Justice League Movie Coming, Zack Snyder to Direct

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The Justice League movie will follow Batman vs. SupermanWarner Bros. President of Worldwide Production Greg Silverman told this news to the Wall Street Journal and also said that Zack Snyder would be the Justice League director. Snyder directed Man of Steel, which was very polarizing, and is also directing Batman vs. Superman.

Man of Steel split the public down the middle, with many hating it and many loving it. It even severed the staff of Renegade Cinema. James and Caliber hated the movie while Aidan and I listed it among our favorite movies of the summer of 2013. Honestly, read what Aidan wrote about Man of Steel last year. It is great stuff.

Justice League movie

Man of Steel/Warner Bros.

For me, watching Man of Steel made me feel like I just watched a fantastic origin story. People whine that Superman would never kill anyone (they obviously haven’t watched Superman II, where he threw a POWERLESS General Zod into a deep pit). They complained that he allowed so many people to die while a much more powerful General Zod (a trained military genius) was trying to kill Superman (a trained – – – farmer?).

I see it as Kal-El becoming Superman. He took his beating. He regretted his actions (which was shown in the movie). He will grow as a man. Plus, I guarantee that the destruction of Metropolis will not only shade how Batman feels about Superman (ie. Batman vs. Superman), but it will probably also help Lex Luthor become the public’s favored son in some was as well – something that is necessary in the Superman world. Luthor builds power when people fear Superman. It has always been that way.

All this was built in Man of Steel – a great Superman movie. I know one Renegade writer who felt the movie should have been lighthearted and fun, and not exist in a movie world where we see how people would REALLY react if Superman was here. That writer also loved Superman III. I don’t want Richard Pryor stealing scenes from my Superman. I want Superman to exist as a God in a world of humans who are afraid of what they can’t explain. That is Man of Steel.

Justice League movie

Man of Steel / Warner Bros.

Maybe I just like my comic book movies a little more grown up. There are cartoons for people who love to see Superman flying around with a smile on his face saving puppies. But, I’m not 12-years-old anymore. I want a heroic Superman, but I also want it in the real world. And I feel that Zack Snyder did a fantastic job at setting up Superman to become that ultra-heroic character that fans “claim” they love but then deride as a boring “Big Blue Boy Scout” when he is delivered in that manner.

Superman should not have been Jesus Christ as he grew into a man. He needed to be someone who didn’t know who he was, or his place in the world. He made mistakes, he had things he wished he could have done differently. He finished the movie stronger than he started it. It was an origin story done right.

Honestly, Zack Snyder came into a no-win situation where fans complained when he gave them a Superman in a real world environment, but would have also complained if he was the Big Blue Boy Scout. And Snyder did the best he could under those situations with this origin story. Man of Steel made $670 million worldwide and another $96 million in DVD and Blu-ray sales. Snyder did his job.

The Wall Street Journal interview also said that there would probably be a Wonder Woman movie after the Justice League movie, which is a big deal since there has been nothing in the way of a female-lead superhero movie since Catwoman and Elektra stunk up the joint.

Justice League movie

Zack Snyder / Wikimedia Commons

After Batman vs. Superman, we will have met Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and – at the very least – the man who will become Cyborg. Jason Mamoa also just officially signed on, and he is rumored to be Aquaman. That leaves Flash and Green Lantern, if we are going with the New DC 52 line up. Since Wonder Woman and Victor Stone (Cyborg) will have limited roles in the movie, they are likely there just to introduce them into the world for the Justice League movie.

Now, back to Zack Snyder – a guy who gets crapped on for no reason. Lets look at his body of work. He made Dawn of the Dead, one of the best horror remakes ever made. He made 300, a wonderfully fun movie. He made Watchmen, another great movie where he actually fixed the ending and changed it to something that worked better for the big screen. He then had the one-two punch of Legend of the Guardians, a boring but beautiful animated movie, and Sucker Punch, a huge misstep that still remains a guilty pleasure for D-Rock. So, coming into Man of Steel, he was 3-for-5. I feel Man of Steel made him 4-for-6, although others disagree.

Justice League movie

DC Comics

Ben Affleck will surely help with the scripting, as he brought in his own screenwriter to work on Batman vs. Superman, and I am sure he will be there to work with David S. Goyer on the Justice League movie as well. I feel that things started out great with Man of Steel when it came to building Superman and placing him in this world. Now, it is time to see if they continue the forward motion with Batman vs. Superman and plant Batman securely where he should be – as someone who doesn’t trust Superman – or anyone else. That is Batman.

Of course, the people who wanted to see Superman as the Big Blue Boy Scout will probably want a lighthearted version of Batman here as well, despite hating it when it happened in the 90s. Joker himself said “why so serious?” I disagree. Let’s see the heroes surviving in the real world. That is the only way the God-like characters from DC Comics can be anywhere near interesting. Put the Justice League movie in a lighthearted atmosphere and it would be horribly un-watchable. Put them in the kind of world that Zack Snyder has built in Man of Steel and they could be fascinating.

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About the Author

Shawn S. Lealos
Shawn is a film critic with over 25 years of experience in print and online media. He is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and loves everything from critically acclaimed movies to B-level action flicks.
  • James C.

    God article, I hear you, Shawn. See your point. My problems with Man of Steel go deeper than whether Superman was portrayed properly, and more to the story itself having many plotholes, and perceived character moments that seems to rely on the fans knowing the back story of Superman without showing any reason for the moments. ie: Superman and Lois’ apparent love story that had little to no screen time. And, how Superman literally by his own free will, contributed to the destruction of one small town, and the majority of Metropolis- and in turn, never once showed remorse for the assumed thousands of people that were killed. And believe me, there were thousands killed. Just because they didn’t know as many people in the city due to, maybe, VFX issues, there is no way that entire city was evacuated… and yet, Superman kills Zod because he might hurt 3 people. Hilarious. And when the film ends, the least Superman could do is offer to help clean up his mess, but instead destroys a million dollar drone, and then tells off the Army. Just silly. Now, I know that Snyder is not completely at fault here, the writer’s are, and the producers… and Snyder can direct a fun action scene… but, as I said in my article, we all know Superman is going to win, so show his humanity. Show his heart. Show his inner conflict.

    • One of the things I mentioned to someone back when the movie first came out is that they need to show the repercussions of this war in the second movie – whether it is what has Batman come after him or what helps Lex Luthor rise to power (like when he did in the comics after Gotham City was destroyed and he helped rebuild it).

      They also have to show, in the second movie, how these events changed Superman for the better. I completely understand it needing to be hinted at in the first movie, so it can stand on its own, but I think that – knowing there was as sequel coming – it was not as bad for me when it came to this movie.

      I agree with the attacks in Smallville being something Superman could have avoided, but not Metropolis. The giant war machine was in the middle of Metropolis. He was a puppet on Zod’s strings at that point, in my opinion, and could barely keep up with Zod. The snapping of the neck at the end was not really about saving the three people in my opinion, but the realization that he wasn’t strong enough to stop Zod any other way.

      • James C

        …and you are right, if the growth of Superman/Clark is apparent in the second film than I would have the concede that Man of Steel was a great… Prologue… and, make me take a second look at it. And, really, man, that would be super awesome if it was true. I would be first in line to recant all my hate for this movie… until then, and with the proof of how badly Snyder directs emotional scenes… if he even directs them, or just pulls an Uwe Boll and plays on his phone the whole time- the relationships in Watchmen were bad, there were none of note In 300, and Suckerpunch had such room for an emotional story and he missed the boat completely- that I just think we might be hoping for too much.

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