*Warning: This article contains spoilers and speculation on Superman’s fate in the DCEU*
The Justice League trailer managed to triumphantly burst through the facade of Zack Snyder’s typically gloomy color palette, indicating a change in direction from the DCEU. But while the trailer added jokes about fish and flashes of Rick and Morty, there was one obvious omission: There was no Superman.
In Batman v Superman (2016), Clark Kent’s untimely Kryptonite fuelled death acted as the impetus Batman needed to recruit a crack team of multitalented superheroes. Now his death has served its purpose, it’s time for Superman’s return. This is comic book world, after all, and death is never quite definitive.
In a behind-the-scenes glimpse courtesy of Zack Snyder’s Twitter, Henry Cavill was finally, subtly, unmistakably, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-ally revealed, shown standing next to Snyder and another member of the production around the 37 second mark:
The rest of the footage is promising. As well as giving some indication to the physical feat that creating a superhero movie entails — regardless of the abundance of green screen — those involved appear to be having, dare I say it — fun.
The Death Of Superman
The news of Cavill’s involvement isn’t surprising, but it does serve as confirmation that Superman will be wearing his traditional outfit, at least at some point in the movie. Cavill has previously teased the inclusion of Superman’s black suit, in fitting with the iconic Death of Superman story arc.
Naturally, it wouldn’t make sense for Snyder to reveal such a key plot point in an innocuous teaser, but it does feed the fire of speculation surrounding Superman’s role in Justice League. Although not much is known yet, Kent’s resurrection will be an integral part of the narrative.
In the comic book storyline, the black suit is inexplicably linked to Superman’s resurrection, and considering the direction that the DCEU is heading, it looks like Synder may play out similar events on the big screen.
It’s Superman, Jim, But Not As We Know Him
Either way, it implies that the Superman we’ve been used to in Man of Steel (2013) and BvS (2016) may be a thing of the past. Despite the outcome and his role in Justice League, events will have irreversibly changed The Last Son of Krypton.
One theory suggests the DCEU may have deliberately created an emotional and vulnerable version of the character in order to resurrect a more traditional and assured beacon of hope. This would be fitting with the desire to lighten the tone of DC’s shared universe, a move instigated by new DC head honcho, Geoff Johns.
John’s overarching imprint will begin with Wonder Woman in June next year, followed by the Justice League in November 2017. The latter will give more screentime to BvS trio Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman, as well as Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg.
Superman’s story, in addition to the news a sequel to Man of Steel has also been confirmed, will no doubt be one of the most alluring aspects of the ensemble superhero spectacular. Whether he comes back from the dead, wears black or wears blue, one thing’s for sure: Cavill will be back. And the Justice League wouldn’t be the Justice League without him.