Yesterday, Heroic Hollywood broke the news of how two central members of The Justice League, The Flash and Aquaman, would be introduced in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. According to the exclusive scoop, the two heroic figures will only be making cameo appearances in the film.
The manner in which they will be introduced is incredibly telling about how DC and Warner Bros. will construct their new cinematic universe.
At some point in the movie, Batman will hack into Lexcorp’s computer system, where he will see two brief video clips. The first will show The Flash foiling a bank robbery, and will only appear as a blur. The second clip will show Aquaman, contained in some sort of prison cell, where he will be slamming his hand up against the glass.
As we’ve mentioned previously here on Heroic Hollywood, it appears that Warner Bros. and DC is taking a more linear form of storytelling than their counterparts at Marvel. For much of its first phase, Marvel used a mixture of separate origin stories and end credit scenes to bring all of its main characters to us. Rather than try to copy what Marvel has already done (and done quite well, I should add!), DC is going the established universe route.
Like Batman and Wonder Woman, it appears that The Flash and Aquaman have been at it for quite some time, albeit under the radar. How long exactly we don’t know, but it will be a refreshing change to not have to go through more origin stories. If you’re panicking at the prospect of not getting a proper introduction to these comic book giants, try not to worry. From Star Wars: A New Hope to The Dark Knight we’ve seen that it’s possible to present brilliant characters without going over their back-story.
This revelation is ideal for a few reasons. First, it alleviates fears that this movie may become too bogged down with big names. Having Batman witness two major members of the Justice League on a computer screen sets things up perfectly. First and foremost, we know that the focus will stay largely on Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. This is also another indication that we’ll be getting a tech-savvy Batman that is always researching, two steps ahead of everyone else.
Knowing that Aquaman is in captivity at this point in time also provides a sense of continuity for the upcoming Suicide Squad. Rumors have been swirling that one of the prized possessions in Amanda Waller’s trophy case in Suicide Squad is Aquaman’s trident. It’s a good bet that wherever Aquaman is being held, Waller had a hand in putting him there.
If you’re familiar with the source material, you’ll know that there is a lot of history between Waller and Luthor. It makes sense that Luthor would have learned at least some of what she knows about Metahumans. Both characters are as Machiavellian as they are badass. They could be working together, or trying to work each other. Either way, it would be easy to incorporate into the plot.
Linear storytelling works perfectly for teases like this. Before we see Aquaman kicking ass in Justice League Part I, we’ll be seeing tiny hints of him throughout two movies net year. The same might be said for Ezra Miller’s take on Barry Allen. It’s also very likely that certain characters could appear in 2017’s Wonder Woman.
This strategy keeps the audience in anticipation without running the risk of overexposure or fatigue concerning certain characters. If executed successfully, Warner Bros. and DC will have accomplished the same thing that Marvel did successfully throughout its first phase, despite having taken a completely different path.
If The Flash and Aquaman were saddled with parts as big as Wonder Woman’s is assumed to be in Batman v Superman, the movie would be in serious danger of collapsing under its own weight. Thankfully, director Zack Snyder is playing it smart. Putting the trinity up front in the second movie in this new universe will drive fans wild. Briefly teasing us with other iconic characters will leave us wanting more.
So, anybody else excited?
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will come into theaters March 25, 2016.