WB has finally graced us all with an official trailer for Justice League, set to release on November 17. Up until now we have only had promotional photos, production stills, a few behind the scenes videos, a smattering of interviews and one Comic-Con special trailer of footage from last summer set to "Icky Thump."
Now we have a full official trailer topping at almost two and a half minutes to watch a thousand times over and digest as much as possible. First we might have to calm down, seriously. Ok, well I have to calm down first. Give me a minute.
Ok, I think I'm good enough to type now. To put it simply, I've never seen a trailer like that for a comic book movie. Ever. In Everdom. None of us have, if you really think about it. I've talked before about Zack Snyder's incredible ability to blend and create a comic book aesthetic that translates well on a cinematic level, something that he's been doing since 300, carried over into Watchmen and really ramped up with both Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The idea of taking the look and feel of a comic book right off the pages and putting it on screen in the "real world" is really something that only he has been able to achieve with great balance and regularity.
That aesthetic is on FULL display in this first Justice League trailer and then some. I'm reading the current Justice League series now in DC Rebirth and part of this trailer felt like reading those books, along with other DC books that I have read and currently read. Snyder really has this aesthetic down and he does it in a way that no one else has been able to fully emulate or even attempt to understand, and clearly his new Director of Photography Fabian Wagner, fresh from Game of Thrones work, understands what Snyder wants at least from what we see here.
This trailer is FUN. Like, A LOT of fun. In the past year, that's been a naughty word for fans of the DC Extended Universe because critics, bloggers and other detractors of the franchise have beaten us over the head with it almost constantly, saying that movies like MoS and BvS lacked the fun and lightheartedness that audiences might come to expect from certain comic book movies. The DCEU fans have countered all along with the idea that jokes and witty quips in the middle of fight scenes don't automatically equal fun and that if a story deals with serious elements and tones, there's no reason to force humor or comedy into the movie just for the sake of it.
The thing is, we all had to know that more humor and lightheartedness was coming because Snyder, screenwriter Chris Terrio and producer Charles Roven were some of the DCEU crew members that indicated a lighter tone was coming after BvS simply because they wanted the team to form out of "darkness" and come into the light to be a team. I'm paraphrasing, but that's the general idea, so when you see the humor in this Justice League trailer from Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne admitting to Ezra Miller's Barry Allen that his superpower is that he's rich, to Jason Momoa's Aquaman saying "I dig it" in acknowledging Batman's costume right in front of our first look at J.K. Simmons' Commissioner Gordon and then Aquaman's enthusiasm as he leaps off of a speeding Batmobile into the air to fight Parademons, we should know that it was always intended to be that way and that's probably why it appears to work so well. It's "earned" if you will after the gravity of the Black Zero and Doomsday events in the previous movies.
Everyone has their moment to shine in this first trailer, which was very important to see. Batman is fighting Parademons on his own with explosive Batarangs, more guns on the Batmobile and the Nightcrawler, his new alien-fighting machine that is on display for the first time here in this trailer right after he admits his "rich" superpower to Barry. That was a PERFECT juxtaposition of those scenes, capped off with Batman's "My turn" as he unleashes an assault on the minions of Steppenwolf's army while Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman watches.
Speaking of Wonder Woman, she might have the most iconic line in the whole trailer with her "They said the age of heroes would never come again," expertly placed along side panning shots of the team showing Ray Fisher's Cyborg, The Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman all together looking at the same thing, whatever it is, with a smoky cloud of light behind them and Bruce's response, "It has to." This precedes a montage of battle scenes between the Justice League and the Parademon army, including Diana with a spectacular takedown of two soldiers appearing to be on top of the Batmobile in a street shot that might be related to the end shot of Aquaman and Cyborg flying away from the Batmobile to fight more Parademons. Beyond epic.
This trailer focuses on Batman but right alongside his focus is Arthur Curry, King of Atlantis himself. He's impaling Parademons with his trident, jumping on the Batmobile, grabbing a drink in a bar and just being, well...badass. No one questioned casting Jason Momoa in this role and everything suggests we are going to be richly rewarded for that.
This is also the best look at Cyborg we have had yet, seeing his powers of flight and weaponry on display as well as his strength. We also get plenty of looks at The Flash and his speed force connection, my favorite being his dodging of Parademon weapons fire before punching said Parademon through a wall rather destructively. Also in a shot that demonstrates a taste of the Barry Allen backstory to come, we see him in prison talking to his father Henry, played by Billy Crudup. We get what looks to be a crazy flashback sequence where the Apokolips army fights the Amazonians in a VERY LARGE battle, a brief image of Amy Adams' Lois Lane on the street and Silas Stone, father of Victor Stone played by Joe Morton with a mother box in his home before a parademon appears in it, one would suspect via Boom Tube. There's a lot of comic lingo there so if you've never read any of the DC Comics and don't know what some of that is, it's okay. The movie will explain it all, I have no doubt.
This first official Justice League trailer has been nothing short of remarkable, if for no other reason than it managed to get the fans excited and give the heroes their moments to shine individually and as team and start building the hype again for the movie......with one major member of the team still missing. Superman of course at this point is still "dead" from his battle with Doomsday in BvS and there was speculation as to how if at all he would feature in this first trailer as well as the individual member teaser trailers we got in the two days prior to this release. The answer is no at this point, and that remains the true mystery of this promotional blitz for Justice League that has now really begun. How and when will they allude to Superman's return and what impact will it have on the team as well as us the audience who eagerly await it?
Time will tell on all of that and many other things, but for now we're off to a great start with this first trailer. Now pardon me while I go watch it about 50 more times today.