The first look of Justice League back in July 2016 had no sign of Superman, not even a subtle clue. Fast forward to today and in the wake of the official trailer dropping online, again - no Man of Steel to be seen.
The cities of Metropolis and Gotham were saved by Henry Cavill's self sacrifice during Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but the final shot saw the earth literally moving to reveal the return of the savior. Perhaps 2017's title will be as much an exercise in exploring his absence from the world as it will be about setting up his return. Something that filmmaker Zack Snyder discussed with USA Today.
The League Needs To Be Super To Replace Kal-El: Zack
Without giving any assurances ahead of the November 16 premiere, Snyder believes that the narrative of the five superheroes will be driven in part by the sixth member who is not with them. At least to begin with.
"It's hard to have a Justice League without Superman," said the director. "That's how I feel about it. It was always a super-intriguing concept to me to have this opportunity to have him make that sacrifice but also have him be this, in a weird sort of way, the why of Justice League: What do you do now with him? What does the team think? What does the world need? All that comes into play. It's fun for us but it'll be interesting for audiences what we do with him."
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The down and depressed version of Batman we witnessed in BvS might have been unique for the character, but it didn't reflect a hero that was worthy of leading the Justice League. For Snyder, that process will evolve.
"He's been a loner for certainly his crime-fighting career, maybe with the exception of Robin. When we meet him in BvS, he's definitely at this low point of isolation. That was always our intention, that Justice League would be this continuation for Batman to evolve into a more complete hero."
With Wonder Woman sandwiched in between BvS and Justice League for a June 2 release, Snyder told the publication that Gal Gadot's standalone picture will be the perfect bridge for the two movies.
"(Wonder Woman will) flesh out and realize (her island home) Themyscira and embrace canon with her and get all the elements to mash up that I love from the original stories. But also we'll see that dovetail into not only the why of BvS, but even now the why of Justice League and who she is finally realized. We know now where she comes from."
Source: USA Today