Justice League is a contractual obligation film. It’s a project which was entered into under the assumption that Batman v Superman (and, to a lesser degree, Suicide Squad) would neither suck nor dampen audience enthusiasm. Yeah, they really shit the bed on that one. Now, Justice League exists as a weird Zack Snyder/Joss Whedon hybrid movie and comes at a time when various reports indicate WB and DC are conceding defeat to Marvel and moving away from cinematic universe-dependent films and over to more standalone adventures ala Wonder Woman or even complete one-off, non-canonical entries like a Joker origin movie.
As such, WB has been working overtime to remind us that Justice League still exists, that even if it is but a vestige of a failed production strategy it’s still a movie they’re working hard to fix and drum up some enthusiasm for. After all, Thor: Ragnarok can’t have all of November to itself. Somebody has to want to see Justice League too.
[Pause to acknowledge that not everyone actually hated or even mildly disliked Batman v Superman, and nod toward how well the film has performed on home video].
Thus, today brings us Justice League‘s fourth trailer:
This is the first trailer to feature Henry Cavill returning as Superman, albeit in a dream sequence to torture poor heartbroken Lois Lane, at least third to emphasize “look, we have actual jokes this time!” and (I want to say) second to feature a cover of a classic rock song, trading out The Beatles’ “Come Together” for David Bowie’s “Heroes.” To my eye, it gives the impression that Geoff Johns and Joss Whedon’s reportedly massive reshoots and post-production efforts might have, at best, turned this into a Wonder Woman scenario where despite any good on display it’ll all inevitably give way to a CGI orgy of an action finale best pitched to teenage males. That being said, Wonder Woman works for me despite its finale; I’m not optimistic that Justice League will too.
Still, the trailer’s opening scene with Lois and Clark is the first real hint of a recognizably human emotion I’ve seen in any of these trailers. Sure, it’s a shame Man of Steel and BvS didn’t do more with their coupling to actually earn this heartbreak, but it’s still a perfectly lovely scene.
Is this scene and the rest of this trailer and all the trailers that came before it enough to get you excited to see Justice League? Me, not so much, but where you do you stand? Excited? Pessimistic? Couldn’t care less? Let me know in the comments.
Justice League is due out November 17.