Six superheroes, two producers, and one notorious mustache gathered in London on Saturday as the cast of Warner Brothers’ Justice League spoke with a small group of journalists (including yours truly for SYFY WIRE) about the DC Comics-based team-up movie, opening November 17.
The league united at the junket involved Ben Affleck (Batman), Henry Cavill (Superman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Ezra Miller (The Flash), and Ray Fisher (Cyborg), along with producers Charles Roven and Deb Snyder. Also making an appearance was Henry Cavill’s “pornstache” – which had to be digitally removed in reshoots due to the actor’s filming schedule for Mission: Impossible 6.
Over the course of the event, we discussed the tone of hope in the film, as well as the involvement of Joss Whedon, who completed directing duties when Zack Snyder had to depart earlier this year following a personal matter. And along with funny tidbits (such as the existence of a Justice League band?), we learned where Wonder Woman has been in man’s world between her solo film and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, as well as how Batman has changed since that same movie. Conversely, Momoa said this isn’t Aquaman – yet, and teased what fans can expect from the 2018 James Wan-directed solo film.
And yeah, the pornstache came up.
We get to exclusively reveal the video from the event (along with a limited number of other outlets), so you can check that out below, and read ahead for my top takeaways from the Justice League press conference.
1. This isn’t the same Batman from BvS.
Ben Affleck: Batman is, by nature, not necessarily antisocial but a loner. In this movie, he’s thrust into a role of having to not only work with people but bring them together, and convince them to come in there. That was a really interesting thing for me to play, and takes us to a more traditional version of Batman in the Justice League comics, and his role in the Justice League, opposed to the less typical version in Batman v Superman, where he was blinded by rage, and wanted to take on Superman. It was a lot of fun for me. I also got to have a dry wit, and play off Ezra. Bruce is always on the verge of exasperation. It was fun to get to show some other colors.
2. Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller stole from, and annoyed, Batman.
Jason Momoa: I’m a big kid. I kind of geeked out. I was walking around, and kept pulling on his cape. It’s surreal.
Affleck: I was like, “Who the f*** keeps pulling on my cape?”
Ezra Miller: I did steal stuff from the Batcave. So did Jason.
Momoa: Little bullets with a red cap on the top.
Miller: Bat bullet!
3. The differences between Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon’s work on the film.
Affleck: The movie is Zack’s DNA. He cast the movie, he designed the movie. Something people don’t understand who don’t work on movies is how much work is done in prep. The casting, the sets get built, the story is written. The ship is, in essence, sailing. I found as a director you can maybe change 10-15 percent on the day. Zack’s ship set sail with us, and we were fortunate that when Zack was not able to continue we got a guy very accomplished in his own right, particularly in this genre. He sprinkled some of his fairy dust on our movie, and finished it. I don’t think there is any way to look at this and say, “That’s a Joss scene, that’s a Zack scene.” They were both working together toward a common goal. I have the sense that Joss was working from what he discussed with Zack before he stepped in.
Deb Snyder: For us, this whole thing is so bittersweet, because we had been working on this franchise for the past almost eight years – when we first started developing the script for Man of Steel. Then we moved on to BvS, and Zack developed the story for Wonder Woman, which was leading up to the point of Justice League, where these characters were finally going to come together. This was a really great hero’s journey, and a journey for these characters to be who they are today. Not being able to create his vision was extremely difficult. But we were lucky we already had Joss working on script pages. Our feeling is we’re hoping people aren’t thinking about how the movie was made when they went to see it. These characters are bigger than any director. They are bigger than any of us.
4. Where has Wonder Woman been between her solo movie and BvS?
Gal Gadot: Whether or not Wonder Woman was out there, or incognito, she was always very involved. She was always very active in man’s world, and acting to save, help, and better the world.
5. There is a Justice League band with Batman on vocals.
Gadot: We have a band. [Jason] did the drums, Ezra did the drums. We did some singing. Ben did the Bruce voice. It's been super awesome.
Miller: [mimicking the Batman voice] Jingle Bell time, it’s a swell time.
6. This isn’t Aquaman – yet.
Momoa: It all came from Zack’s mind. Aquaman wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him. This gruff character, this man who lives within the tides, and not really accepted in human places – we need to know where he came from, why he’s this grumpy, and a bit of an asshole to them. I want people to know, in a year [when James Wan's solo Aquaman movie drops, Dec. 21, 2018], you’re going to understand where he came from, what happened to his mother, what happened to his father, and how he was treated in this world, and how he didn’t know how to use his powers. Sometimes he saved people, sometimes he lost people, and his human side didn’t know how to cope with those things. There are a lot of layers to this guy, and once we get to the solo film, you’ll see a man who is going to take responsibility, help the world, and become a king eventually. This one, he is Aquaman, he is Arthur Curry, but he hasn’t donned the trident yet. It is coming.
7. On the running joke of Henry doing a press conference, but Superman not showing up in marketing materials, or in trailers.
Henry Cavill: My character is dead in this movie. That’s all I have to say.
Miller: Henry looks great in dream sequences, and as a corpse.
Cavill: On the days I went to visit set – because I’m not in the movie – I was lucky enough to see all these guys lined up in costume. It has been six years since I started on this journey, and during Man of Steel, I never imagined sitting up here with these other heroes.
8. There is hope in the DCEU.
Gadot: In the real world, we don’t fight monsters or have alien attacks. It is us creating the problem. It would have been wonderful if somehow us humans could come together and just be. And do good to each other, and try to make the world a better place.
Miller: Human beings are in an existential crisis. There is no guarantee humanity will be here in 100 years, 200 years. We are facing real existential threats. And like Gal says, those threats come from us. We’ve created climate change, we’ve created nuclear war. We do have to overcome differences in order to get over that. Otherwise, it’s game over on humanity. So it is a great time to make superhero movies, and start actually addressing – in more meaningful, solid ways but also in the world of fantasy and fiction – how we’re actually going to accelerate our processes and save our own skin.
Charles Roven: One of the reasons we make these films, and these characters have lasted so long, is because they’re inspirational, and aspirational. If these metahumans can come together – those who have superpowers and want them, those who have powers and don’t want them, those who come from different places in life and haven’t figured out all their issues – hopefully that will resonate to the world.
Ray Fisher: It is inspiring to people with so much power, who could go towards the negative side, to see them doing good. Hopefully it will inspire other people with power to continue doing that.
Cavill: I hope people walk away having enjoyed it, and had fun. But more importantly, to be inspired, and to walk away with a sense of hope.
9. About Henry’s pornstache
Affleck: If Superman had that porn mustache in the last movie, he would have won a lot quicker.
Fisher: Doomsday would have just killed himself. I can’t beat this: self-destruct.
Miller: That’s why Darkseid is reconsidering things; it’s because of the porn mustache.
Cavill: Oh good, that’s back.