WARNING: The following contains multiple giant, hulking SPOILERS for next year's Justice League, garnered from a recent visit to the film set. Proceed with whatever level of Bat-like caution suggests to you is wise.
So here's the thing. Last week I was fortunate enough to visit the London set of DC's upcoming Justice League movie. Which, as it turns out, was way more of a revealing and plot-teasing experience than you'd imagine, considering the movie isn't due for release until November 2017. If you're so inclined as to read on, then you will quickly be greeted by:
10 Huge Things We Just Learned On The Justice League Set
10. The Movie Looks Set To Open With A History Lesson
Justice League's plot is apparently set to begin four months after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but from the sounds of it, the movie is likely to open with an extended flashback to ancient times. According to producer Deborah Snyder, a "small section of the film" will be "a history lesson" — one which will detail a meeting of the ancient Amazonians (including Zeus), Atlanteans (including a certain member of the Game of Thrones cast, from the looks of it) and us boring old humans. What's more, the scene will perhaps be intended to help explain the origin of a key element within the movie: Mother Boxes.
9. Those Mother Boxes Are The Movie's Main MacGuffins
We've already seen a Mother Box in action way back in Batman v Superman — with Cyborg's briefly depicted origin hinging on one of the cubes — but it could be that they're set to play a far more central role in Justice League. With producer Charles Roven revealing that the boxes "work in threes," it's likely the movie will be dominated by the Justice League's attempts to stop all three from falling into the hands of the enemy, especially since Batman v Superman very much seemed to confirm that one of them is now a part of Cyborg. Don't be too surprised if Willem Dafoe's newly confirmed character Vulko is something of an expert on them. Speaking of new characters...
8. Steppenwolf Is Definitely Set To Be The Main Villain (But We Don't Yet Know Who's Playing Him)
Details regarding the film's lead villain remain a little light on the ground, with concept art showing the Apokoliptian Steppenwolf not yet available to be seen (despite that deleted scene already having made its way online).
The reason? Well, according to Deborah Snyder, someone has been provisionally cast in the role, but the deal isn't yet "completely closed," hence a lack of any public announcement. However, we did get a chance to see his presumed henchgoons — the Parademons — and they look like pretty much exactly the sort of homogeneous extraterrestrial threat you'd expect to see.
7. We Might Just See A Cameo From Iris West
This one is resolutely unconfirmed as of right now, but when asked outright about the possibility of a cameo appearance from Barry Allen's longtime love interest Iris West, Deborah Snyder didn't exactly deny it. All that Snyder would officially (and enigmatically) confirm is that "there might be some cameos of people," but it appears that group may well include West.
A distant crush for a lovelorn Barry Allen, me thinks?
6. The Flash Is A Massive Dork (With A Fantastic Costume)
Fans of The CW's gloriously geeky take on Barry Allen will likely be happy to know that Ezra Miller's cinematic version of the hero looks, if anything, to be even more magnificently dorky than Grant Gustin's TV take on The Flash. A screened clip of the Flash's first meeting with Batman was, after all, mostly made up of Miller's Allen quipping wildly and nerdily — to strong comedic effect.
What's more, a chance to learn more about — and see — his suit from costume designer Michael Wilkinson was both revealing and hugely reassuring. Not only is it very, very red, but it also has a fantastically weatherworn look, since Barry has been forced to upgrade it as he goes along. Plus, when it's actually on Miller, and he's running around the set goofing off (this is not uncommon), it looks unnervingly like everyone's favorite Scarlet Speedster has jumped right out of the comic books.
5. Ezra 'The Flash' Miller And Ray 'Cyborg' Fisher Are Basically The Living Embodiment Of #FriendGoals
Not only did the pair spend much of the time on set actively goofing around with one another (Miller at one point straight up snuck up on Fisher while he was giving an interview and proceeded to rib him mercilessly), but they look increasingly set to be the DCEU's breakout duo, roughly along the lines of Marvel's Science Bros.
Especially if some of the pair's gently snarky off-screen chemistry makes it onto the big screen. Fisher, for instance, at one point announced to the whole set that:
"Ezra, we're not going to need you for the rest of the day. Ray's going to take your lines, if that's cool."
4. The Entire Justice League Cast Is Ridiculously Charming
Y'see, meeting famous people isn't all that big of a deal. After a few times of handing someone famous a coffee, or asking them a question about their favorite breakfast cereal, you tend to get used to it, and very little obsequious squealing tends to emerge involuntarily. This, however, seems to go completely out the window when you're talking to the Justice League, in costume.
While Fisher running around high-fiving everyone he could was neat, and Gal Gadot turning up to chat in her full Wonder Woman gear is just as striking as you would imagine (she looks even more like an actual superhero in person), the full effect was only felt when Ben Affleck casually wandered over to talk to everyone in his full Bat-gear. As it turns out, everyone's an 8-year-old when they're talking to Batman.
3. Ben Affleck Revealed A Lot About The New Batman
Or, rather, Affleck had a whole lot to say about just how different Batman is set to be in Justice League to his dour, downbeat persona in Batman v Superman, as well as a whole lot of other topics. Not only is the Dark Knight (along with the whole movie) apparently going to be a lot funnier — "more of that sort of Bruce Wayne wry, ironic, gallows humor stuff comes out" — but he might also be a distinctly changed man beneath the surface:
"Definitely in the last movie, Batman went to like a very dark place that was rooted in this trauma that occurred to the people that he loved and worked with and what he saw [in Metropolis], and this really is not about that issue for him so much anymore. He’s no longer extreme in that way. He’s kind of, from the experiences of the last movie, sort of learned some things I think. He’s wanting to redeem himself, and he’s wanting mankind to be redeemed, and he’s wanting to make the world better, having learned lessons that were important in the last movie.”
So a slightly-less-Dark Knight, perhaps?
2. We Now Know A Surprising Amount Of The Movie's Plot
A brief outline of which is doubly spoiler protected below:
The first act looks set to open with an introduction the movie's main MacGuffins (Mother Boxes) via a flashback to ancient times, with aforementioned Atlanteans, Amazonians and humans. After that, we'll perhaps see Batman making something of a mess of recruiting members for the Justice League by being Batmanny and gruff, before (presumably through the intervention of Wonder Woman) he manages to actually get the team together. At some point we're set to see this newly united quartet (Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash and Cyborg) meet with Commissioner Gordon (who has both hair and a mustache) to discuss a series of mysterious disappearances of scientists. They then head down to an abandoned underwater tunnel connecting Metropolis and Gotham, where what could be the film's first big action sequence takes place (the four vs. Parademons). After that, things are a little fuzzier, but at some point Superman is definitely revived and it seems that the team's struggles in water may well lead them to recruit Aquaman (who also appears to be the most likely candidate to have fully rejected Batman earlier in the movie).
The most intriguing part of all of that is the biggest confirmation of all:
1. Superman Is Definitely Coming Back, And Looks Set To Play A Full Role In the Movie
Zack Snyder was a little coy about a potential return for the Man of Steel in the movie, teasing that "If he does appear, I think that would be a big part of the story,” but did nothing to refute the hero's entirely signposted appearance. Deborah Snyder's comments, however, were a little more revealing:
"Obviously Superman is part of the Justice League. ... But I think his way back to us, we don't really want to spoil that."
So, there you go folks: We now have absolute confirmation that Superman is going to be in Justice League, which, admittedly, we were already 99 percent sure about. We just don't know quite how he's going to come back.