Pop-Ed: Breakning Down The Dawn of the Justice League: BVS, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman & More
Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment went all out last night in an aggressive attempt to get people excited about the DC Film Universe, a universe people have longed to see for years. There’s no question skeptic hats, arm folding and snarky twitter comments have run rampant ever since they announced Batman and Superman would appear in the same movie. While Warner Brothers had massive success with The Dark Knight Trilogy, everything else has been met with massive disappointment (2011’s Green Lantern), and at best, mixed results (Man of Steel). In two months time, all the speculation will end. We’ll finally know whether this universe can live up to the potential they built up, because Kevin Smith and DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns made it sound like they were parting the red sea.
I’ve long been against shared universes. Superheroes work best in their own worlds, because it makes for better storytelling, ala The Dark Knight Trilogy. Now that I’ve gotten the three greatest Batman films ever made, I can take this endeavor a bit easier. The reason I’m so hard on the Marvel Cinematic Universe is because I know it can be done better. In watching DC: Dawn of the Justice League special, the potential for all these characters is there. You can tell all these filmmakers and actors are legitimately excited. I can’t believe how many cast members and directors they highlighted in the span of one half-hour special. Almost every announced cast member and director of the DC Extended Universe popped up. Henry Cavill. Ben Affleck. Will Smith. Jared Leto. Zack Snyder. Chris Pine. Gal Gadot. Amy Adams. Jason Mamoa. When you break it all down, it’s quite the line up.
As a biased DC fan, I want this to work so badly, but I’m still skeptical after that last Batman V Superman trailer debacle. Even with all the anxiety though, there’s a lot to be excited about.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
We didn’t get a ton of new information or clips, and that’s a good thing. We’ve been beaten to death with Batman V Superman trailers, clips and posters, so enough is enough. The only quasi new tidbit we got was on Lux Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). He’s essentially the puppet master between Batman and Superman, but that was easy enough to surmise. I know people have already thrown in the towel on Eisenberg’s Luthor, and simply expect him to suck, but I’m still hopeful we get a great villain. Unfortunately, they showed us that horrific Doomsday clip again. Ugh. Anytime I get hope back, they throw us that piece of garbage.
Wonder Woman is easily the most iconic female superhero character there is, and she was on full display in the special. Her new movie comes out next year (directed by Patty Jenkins), and we were treated to some early footage:
That looked pretty sweet. It felt like Captain America: The First Avenger meets Braveheart. Wonder Woman is a great character, and it looks like they are definitely playing up the Greek Mythology angle hard. I’m thrilled they got Chris Pine (Steve Trevor) for this, what a get. Wonder Woman definitely looks promising. The only question that remains is Gal Gadot. We still haven’t heard the character speak. But again, we’ll know in two months on whether she’s a great Wonder Woman.
We didn’t get any footage of Justice League, as it’s still in pre-production, but Smith and Johns certainly weren’t shy about talking up the rest of the characters. I’ve always been an Aquaman fan. While a long running joke, this is a character who has MONSTER potential, and casting Jason Momoa was a good first step. Kevin Smith even mentions how the world is three quarters water, and this character controls all of it. Does that sound like a joke too you? This character is going to shock people in how much of bad ass he is, making that Family Guy joke seem like a distant memory.
While many are complaining that the movie Flash isn’t also Grant Gustin’s TV version, Ezra Miller was no doubt passionate about playing the character. The big point of emphasis was Barry Allen’s desire to prove his dad’s innocence over the death of his mother, and The Flash’s time travel capabilities. They were very clear about time travel being incorporated with the character, so get ready.
The character they actually got me legitimately pumped about though was Cyborg, played by Ray Fisher. Smith and Johns made a compelling case for why this guy is needed in the Justice League – he’s Mr. Technology! The way he was described as never sleeping, and always collecting data sounded awesome. They also made a point that this will be very character focused, as Victor Stone strives to hold onto his humanity. That made me happy, as this isn’t just a character they want to throw in there, but actually give him some meat.
They didn’t get much into Green Lantern Corp (2020), other than it’s clear we are getting a crap load of different Green Lanterns. It’s not clear though if a Green Lantern will be in the 2017 Justice League film.
SUICIDE SQUAD TRAILER
There’s no question what the highlight of the night was though – that Suicide Squad trailer. Holy, golf balls. I was into the comic-con trailer, but this was a down right masterpiece. It helps to incorporate one of the greatest songs of all time (Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody), but it wasn’t a cheap trick. It fit the mood perfectly. Will Smith looked awesome. Jai Courtney was completely unstable as Captain Boomerang. Killer Croc was a delight. Even the minor players like Katana and Enchantress looked interesting.
Let’s be honest though, it’s all about two people – Joker and Harley Quinn. People are going to lose their minds for Harley Quinn. Gee, I wonder what the most popular Halloween costume will be this year? Margot Robbie is about to explode. Jared Leto as the Joker also looks seamless. Following Heath Ledger is a thankless job, but Leto will no doubt bring something new to the greatest comic book villain of all time. That shot of Joker shooting in the tuxedo is FANTASTIC.
I recently posted my Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2016, and only had Suicide Squad #6 due to my lackluster feelings on Batman V Superman. If I were making that list today, Suicide Squad might be one. I can’t express enough how incredible that trailer looked:
Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.