For the last couple of days, ComicBook.com has been trying to account for the confirmed (or rumored enough to be pervastive) details on Warner Bros.'s ten just-announced DC Comics adaptations.
Some have been easier than others.
Justice League is both the easiest and the most difficult; there's a lot of information out there, a lot of it is confirmed...but there's just a tidal wave of nonsense, rumor and speculation being presented as fact.
Part of that is born from the fact that Justice League has been in development, in one form or another, for a long time now.
George Miller's Justice League: Mortal would have assembled Armie Hammer as Batman with Jay Baruchel (Maxwell Lord), Hugh Keays-Byrne (Martian Manhunter). Next row- Santiago Cabrera (Aquaman), Adam Brody (The Flash), Teresa Palmer (Talia al Ghul), and D.J. Cotrona (Superman).
We don't know for sure who's going to be in Justice League in 2017; a press release confirmed only Ben Affleck (Batman), Henry Cavill (Superman) and Amy Adams (Lois Lane).
"We're bringing back the amazing cast of Ben and Henry from Batman V Superman along with a roster of other well-known and highly-anticipated heroes," Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara told stockholders this week.
So...yeah. Even in that official announcement, surrounded by confirmations about movies like Wonder Woman, Cyborg, The Flash and Aquaman complete with casting announcements, we didn't actually learn who will suit up in Justice League Part One.
That said, it's probably safe to assume that Ezra Miller's Flash, Jason Momoa's Aquaman, Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman and ray Fisher's cyborg will all play roles in the film. With no Green Lantern cast yet, his involvement seems up in the air -- which actually tracks with a well-sourced rumor at Badass Digest.
Reiterating some previous rumors with a bit more detail and connective tissue to illustrate how they all make sense, here's what that report claims:
That all makes sense; BvS will end with the Justice League either assembled or all onscreen, having figured out the big threat facing them. There's been another villain working behind the scenes of that movie and, as Latino Review reported, it's Brainiac. That's your Justice League villain, and my sources tell me that he'll be defeated by a team that is made up of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Aquaman and The Flash. Then at the end of the movie Green Lantern shows up and is like, "Guys, there's a big bad guy from space coming your way," and the Justice League is like, "Nah, brah, we got it already," and Green Lantern is like, "Dudes. DUDES. It's Darkseid."
All of this s*** apparently springs from Superman's Kryptonian beacon - that's how Brainiac finds Earth, at least. Aquaman's story is going to kick off from the World Engine laying waste to Atlantis. I understand that General Zod's corpse plays a big role in BvS - all of the DC Movieverse is going to spring from the events of Man of Steel, so it makes some sense to have Snyder helming the core pictures.
If true, it's a logical enough approach, especially in that it cuts down on the number of characters and concepts you've got to introduce in Justice League Part One and allows them a little bit of time and distance from the critical failure of Green Lantern.
That said, it's very much still just a rumor. And it's both easy to see it as true or false, since a number of those elements -- Brainiac, the World Engine disturbing Atlantis, the use of Zod's corpse and armor, Darkseid, etc. -- had come up in previous, persistent rumors. That means it could be that all of the leaks were true and this is why they make sense...or it could be that somebody took the rumors they liked and crafted an attractive enough narrative to make it believable. Generally speaking, Badass Digest tends to do pretty well by these kinds of things, though, so we're including it unless something changes and we have a reason not to believe.
So...what do we come away with?
Most of the Justice League is cast, even though Warners has officially not confirmed with speific language anyone but Superman, Batman and Lois Lane. There's zero reason to believe a film called Dawn of Justice would assemble a bunch of heroes for cameo roles who would not then play a part in Justice League. There's no official word on a villain, but Brainiac has come up numerous times, as has Darkseid, but at some point between two failed Darkseid scripts and the way Marvel has handled Thanos, it seemed as though he was being punted down the field for a bit. The writer is almost certainly going to be David Goyer and/or Chris Terrio, although the latter seems more like a sure thing than the former considering what happened on Batman V Superman and the continued involvement of Affleck as Batman.
And, no, as far as we can tell, we won't have Shazam or Black Adam on the team. At least not yet.