'Justice League' Has An Unexpected Nod to 'Superman: The Movie'

Spoilers ahead for Justice League, in theaters now.

In the post-credits scene following Justice League, director Zack Snyder did something he had resisted throughout Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: he paid pretty direct homage to Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie.

Superman gene-hackman-lex-luthor
(Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)

The sequence centers on Deathstroke, who boards a boat and cruises out into Metropolis Harbor (?) to meet up with a man on a yacht. That man, as it turns out, is Lex Luthor, recently sprung from the supermax prison he found himself in at the end of Batman v Superman.

As most fans have either seen or read by now, the scene unfolds with Lex pitching Deathstroke on forming a "league of our own" to combat the gathering of heroes at the center of the film -- but what most have overlooked was a small but significant detail: Luthor's wardrobe.

Eisenberg's Lex in Batman v Superman was a Silicon Valley billionaire, whose eccentric fashion sense tended more toward the hipster (sneakers with suits, cardigans, graphic tees). It reflected the way he was characterized, and made some sense, although it certainly rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way that he did not have the fashion sense of the "corporate raider" Lex from the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths comics, who was adapted and integrated into a Donner-inspired universe for Superman Returns.

Donner's own Lex, though, had an equally-eccentric sense of fashion; while he wore suits, the flamboyance that marked the Snyder version was certainly there in a way.

Gene Hackman's Lex could wear crazy things, and it all lent itself to an air of eccentricity and new money that marked Lex as a kind of everyman supervillain, something reinforced by his accomplice Otis, a dim-witted caricature who looked like he stepped out of the role of "town drunk" in a Looney Tunes sketch.

One of those suits -- with a green plaid jacket, a blue-and-white ascot, and a large flower on his lapel -- was adapted for Eisenberg in the Justice League cameo. While the ascot was traded in for a tie that had a similar pattern and the large flower on Luthor's lapel was replaced by a pocket square, a look at Eisenberg's appearance in Justice League makes it clear that someone on set had fun dressing him with a hearty wink and a nod in Hackman's direction.

Justice League is in theaters now.

Justice League2017

Justice League
ComicBook Composite

63.20

All-Time Comic Movies #68

4.00/5 from 70 users