and has instead spent his time in hiding from the public and probably his father, Silas. However, all signs point to him being the only member who will probably seek out the group instead of the other way around. Cyborg states outright that he doesn’t think Batman was real in the tunnel sequence, implying it’s the first time they’ve met.

Clark Kent, Superman. The most mysterious reveal at all may not be that mysterious. Many have speculated that it would take a motherbox to resurrect him; many have said it takes nothing at all. What’s clear is that his part of the story is being kept very close to the chest. And for good reason. He’s the heart and soul of the team. His sacrifice helped save Earth last time around, even though his presence is what endangered it in the first place. But Earth will need him this time. He may simply awaken in his grave, unsure of what to do with himself. He may not dawn the black suit that’s been rumored and supposedly confirmed.

Into the Great Unknown

Despite the fact that a few things are obviously predictable about this Fall’s Justice League film, there are still a few secrets to be revealed. There will undoubtedly be cameos that will surprise most audiences members, and some that may not even be on this list. It would be a pleasant surprise for anyone if some of the information that has been speculated about for months is all wrong. It would only excite people more to know that studios are still able to keep secrets despite the thousands of people involved in a blockbuster production.

Two directors; two visions. Massive re-shoots. Script rewrites. Rumors have plagued Justice League’s production since it began. An innumerable amount of questions lie at the feet of DC Films’ artists and creatives. It’s a mix of expectation and wincing. The film has both nothing and a lot to live up to. Most of its predecessors are terrible, leading to low expectations. Then Wonder Woman came along and showed that some people at Warner Bros. know what they’re doing. Now, Justice League has to capitalize on that success.

Many rumors have floated around about Joss Whedon’s input on the film. Yes, he has been the film’s acting director for almost 6 months. But Zack Snyder had been working on the film for a couple of years already. If a lot of footage was actually re-shot, there’s a good chance Snyder would have conducted them whether or not Whedon was involved. He quit because he realized the amount of time he still needed to devote to the film wasn’t possible due to a family tragedy. He knew it needed work, and he knew it needed someone devoted to it. He chose Joss Whedon to be that person.

Whether or not Justice League is good is not up to the director entirely. It’s up to the cast, the crew, the VFX artists, the writers, and countless others. However, the fans also play a large role in this wonderful dance. Whether or not it’s an enjoyable watch will be revealed soon. All a fan can do is simply sit back and watch.

If it falls short the DC Films slate could be in ruin. WB wouldn’t abandon their entire slate. Aquaman just recently wrapped production so there’s no ending that. They also know there’s money to be had in a sequel to Wonder Woman, as well as in Matt Reeves’ new Batman trilogy. But they would most likely abandon further Justice League projects and possibly Superman, The Flash and Cyborg films for the near future. So it’s a high stakes affair.

Justice League opens in theaters on November 17th.

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About The Author

Daniel Mills
Batman & DC Writer

Daniel Mills is a screenwriter and director working in Los Angeles, California. Far too many comics and Forgotten Realms-novels led him to want to tell stories of his own. From articles and opinion pieces to reviews and screenplays, he sees every new opportunity as another new realm waiting to be explored.

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