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Justice League set visit reports hit!

If only to save their skin on all that bad press “Batman v Superman” has reaped and continues to reap, Warner Bros flew a flock of journalists across the shore to the UK recently to visit the set of the follow-up, “Justice League”. Those reports have hit over the last 24 hours or so. Obviously none of these guys are going to out-and-out trash the film after being put up in hotels, flown cross the sea, and introduced to Gal Gadot, but one wouldn’t have been surprised if their reactions had only been lukewarm to what they’d seen and heard while there. Surprisingly, nearly every major media outlet has confessed to being not only impressed by what they’ve seen but almost excited for the film. Are Warner/DCEU about to win cinemagoers and critics back with “Justice League”?

Obviously confident that their next movie with DC won’t crash like a saucer in a Roland Emmerich movie, the WB brass seemingly gave the reporters an all access pass to check out whatever they wanted on the set. Ultimately, the media got a good grasp on what type of film “Justice League” would be (and how different the tone would be from the gravely serious – which was most people’s beef with it – “Batman vs. Superman”) by the studio letting them skim the filming compound and by letting them chat to the core cast -including the all-assuring Ben Affleck (our Batman). They also witnessed some of the filming (in particular scenes with a scene-stealing Flash, played by Ezra Miller, as well as Commissioner Gordon, played by JK Simmons), and were supplied with a bunch of juicy details that got them all hot under the collar – like who Willem Dafoe is playing in the movie, and how they’re using The Flash and Cyborg. Bunches o’stuff.

Zack Snyder even essentially admitted to these sites that he screwed up on his previous ‘Superman’ movies – and that this one will be different. In short, seems like he’s going to try and make a movie more like a Marvel movie than his “Batman v Superman”. ‘Fun’ would seem to have been injected into this one.

“It did catch me off guard,” Snyder said of the response to “Batman v Superman”. “I have had to, in my mind, make an adjustment. I do think that the tone of Justice League has changed because of what the fans have said.”

While it would seem almost inevitable that “Justice League” will be a slightly better film than it’s predecessor – which wasn’t so much a commercial failure as it was a wrinkly wart with on the palms of critics and comic book fans – what with the studio now [hopefully] well aware why Zack Snyder’s first quarter release didn’t work, seems it might actually be a, er, super improvement on the DCEU flick. But let’s also remember that we’ve been here before – after the disappointing “Man of Steel”, how great did “Batman v. Superman” look!? Am I right!?

Still, you gotta have faith.

The lazy prick I am, here’s a summary from some of the sites that visited the set of “Justice League” last week and why they’re already ostensibly considering the film an improvement over what’s come before.

Nerdist says :

Though set visits are certainly not a complete indicator of the quality of a film, we learned a ton of details about the upcoming movie. Justice League will revolve around Batman assembling the Justice League, a.k.a. Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Cyborg, and Superman. The league will hunt down three Mother Boxes (divided among Atlantis, Themyscira, and Cyborg’s body) before Steppenwolf and his Parademons can get to them. What a clear and coherent plot already outlined! (Sorry, BvS) This could have something to do with Zack Snyder and his producing partner and wife Deborah confirming that this film will be much lighter than the dark, dark Dawn of Justice. In fact, two of the clips shown at the London set visit confirmed a high-spirited take on these DC heroes. Guys, Batman even jokes in the clips! Yeah, jokes. And Wonder Woman smiles? It’s a Bat-mas miracle.

Outside of snippets of the film, the concept art teased how much bigger, splashier, and comic book-y this film might be. First of all, Batman’s got a second vehicle called the Knight Crawler. (The name alone sold us.) It’s got like, spider-like legs that can pierce or climb any surface, with a badass flamethrower perfect for combatting Parademons. There was also a rendering of Cyborg’s costume, and it seems like he’ll be able to grow in size as well as wear a full-on helmet, turn his hand into a gun, and even sprout an extra pair of arms! Batman’s also got an armored suit including special padding underneath, getting closer to the look of the Dark Knight we all know and love.

