In Brief

Justice League: What do we know so far?

Returning heroes, larger-than-life villains and some new inclusions are all expected in comic adaptation

Justice League: Will Superman and the Green Lantern feature?

Warning this article contains spoilers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's ending has sent the internet into a spin over whether Clark Kent will feature in part one of the Justice Leaguefilms.

Those of you who haven't seen the first DC Comics extravaganza should look away now. Dawn of Justice finishes with Superman dead and buried at the hands of Doomsday, Lex Luthor's gargantuan creation. So what does this mean for the upcoming films in the DC Comics universe?

Well first off, let's look at the facts, says PopSugar writer Maggie Pehanick. Henry Cavill, who plays the Man of Steel, has signed on to be in both Justice League films, with part one released in 2017 and part twofollowing in 2019. But just because he's signed on, doesn't mean he'll feature from the outset.

Zack Snyder, who is the director for both Dawn of Justice and the upcoming Justice League films, addressed the concerns over Superman's death in an interview with Collider and hinted all might not be as it seems.

"I'm gonna say this: the second you do the first part of it, the death and resurrection are the same thing in a weird way," he told the website.

"There's a way to signal towards a more definitive resurrection concept, but I didn't wanna do that because I want that to be real for them when they see it. Suffice it to say there is a plan, but… you need to wait and see," he said.

So it may be safe to assume we haven't seen the last of Krypton's finest.

One character who fans may have to wait a while to see on the big screen is the Green Lantern. Dawn of Justice featured cameos from a number of DC Comics's biggest stars but this superhero was conspicuously absent.

Greg Silverman, a Warner Brothers executive, told Entertainment Weekly that the character's no show was a deliberate decision, partly due to the failure of the Ryan Reynolds 2011 film outing for the character.

"We didn't do a great job on that first Green Lantern movie. This is a character who deserves to be treated with great reverence," he said.

But there is hope for fans of the comic book superhero. "I guess I can say to the Green Lantern fans: if they can be patient with us, I think they'll be really happy," added Silverman. 

Justice League: Amber Heard unveils new role

21 March

Amber Heard will be making her superhero debut in Justice League Part One next year.

The actress, who recently appeared in The Danish Girl, has confirmed she has been cast as DC Comics's Mera in Justice League, as well as in Aquaman, which comes out in 2018.

Mera rules the seas as the Queen of Atlantis and is one of the most powerful women in the DC universe. She has superhuman strength, control over water and an exceptional swimming ability.

Her partner Aquaman will be played by Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa.

Mera, Queen of Atlantis, as depicted by DC Comics

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Heard said her costume was in the process of being built. "It's interesting. It's half suit of armour, half scales," she revealed. "It's strange..."

She has been welcomed to the DC cast by Gal Gadot and Amy Adams, who play Wonder Woman and Lois Lane respectively in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.

Heard will also be working alongside Ben Affleck, as Batman, and Henry Cavill, as Superman.

In the comics, Mera and Aquaman have a baby, but it is killed by Black Manta, a ruthless treasure hunter and mercenary, causing a rift between them. In another version she is beheaded by Wonder Woman.

Justice League: How Jesse Eisenberg inspired writer Chris Terrio

15 March

Scriptwriter Chris Terrio almost stepped away from penning The Justice League: Part One until he saw Jesse Eisenberg in action as Lex Luthor.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice co-writer said he initially thought "he wasn't the guy" to write the next episode of the superhero saga and went off to work on something else.

"But the first day I went to the [Dawn of Justice] set, I saw Jesse in a scene with Holly Hunter and I really did feel like I was watching some strange, great performance in an independent film," he said.

"At that moment, I thought, 'I'm not done with this yet. I want to go back and keep telling the story.'"

In the wide-ranging interview, the Oscar winner gave a small insight into his writing process, specifically how he deals with the many different story strands in the DC Comics universe.

"This has been the most rigorous intellectual exercise I've had in my writing life," he said. "For Justice League, I could be reading in the same day about red and blueshifts in physics, Diodorus of Sicily and his account of the war between Amazons and Atlanteans, or deep-sea biology and what kind of life plausibly might be in the Mariana Trench."

Despite the intellectual rigour, Terrio thinks it is all worth it. "I felt I owed the fan base all of my body and soul for two years because anything less wouldn’t have been appreciating the opportunity I had," he said.

In other Justice League news, the rumoured appearance of the Green Lantern in the film will not be happening, according to an Entertainment Weekly interview with one of the film's producers.

But it still remains to be seen whether the villain will appear in the second Justice League film.

Justice League has found its Commissioner Gordon

08 March

JK Simmons will play Commissioner James Gordon in the upcoming Justice League films.

In a pivotal casting moment for the Warner Bros film, the Oscar-winning actor will star as the Gotham City police commissioner, Hollywood Reporter has revealed.

