NewYork,August5:The new Justice League trailer was released on August 5.
It’s a 2.5-minute version of the SDCC sizzle reel, one that is now of a length that will allow it to play in theaters. They did the same thing with Batman v Superman after the 2015 SDCC, so this is par for the course.
The preview is indeed a cut-down variation on the longer trailer, with snippets of new footage and new lines. It’s no secret that the marketing campaign for Justice League has been a year-long attempt to distance itself from the grimdark Batman v Superman.
For better or worse, we’ve got a Justice League movie that is being sold as a Super Friends flick.
That’s not necessarily a criticism, as A) it seems to be working, B) the actual footage looks fun. But what we’ve seen at least since last year’s SDCC sizzle reel, which was somewhat hastily cut together as a reassurance to those burned by Dawn of Justice, is a marketing campaign that emphasizes teamwork, optimism, gee-whiz adventure and thunderous visuals that are nonetheless not terribly frightening or violent.
The posters have been ceaselessly bright and colorful, with upbeat taglines (“You can’t save the world alone.”) and shots of the team (give or take Superman) standing in the sunlight as if to represent the dawning of a new era of hopeful, optimistic and aspirational superhero movies.
Oh sure, there are any number of moments in a scorched setting with flying creatures doing their thing, but the emphasis is on our heroes kicking alien butt and winning the day as a team.
The one grim beat in the trailers, with armed robbers killing security guards and taking young school girls hostage, is paid off with Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman (DC Films’ new MVP) smashing her way to the rescue. While that scene was seemingly shot well before Patty Jenkins’ movie arrived this summer (portions of it were among the first bits of revealed footage), its placement in the newest trailer is a tip of the hat to the new status quo.
The footage we saw last week differs slightly from what we saw last year (and this past March) in subtler ways too. Ben Affleck and Jeremy Irons look much healthier and very clean-shaven compared to Dawn of Justice, and there is a brightness to the footage compared to the relative grit of Batman v Superman.
That’s not a criticism of either film’s visual aesthetic, as it’s no secret that I think Larry Fong deserved an Oscar nomination for last year’s superhero smackdown sequel (the picture looked spellbinding on an IMAX screen). I do hope that Justice League keeps at least some of the apocalyptic Sturm und Drang (and relative weirdness) of its relative predecessor.
The marketing emphasis will likely remain focused on team-building moments, showy Wonder Woman bits (that projectile dodge is very James Bond) and Aquaman moments (he gets the “Legolas kills an elephant” beat) and a certain family-friendly lightness that will be closer in tone (if not content) to Batman Forever than Batman Returns. But there is no law saying that the Justice League movie must be an incredibly consequential superhero epic full of grand thematics and deep meaning.
It’s not like 15 years of “deep” blockbusters made much of a difference in the real world. Maybe whatever Zack Snyder, Joss Whedon and Geoff Johns have concocted is closer in spirit to Justice League: Action than Injustice: Gods Among Us