Exclusive: ‘Justice League’ To Be A “Rebirth Of Hope”

Justice LeagueBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a dark movie. That’s a simple fact that has led to an incredibly polarized response. Some people relished the darkness, the aesthetic and tonal similarities to Frank Miller’s seminal Batman stories, while others have grown weary of the trend of ‘dark and gritty’ versions of funny book characters, beacons of optimism turned po-faced and glum.

But according to the people making these movies, the tone of Batman v Superman was less a statement of intent for the DC Extended Universe as a whole, but rather a necessary (in their view) bit of turmoil that sets the stage for a triumphant rise.

When I sat down with Batman v Superman Second Unit Director Damon Caro and Visual Effects Supervisor Bryan Hirota (both of whom are working on Justice League as well), they were not able to give me too much information about the upcoming film other than to assure me that things won’t be quite as dour the next time around.

This is an excerpt from a larger interview. Look for the full interview later this week.

So with regards to Justice League, without revealing anything that you’re not allowed to reveal at this point, what are you most excited for people to see?

Caro: Same as myself, I’m excited for people to see all of these characters together. I can’t be more specific than that unfortunately, but that’s it. Finally getting to see the whole team together. We were on set for the shots when they first had them all together and it was incredible. And we had a moment like that on BvS when we did the trinity shot when they face off against Doomsday, and there were just chills. That was the beginning of it. Like I said, I can’t be any more descriptive. (To Hirota) How about you?

Hirota: I don’t even know what this movie’s about (laughs). All I know is, officially, I’m working on this movie. I think that’s about all I know.

I’m also excited for the fact that, from the little glimpses we’ve gotten to see so far, it seems like there is going to be a bit of a lighter tone. You have Flash coming in, which obviously lightens the tone quite a bit.

Hirota: And they’ve said that.

Caro: And the interesting thing is, on Man of Steel, in [Zack Snyder’s] head he had the storyline treatment of where they were going to go, and at the beginning of BvS it was even richer and deeper. The arc was BvS was the midway point and the darker movie. Hence what happens at the end; the whole tone of it was darker. If you play your story all at one level, there are no peaks and valleys, there’s no life. The great stories, the Greek tragedies, even life we have to be knocked down before we can build our way up. Justice League was always the rebirth of hope and the rise. People try to say that it’s a response to the backlash, and I’d definitely say that criticisms were heard, but it’s not like we threw everything out and started with a blank slate. It’s a bit like Star Wars. Empire Strikes Back? Dark movie! But then Return of the Jedi is the rise and the rebuilding of hope.

Justice League opens in theaters on November 17, 2017.

David Daut

David Daut

Though his taste has been described as ‘broken’, David maintains that the Fast & Furious series is the greatest cultural achievement of the modern era.

  • Cool.

  • LupeX

    Time will be the ultimate vindicator of Batman V Superman. The people who were so against it, will see when future generations hail it as one of the bright lights of the golden age of Superhero movies.
    Just like Blade Runner and Fight Club and Unbreakable, I have no doubt about it … Iv seen critics get is so horribly wrong enough times to tell you how this story ends.

    • Bucket

      BvS will stand the test of time.

      • Carl

        Yep it will stand through time as a bad movie.

        • Bucket

          no

    • Dave

      Don’t forget the thing. That movie was SAVAGED when it came out in theatres. Now it is viewed as a timeless classic horror.

      • Carl

        Again The Thing is another movie that few saw in theaters.

    • Carl

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. You don’t get it. BvS will never be some hidden gem. BvS was seen by millions. Movies like Blade Runner and Fight Club were under appreciated because few went to see them in theaters. They were reviewed well but also not reviewed by as many critics at the time. BvS has 353 reviews! It was seen by everyone who cared to see it. The general opinion of it will never change. It’s nice that you like the movie but don’t be delusional about it’s status, it will always be considered a bad movie.

      Movies like Dredd or The Nice Guys could attain cult status because they are good movies that few saw.

      • LupeX

        Bye Carl, go play your Sega Saturn

        • Carl

          I don’t play it anymore.

  • Chris Terrio, writer of both BvS and JL, was very clear about this in his interview with the WSJ. He stated he regards MoS, BvS, and JL as a trilogy of films that is telling an entire saga. He likened BvS’s dark tone as similar within the trilogy to that of The Two Towers in LotR and ESB in the Star Wars Original Trilogy.

    Unlike ESB and TTT we don’t have the benefit of seeing the final film of the trilogy. But it will make more sense once we see the entire arc resolved with JL. BvS forces us to question the legitimacy of superheroes. But in JL we will see that yes, we do need them–or what they stand for–in our crazy, mixed up world today.

    • 12stepCornelius

      Exactly. People unfortunately do not have as much patience as they did watching the original SW trilogy back in the 70s/80s, nor do they have the propensity to accept that this is a different, unique, cinematic take on these characters with the current films.

  • Origami Rose

    Oh wb/dceu the dark tone wasnt the problem of batman v superman. It was the script, cramming and choices they made for the beloved dc characters.

    • Papacheeks

      bingo! I will also say making superman dark was not the right choice either, he was suppose to be the light that batman would see to aspire too and stop his cruel ways. But that didn’t happen in man of steel or BVS.

      DCEU is a mess and I have very little hope unless it get’s some kind of reboot with better people at the helm. Myabe wonder woman will be great, it looks good. But zack snyder is not someone I want directing DC films.

      • Anon

        That’s because you’re an idiot.

        Bruce WAS inspired by Superman’s sacrifice. He regained hope and stopped his “cruel” ways. Pay a little more attention next time, kiddo.

    • 12stepCornelius

      The choices they decided to make creatively with the characters’ story arcs, does not alone, make for a bad movie tho. Don’t like Superman’s darker origin story atm? Fine. But you can’t say that makes the film bad by any means.

    • As Bane would say, “for you.”

      Many of us like the film.

      • Hinscher

        Yea, and speaking of Bane, that movie (rises) was loved by critics, yet was a complete piece of garbage, imo.
        Begins was alright. I think it’s got more nostalgia/hype around it due to it being a first non campy batman on screen. Really though, the only movie that is worth anything in that trilogy is Dark Knight. Joker was spectacular in that movie. Harvey Dent also amazing. The rest of the movie pretty crap, but seeing as those two were the main focus, they overshadowed the crap.

        • I actually liked Rises more than Dark Knight. There, I said it. It had a lot to do with my finally watching the entire trilogy in 2013, and expectations that were set up about the two films. My friends were like you, same feelings about the movies. I think my expectations got set sky high for TDK and it was then bound to disappoint. On the other side of that coin they ruthlessly bashed Rises, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. Not making any objective claims about either film being better than the other. Just talking about how I experienced them for my own reasons.

  • jrvc

    Indeed that’s what was always intended. But alas people don’t have the needed patient to see all this been developed. SMH…

    • Carl

      I’m impatient with bad movies.

  • SAMURAI36

    No matter how many times this gets stated, someone will come along & claim the contrary.
    But in the meantime, this was an EXCELLENT article. Kudos to HH for the interview, something that we should see alot more of.

    • Hinscher

      Too true. This was stated months before BvS released. They have been saying for a long time now that it is the middle dark movie in a trilogy. But then movie comes out and people scream “OMG, they learned nothing from MoS and BvS is super dark”
      Idiots.