Simmons, who played publisher J Jonah Jameson in the Spider-Man films, will join a galaxy of stars, including Ben Affleck, who plays Batman, and Henry Cavill as Superman. Lining up alongside them will be the likes of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Ezra Miller as Flash.

The actor is following in the footsteps of a succession of Commissioner Gordons. Way back in 1949, Lyle Talbot took the part in the Batman and Robin TV series, with Neil Hamilton following suit in the 1960s. Since then, the franchise has largely been on the big screen, with Pat Hingle and Gary Oldman among those to appear as the police chief.

Reaction to his casting has been excitable. "Holy Crap," says James Whitbrook at Gizmodo. "The world might have lost its greatest J Jonah Jameson, but at least it found itself a Commissioner Gordon that can top Gary Oldman."

As well as winning fans with Spider-Man, Michigan-born Simmons (pictured) has drawn praise for his small-screen work, including the roles of Dr Emil Skoda in Law & Order and the neo-Nazi Vernon Schillinger in the prison drama Oz.

On the big screen, he has appeared in the offbeat comedy Juno and a number of other films, including The Closer, Up in the Air and The Accountant.

But perhaps his finest hour to date came in 2014's indie film Whiplash, in which he played an abusive music tutor. His "utterly compelling" role netted him the Academy Award for best supporting actor.

Shooting for the Justice League film begins next month. The Justice League Part One is scheduled for release in November 2017 and Part Two is set to follow in the summer of 2019. Zack Snyder will direct, with Chris Terrio penning the screenplay.

Justice League: what is the 'big plan' after Batman v Superman?

12 January

The highly anticipated Batman v Superman movie is on its way, but superhero fans are already turning their attention to the apex of the new DC releases: Justice League.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad will kick off a "golden age" of DC superhero movies, says Den of Geek, and Wonder Woman will follow, but it is "all leading up to the Justice League movie".

Hailed as a rival to Marvel's $1.5bn-grossing Avengers, Justice League will come in two parts, the first of which is not expected until 2017, but frenzied discussion is nevertheless already underway.

Here's what we know so far:

Zack Snyder will direct

The action and science-fiction directing legend is best known for his work on Man of Steel and the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He will be at the helm again for Justice League.

The script is finished…(probably)

Entertainment Weekly has suggested the script for Justice League: Part One is already complete and is the result of a collaboration between Snyder and Academy Award winning screenwriter Chris Terrio, who penned Argo. Describing how they plotted out the epic sage, Snyder said: "Chris would talk and I would draw it, and it was basically this weird mural of the movies with no words."

Cavill, Affleck and Gadot likely to star

Asked if the plot in Batman v Superman is linked to Man of Steel, Superman actor Henry Cavill revealed that "all of this stuff ties in" and "there is a big plan" for the whole DC franchise. He told Uproxx "They're not thinking from movie to movie, they're thinking from a big tent pole type thing and each story has its own story, which is attached to the major issue." Cinema Blend feels it is "pretty much impossible" that a Justice League movie would be made without Cavill involved. Ben Affleck also is expected to portray a "veteran badass" 1980s take on Batman, while Israeli Fast & Furious star Gal Gadot is tipped to appear in the Justice League movie as Wonder Woman. Meanwhile, extra-terrestrial android Brainiac is rumoured to be the main villain in the film.

It will probably be about Doomsday

Last month's trailer for Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice was criticised for revealing too much. And one of its biggest revelations was that the film's two heroes may end up combining to fight an even greater enemy: Superman's long-time adversary Doomsday.

According to The Daily Beast: "among the December trailer's controversial revelations is a first look at long-rumoured baddie Doomsday, a brawny, fleshy CGI adversary created when Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor spins some insidious science on the corpse of Superman's Man of Steel enemy General Zod (Michael Shannon). 'If man won't kill God, the Devil will do it,' Luthor sneers."

The film's director, Zac Snyder, says that the decision to reveal the new villain was not taken lightly.

"We had a long conversation about just taking ownership of that, of giving it to the audience in a controlled way that I felt was consistent with the escalation of the campaign," he said.

So how does Batman vs Superman connect to the upcoming Justice League film? Last week, Snyder said that "In a weird way, Justice League is the next step for these characters to form a bigger team. Maybe there's a bigger enemy to fight."

So who will this bigger enemy be? "Well, you have Doomsday, right," Snyder added. "He doesn't just crawl out of the ground. He has his own mythology, right? So that has to be explored…"

A Green Lantern spin-off is rumoured

Green Lantern is expected to appear in the Justice League film and may play a key role. Cinema Blend says that he may also get his own spin-off film with The Flash, to be released within months of the Justice League first chapter.

What might it look like?

A YouTuber called UltraSargent has used footage from existing DC movies, television shows and trailers to create a fake preview for Justice League.

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