San Diego Comic Con was rife with speculation as a number of big trailers and announcements came out from the massive annual event. Perhaps one of the biggest was the debut of the new Justice League trailer and it seemed to provide a fascinating insight into what Superman’s role in the new film will be.“Melissa’s Wedding” (Public Domain) by mikes-photomemories
In a similar way to the Death of Superman comic, the trailer initially holds up the Man of Steel as an inspiration to the other heroes, uniting against an incoming threat. There is a brief appearance in the trailer of Steppenwolf, an intimidating villain who in the comics is the second-in-command to intergalactic warmonger Darkseid.
However, at the end of the trailer we get a tantalising glimpse of Alfred talking to someone that he was “expecting”. While some felt this referred to the Man of Steel, a reference earlier discussing “Lanterns” meant some believed it was possible that this was referring to one of the Green Lantern Corps – despite the flop Green Lantern film starring Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds some people felt that the odds on saying it was a Lantern would be worth a shot!
Sadly, the fun and speculation was cut short in a bizarre way: it was confirmed that actor Henry Cavill would be involved in the Justice League reshoots, helmed by Avengers director Joss Whedon, who ironically had his Wonder Woman script turned down before moving onto Marvel work.
Where this gets strange is that the effects team would have to digitally remove a moustache that he was contractually obliged to have while filming the sixth Mission Impossible film. If this sounds strange this is not the first time Warner Brothers have had to do this: Gal Gadot was pregnant at the time of filming Wonder Woman and had her baby bump digitally removed.
Looking at all the trailers and the previous films (including references and cameo appearances in Batman v Superman,
Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman) it is possible to piece together how this is likely to work. Batman essentially acts as the Tony Stark of the team, his money allowing for them to have the technology they need while at the same time being able to go out across the world.
At the centre of it, Superman is arguably what he has always been: a symbolic figurehead to bring them all together (as the Beatles song on the soundtrack emphasises). Superman has been at the centre of pop culture, including a John Williams theme tune that is practically associated with heroism, an animated series that built on decades of great stories and any number of classic merchandise and video games, which expand way beyond classic action titles. For example, online casino William Hill features three Superman slot machines, Superman, Superman 2 and Man of Steel, which are all playable for free for players who take advantage of the Oddchecker sign up bonus.
In this film, you have the combination of the naïve but well meaning Flash (“I need friends”), former star athlete Cyborg, Wonder Woman (who in her film seemed to be both disillusioned by the world but also determined to protect it with shades of both Thor and Captain America) and the gruff Aquaman providing the muscle (and putting a lot of the jokes about him to bed pretty conclusively!)
In short, Superman said how his “S” is a symbol for hope and it seems in this film it is likely to be the case too.
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