But! That’s not all! The most inspiring news from this set visit came from our chat with the Batman himself. Affleck referred to the Justice League’s take on Batman as a man who believes in humanity again. We’ll truly see him as the world’s greatest detective, with gallows humor and a penchant for leadership. This sounds like the Batman we deserve… We still won’t know if Justice League lives up to the hype until it’s actually out in theaters, but for now, we’ll keep mining for intel and hope for the best!

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/Film said :

Thunder crashes in the distance as lightning flashes on a gothic-looking rooftop. The iconic Bat Signal shoots a beam of light into the sky as Commissioner Gordon looks out over Gotham City. On the other side of the rooftop, Batman appears, flanked by Wonder Woman and the Flash.

“How many of you are there?” asks Gordon.

Batman dryly responds, “Not enough.”

I’m on the set of Justice League watching a scene be filmed for Zack Snyder’s follow-up to the divisive Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Moments later, Cyborg walks out of the shadows to join the group. It’s not really Cyborg — he will created later in visual effects, but more on that later — it’s actor Ray Fisher in a performance capture suit and a rig that projects red lights from his head and chest. Ezra Miller, playing the Flash, comically overreacts at Cyborg’s appearance. This doesn’t feel like the previous Zack Snyder DC Extended Universe films.

Cyborg informs the group that “the head of Star Labs was taken tonight” and it’s now clear that while he may have been reluctant earlier, he is now willing to join up with this league of “meta humans” to fight a group of villains that Batman humorously refers to as “flying monkeys.”

Wonder Woman gives Cyborg a smile, and the camera moves in to capture this moment in closeup. It’s a moment of warmth and humanity, something that many fans and critics believed to be lacking from the two previous Superman films. After someone yells “cut,” one of my colleagues on set comments that this might be the first smile we’ve seen in Snyder’s DCU so far, or at very least, the most obvious.

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Vulture said :

Justice League, then, is meant to give the fans what they’ve supposedly been clamoring for: more traditional depictions of these classic comic-book characters. Batman will do less cold-blooded murdering of criminals and more canon-honoring detective work. The Flash and Cyborg will provide a youthful, irreverent counterpoint to their more grizzled Justice League teammates. And Aquaman (Jason Momoa) will swim into the movie from the franchise’s most fantastical realm yet, an under-the-sea kingdom featuring characters like ocean queen Mera (Amber Heard) and axe-wielding chief adviser Vulko (Willem Dafoe).

The film also tells a much more expansive story than its predecessors, so much so that it opens with a universe-establishing “history lesson” meant to set the stage for sequels and spinoffs to come. In that prologue, ancient Amazonians, humans, and Atlanteans are entrusted by the god Zeus to guard three “Mother Boxes,” a set of microwave-sized cubes that hold enough cosmic power to potentially bring about an apocalypse. (Think of them as DC’s equivalent to the Infinity Stones frequently fought over in Marvel movies.) In the present day, without the defeated Superman and beset by winged parademons from another planet, Batman and his cohorts race to find the hidden Mother Boxes before battling the villainous alien Steppenwolf.

It is, make no mistake, a giant movie. The role of Steppenwolf hasn’t yet been cast, but plenty of boldface names are already attached. Amy Adams will return as Lois Lane, J.K. Simmons has been added as the new Commissioner Gordon, and the filmmakers and concept art teased nearly a dozen cameos, including Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen from the upcoming Wonder Woman solo film, Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, and the possible appearance of several side characters like the Flash’s love interest Iris West. As Aquaman might put it, this movie is stuffed to the gills.

“I love the characters, and maybe to a fault sometimes, I dork out on the hardcore aspects of the comic books,” said Snyder. Behind him as he spoke was a table strewn with Justice League weaponry, including enough swords, shields, and pitchforks to populate Snyder’s war film 300; earlier, we had seen a host of armored, ammo-laden vehicles including the Batmobile and the brand-new Nightcrawler, a spider-like vehicle with a flamethrower on top. Near Snyder, in a piece of concept art tacked to the wall, the Nightcrawler could be glimpsed incinerating an unlucky foe with its flame blast.

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There’s a bunch more reports online, but I think you get the drift : they’re making “Justice League” more “Avengers”. That, I’m guessing, if it’s true, should work better for everyone.

I think this video, posted by Collider sums up the whole set visit beautifully. Check it out. Keep the faith.

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