(Submitted with much DC love by Mr. Prince Adam… 😉 Thanks, and Happy Birthday Week, Super Friend! 🙂 xoxo)
San Diego Comic Con has come and gone, and once again, the news and footage coming out of Warner Brothers DC Entertainment panel has left me amazed and excited. Let’s start with news updates. We know that after Justice League, Aquaman is next in theaters in December of 2018. Beyond that, we had no idea what was coming after that….until now! SHAZAM will go into production in February 2018, for a 2019 release! While we don’t have actors announced for Billy Batson or his SHAZAM alter-ego, we know The Rock has been cast as Black Adam, SHAZAM’s nemesis. However, Geoff Johns has stated that he will not appear in SHAZAM, instead focusing on a Black Adam solo movie, and then culminating with a faceoff between the two. The director of the film will be David F, Sandberg. The director should be familiar to readers of this site, as he has directed the horror film Lights Out and has the film Annabelle: Creation releasing in August. If I had my way the story for SHAZAM should be an amalgamation of the origin written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Gary Frank, and an older story titled Trials of SHAZAM. Both, I will eventually review here. No matter what story is told, if done correctly, SHAZAM, could be a mix of Superman, meets Harry Potter, with a sprinkle of BIG thrown in there! It has all the potential to be a four quadrant crowd pleaser and a big hit with kids.
The other DC Films on WB’s schedule are Batgirl, Suicide Squad 2, Justice League: Dark, Green Lantern Corps, The Batman, The Flash: Flashpoint, and Wonder Woman 2. Here’s what we know about some of the other films:
Batgirl is being written and directed by the masterful Joss Whedon. Geoff Johns said that Joss Whedon will start work on Batgirl in 2018 because as of right now, he is finishing up scheduled reshoots on Justice League, after he stepped in for Zack Snyder, when Zack had to step away from the film due to a personal family tragedy. Justice League Dark is currently searching for a director, after filmmaker Doug Liman left the project due to a scheduling conflict. Green Lantern Corps is being co-written by David Goyer and Justin Rhodes, with a story treatment by Geoff Johns. The film will feature many Green Lanterns but the focus will be on Hal Jordan and John Stewart. The film has been described as Lethal Weapon in space. The Batman is just gearing up with Matt Reeves directing, after just releasing the master class that is War for the Planet of the Apes. Matt Reeves indicating they are in the initial stages of scripting and while he’s focused on this film, he does have ideas for a multi-film Batman story. Most in Hollywood believe it is a trilogy. The director has said he envisions The Batman as a noir detective story, which is music to my ears. The Flash film recently had a new draft of the script turned in and is now an adaptation of the 2011 even miniseries Flashpoint. In terms of directors, last we heard was that Robert Zemeckis of Back to the Future fame, was the frontrunner to direct. I hope the deal is finalized, because Robert Zemeckis and The Flash seems like a match made in heaven. In regards to a Wonder Woman sequel, that’s a no-brainer after the massive success of the Wonder Woman film, which is still in theaters. Negotiations for Patty Jenkins to return to direct are underway and Geoff Johns just started writing the script. There are rumors indicating that the film will be another period piece, set to the backdrop of the Cold War. Though, there’s no official confirmation of that.
About 12 hours before the DC Films presentation, a report indicated that Warner Brothers was plotting a course for the Batman solo film franchise without Ben Affleck as its star. The report has asserted that Affleck’s age and Matt Reeve’s desire to do a trilogy as reasons for Affleck’s supposed exit. The posited that Ben Affleck’s last performance as Batman, could possibly be Justice League in November. The report indicated that a story reason in one of the upcoming DC Films would account for a recast Batman. At today’s panel, Ben Affleck was asked directly about this story. This was his response; “”Let me be clear: I am the luckiest guy in the world… I would be an ape on the ground for Matt Reeves let alone Batman.” Here’s my take on the situation. I think there’s truth in both Ben Affleck’s statement and The Hollywood Reporter. Here’s how I see it going down. My gut feeling is that Ben Affleck will star in The Batman. He will then make a cameo at the beginning of Flashpoint. Then Flash will go back in time, and prevent the death of his mother. When he does, that causes several changes to the timeline, including a war between Themyscira and Atlantis. Also, Bruce Wayne was killed as a child, instead of his parents on that fateful night. This drives Martha insane, and prompts Thomas Wayne to become Batman. Barry Allen works with Thomas Wayne’s Batman to get his speed back, so he can reset the timeline. The only reason Thomas Wayne agrees to help him, is because The Flash tells Thomas Wayne that in his timeline he and Martha died, but Bruce survived and was the Batman of his world. When Flash regains his speed, he returns to the Batcave, and talks with a younger looking Batman. The reason why Batman is younger, is because all the heroes lost some time of their lives. You’d have to rework a bit of the story, but you could have the ending where after fixing the timeline you could have Flash meet Batman in the Batcave to make sure that everything went back to normal. At this moment, you could have Ben Affleck’s potential replacement in that scene.
That’s all what’s to come in the near future, but let’s talk about something more immediate. The newest Justice League Comic Con Sneak peek, was 4 minutes of Nerdgasmic justice. The trailer starts with DC’s newest movie Superstar, Wonder Woman stops a bank robbery, busting open doors and doing her signature leg sweep. We then see a quick shot of Bruce Wayne talking about an upcoming threat. Cut to Themyscira. We see Hippolyta and the Amazon’s looking on as a Mother Box opening up a boom tube, followed by Steppenwolf crashing throw it. We see little bits of Steppenwolf throughout the trailer but never a full on shot. There’s a Steppenwolf voiceover with him saying that Earth has no protectors, no Lanterns and no Kryptonian. It will fall, like all the others. He scorches the earth with what looks like a big steel whip. But yes, we have a Green Lantern reference. They exist in the DCEU. We get more solo shots and action shots of the team. Aquaman underwater, dodging Apocalyptian spears. We see The Flash running, and we see Cyborg plugging into the Knight crawler and assuming control from Alfred. Speaking of Alfred, there’s a lot of humor from Alfred. There’s even a reference to Batman Returns. Let’s see if you spot it. Batman and the world are still morning the loss of Superman. We see Batman return to the scene of Superman’s death, perched on a gargoyle. We also see a scene of Batman on a rooftop, looking at the Bat-Signal. I don’t care what anyone says, but nobody does iconic Batman shots like Zack Snyder. Speaking of iconic Batman shots, we get Batman and J.K. Simmons pitch perfect Commissioner Gordon on a rooftop with the Batmobile. This classic moment is given a different dynamic, as the entire Justice League has joined them. This leads to one of the funniest moments of the trailer courtesy of The Flash. He actually has two. Two action scenes that really stood out were Aquaman quasi surfing on a Parademon down a building, and The Flash catching and tossing Wonder Woman’s wayward sword back to her. Wonder Woman stole the show in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and I believe Ezra Miller will be the standout as The Flash in Justice League. Also, good job by the marketing department for having Superman heavily mentioned and referenced but never flat our shown! Save his resurrection for the film!
I loved this trailer. I think it as the visual power and flare that you come to expect from a Zack Snyder film, with the epic, fun tone you get from reading a Justice League comic book or an episode of the animated series. I think even detractors of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will enjoy this trailer. Wonder Woman was a high note for the DCEU and I think Justice League will further build on that. Aquaman will make that wave stronger and the updated announced slate will keep the good times rolling. I can’t wait to see Justice League on November 17th and review it for you all, shortly thereafter. As the trailer tagline says, I’m All In with the DCEU!