At Comic-con Saturday, the audience for Hall H—some having waited in line all night—lost every ounce of their minds as soon as Warner Bros. panel moderator Chris Hardwick (who acknowledged gratefully the lengths some fans had gone to) queued up the DCEU roll-out.
First up, the confirmation of the titles to come: Justice League Dark, Green Lantern Corps, Shazam!, previously announced Wonder Woman II, the Matt Reeves-helmed The Batman (more on that in a sec), and the Flash solo outing, Flashpoint.
Jason Momoa then strutted up from the back of the hall, carrying Aquaman’s trident and eating up shriek after shriek from the worked-up fans—both women and men, because if there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that Jason Momoa is inhumanly studly. Momoa played the trident like a guitar, sorta bounced around stage, threw Hardwick the trident (“Hey, it’s me, Aquakid!” Hardwick declared as Momoa loomed over him) and then settled down to premiere what he could from James Wan’s Aquaman, which included an introduction from Wan followed by a small vignette that Wan admitted he threw together so fans had something at Comic-con.
All we really got to see was a boat filled with two fisherman-looking fisherman, one of whom snags a big catch that, after some stereotypical “tiny boat gets dragged by something that’s obviously not a fish” kind of slapstick, turns out to be an elaborate, aerodynamic submersible. The camera dips beneath the waves to reveal Ocean Master’s army, swag-surfing on shark-like creatures and otherwise amassing all sorts of aqueous looking ships. If unfinished, the footage looked predictably impressive, even though there’s no explainable reason as to why two fishermen in a rowboat would be out in the middle of the ocean.
Then, of course, the rest of the Justice League emerged: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher (wearing an “I heart ZS” tee), beaming and clearly, immensely jazzed to be there. Gadot complimented Momoa on the new footage, all of them pretty obviously friends. Almost immediately, Hardwick made Affleck clear the air of any rumors:
Let me be very clear: I am the luckiest guy in the world. Batman is the coolest fucking role in the entire universe, DC or Marvel… Matt Reeves doing it, it’s like, I’d be a fucking ape on the ground for Matt Reeves, much less Batman… So I’m really blown away and excited, and it’s a great time in the DC Universe…
To which Ray Fisher (Cyborg) added, “Don’t believe the hype.”
Hardwick then announced that tomorrow it’ll be news that Wonder Woman will be the highest grossing film of the summer so far, asking Gadot why she thinks it’s blown up.
“I think that this character is just so incredible,” she said. “She stands for everything that is good, for love and compassion and for truth and justice and peace, and there’s nothing to not love about her. I’m honestly just grateful that you guys have made her who she is.”
Asked about Cyborg, Fisher described how his character and Flash (Miller) find common ground.
“Cyborg and Flash, they get their power through total accidents, and I think that bonds them in a very specific way, both through the trauma that they had, but also through the fact that they’re the youngest members of the group,” he said. Ah, trauma. And the crowd goes wild.
More banter, more Affleck humility (“I’m Batman!”—“I’m Batman too!” Fisher screams, just to say it), more Momoa wooing the crowd. Then they premiered the new trailer:
So yeah, the big reveal there is the film’s villain: Steppenwolf. The baddie’s army of Parademons were first glimpsed in that desert segment from Batman v Superman that for the most part made no sense.
Another observation: Despite all the egregious slo-mo and the bowel-obliterating explosions, might this actually be a kinda funny movie?
So super-charged on seeing the trailer, the cast hugged it out and Momoa threw his chair. Seeing that it didn’t break, he slammed it on the ground, but stopped once he realized he’d need to sit down again.
During audience Q&A, the cast then shared how each of them got the news they’d won their respective parts: Affleck and Momoa in director Zack Snyder’s office—Momoa revealing that Snyder surprised him with the role, to which Momoa responded, if anything the guy says is to be believed, with confusion (“Pardon me?)—Gadot on a plane, Miller eating fish in Costa Rica and Fisher in his apartment, screaming out obscenities.
More questions meant the cast talked more about the close relationship they developed on set, each championing their senses of humor. Touching base on Joss Whedon’s participation: Fisher said, “We’re just about finished with everything. It’s been brief if anything, but yeah, Joss is a great guy, Zack picked the perfect person to finish up everything.”
All of which concluded with an adorable kid telling the cast that he noticed Superman wasn’t in the film. “Where is Superman going to be in this one?”
“Son, I’m not sure if your parents showed you the last movie,” Momoa leaned in. “But Superman’s dead.”
Justice League comes out in November.