Justice League – everything you need to know

the justice league movie

by Alex Godfrey |
Published on

Who are the Justice League?

With Superman seemingly having bitten the big one after wrestling Doomsday in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, it’s up to his former agitator, Batman, to ply a positive future as even darker forces emerge. The avengers he assembles are:

Wonder Woman / Diana Prince (Gal Gadot): immortal Amazonian princess and daughter of Zeus.

The Flash / Barry Allen (Ezra Miller): cop with the power to tap into the "Speed Force" and run really fast.

Aquaman / Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa): king of the undersea realm of Atlantis.

Cyborg / Victor Stone (Ray Fisher): college athlete cybernetically reconstructed after a near-fatal accident. Can teleport.

What is the Justice League film about?

"The film is about the purpose of being a superhero," says producer Deborah Snyder. "Superman's death had such a strong effect on Batman, and he really regains faith in humanity and everything that's good. This alien just gave his life for us. And it really changes who Batman is, and he also feels responsibility to honour him, because he didn't feel like he did it when he was living."

The official synopsis runs thusly: "Fuelled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes — Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash — it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions."

Who is Justice League's villain?


Thanks to seeds sown in Batman V Superman – particularly the dream sequence's Omega symbol – it’s assumed that Darkseid, the god of the planet Apokolips, who opposes any form of free will, is Justice League’s big bad. Darkseid is after the Anti-Life Equation, which will enable him to rule the universe, and the key to that equation exists in human subconscious, so here he comes. Possibly. Snyder and his team are keeping schtum about Darkseid’s potential involvement in this film, but production art shows his horned, immortal, super-strength, electro-axe-wielding cohort Steppenwolf, who leads the Apokolips army. Steppenwolf, says Deborah Snyder, will be performed via motion-capture, by Game Of Thrones' Ciaran Hinds. Also along for the carnage are swarms of Parademons, Darkseid’s minions, the four-winged armoured irritants who also appeared in Batman V Superman’s dream sequence. In the Justice League rooftop scene Empire saw being filmed, Batman derisively dismissed them as "flying monkeys".

Is Superman in Justice League?

Henry Cavill as Superman in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Basically yes, although the 'whens' and 'hows' and 'whys' of his resurrection are being kept secret for now. "Obviously Superman is part of the Justice League," says Deborah Snyder. "There wouldn't be a Justice League without Superman, but his way back to us, we don't want to spoil that. But he's here." Henry Cavill revealed on his Facebook page in February, 2016 that he was back in Superman training.

Is Lex Luthor in Justice League?

Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice

We last saw Lex in prison, mocking Superman’s death. Jesse Eisenberg has said he thinks he’s in Justice League, and Zack Snyder hints further. "That's a little bit of a spoiler. But Jesse's amazing and hilarious and fun… He's in prison, but prisons in the comic-book world are pretty viscous places. Pretty porous."

What are Batman's vehicles in Justice League?


"Alfred and Bruce are developing a lot of tech that helps the Justice League," confirms Deborah Snyder. This includes the Flying Fox, a jet which production designer Patrick Tatopoulos says is "like a Batmobile with wings. It’s not sleek. It’s a massive Batman plane." But let’s not get caught up in technical terminology. This time around Batman also has what we can only describe as a cockpit with four enormous steel legs. The Knightcrawler, although everyone seems to call it "The Crawler", was, we’re told, built by the military in the 1960s, and has ended up with Batman. It’s not the most delicate of vehicles, stomping about causing untold damage, with a flamethrower on the front and hooks on its limbs that grab onto surfaces, shoving it along. "It's robust, it can travel in places you can't really access," says Tatopoulos. "Places where cars and planes won't work. It's like a crab thing."

The Batmobile is the same one we saw last time, but kitted out with a bit more artillery.

What are Justice League's mother boxes?

Bear with us here as we where we get into McGuffin territory, and DC’s equivalent of Marvel’s Infinity Stones. These magical cubes – think the Hellraiser puzzle box, but bigger and floatier – were teased in Batman V Superman’s Cyborg scene, in which one of them brought Victor Stone’s new metallic body to life, and in the film’s deleted Communion scene, where Lex Luthor's mysterious friend juggled three of them before evaporating. Mother boxes are Apokoliptan technology, alien supercomputers, and their story will be told in Justice League, drawing us into the backstories of the various folk we meet in the film. "The old gods came together," explains producer Charles Roven – indeed Zeus makes a brief appearance in this ancient history – "and decided that, based on an event that happened, these mother boxes would be placed in the care of the Amazonians, mankind and the Atlanteans."

Who is directing Justice League?

Zack Snyder at the Man Of Steel world premiere
©Andrew H. Walker / Getty

Zack Snyder, continuing the saga he began with Man Of Steel and Batman V Superman. Also relevantly, he directed DC / Warner’s epic Watchmen in 2009 (from the famous Alan Moore graphic novel), and adapted Frank Miller’s 300 for the screen in 2006. He's overseeing the entire DC shared movie universe too, producing Wonder Woman and Aquaman, and exec-producing Suicide Squad and The Flash.

Who wrote Justice League?

Chris Terrio and Ben Affleck

The screenwriter is Chris Terrio, who wrote Ben Affleck's Argo. Terrio was attached to BVS before Affleck donned Batman’s iconic cowl, and his work on the film – a fresh, provocative pair of eyes with no background in comics or comic-book movies - was a key deciding factor in Affleck taking the job.

Who is scoring Justice League's music?

Tom Holkenborg, AKA Junkie XL will take sole responsibility for the music this time, having paired up with Hans Zimmer on Batman V Superman. Increasingly prolific as a film composer, he recently also scored Mad Max: Fury Road, Point Break, Deadpool and Black Mass, and is at work on The Dark Tower.

How does Justice League tie in with Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman?

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice

They’re all pretty much separate entities, says Deborah Snyder: "All the films fit in a timeline but they're independent. They all have their own tone, yet they're all in the same filmic universe. There will be little bits of crossovers." Affleck is executive producer on Justice League, as he’s developing his Batman film alongside it, although he doesn’t yet have a script he’s happy with for that standalone film, he says. He’s developing his take on the character as we speak: "The ‘world's greatest detective’ aspect of Batman is more present in this story than it was in the last one, and will probably be expanded further in the Batman movie that I'm doing. I think all Batman stories at their heart are detective stories, that's why they feel a little bit like noir movies. It could be The Maltese Falcon."

Who is starring in Justice League?

Jeremy Irons as Alfred in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Aside from the principal superheroes mentioned above, the main supporting cast reads as follows:

Amy Adams is Lois Lane, Daily Planet journalist and Superman squeeze.

J.K. Simmons is James Gordon, Gotham City PD's commisioner.

Diane Lane is Martha Kent, Superman's mom.

Jeremy Irons is Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's butler.

Willem Dafoe is Nuidis Vulko, an Atlantean

Amber Heard is Mera, another Atlantean.

Where is Justice League being filmed?

Shooting began on April 11, 2016, and has mostly taken place at Leavesden Studios in Hertfordhire. There has also been location work in Scotland and Iceland, and around London and Los Angeles.

When is Justice League released?

The Justice League line-up

Justice League will be out in the UK on November 17, 2017. Part Two is pencilled in for June 14, 2019, but the two films are not being made back-to-back. Keep checking Empire Online for much, more on both, as well as Wonder Woman and the rest of the cinematic DCU.


Comic-Con presentation, released July, 2016:

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