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The Final Battle Justice League (2017) part 1

The Final Battle Justice League (2017) part 1 Description

The Final Battle Justice League is a 2017 American superhero film based on the DC Comics superhero team of the same name. It is the fifth installment in the DC Extended Universe and a follow-up to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and was directed by Zack Snyder and written by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon who served as co-director, based on a story by Terrio and Snyder.

It features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, and J. K. Simmons. In the film, Batman and Wonder Woman recruit The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg after Superman’s death to save the world from the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons.

Warner Bros. began to develop a live-action Justice League film in 2007. The studio tapped Michele and Kieran Mulroney to pen a screenplay which became known as Justice League: Mortal. George Miller signed on to direct later that year with casting taking place shortly after. Warner Bros. fast-tracked the film for a summer 2009 release but production was halted by the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America strike.

The project was cancelled following production delays and budgetary concerns despite the principal roles having been already cast. A The Final Battle Justice League film would re-enter development as part of Warner Bros’ upcoming DC film slate in October 2014, with Snyder on board to direct and Terrio attached to write the script. The film was initially titled The Final Battle Justice League Part One, with a second film (under the name Justice League Part Two) intended to follow in 2019. However, the sequel was indefinitely delayed to accommodate the production of a standalone Batman film starring Affleck.

Principal photography took place from April to October 2016. After Snyder stepped down from the film following the death of his daughter, Whedon was hired to oversee the remainder of post-production, including writing and directing additional scenes. With an estimated production budget of $300 million, The Final Battle Justice League is one of the most expensive films ever made.

The Final Battle Justice League premiered in Beijing on October 26, 2017, and was released in the United States in 4DX, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D on November 17, 2017. The film grossed over $657 million worldwide against a break-even point of $750 million, becoming a box office disappointment and losing Warner Bros. Pictures an estimated $60 million. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the action sequences and performances (particularly of Gadot and Miller) but criticized the plot, writing, score, pacing, villain, and computer-generated imagery.

Its tone was also met with a polarized reception, with some appreciating the lighter tone compared to previous DCEU films and others finding it inconsistent. In the wake of its release, fans began to push for the release of Snyder’s original version of the film, and in May 2020, Snyder announced that his cut would release on HBO Max as Zack Snyder’s Justice League in 2021.

Plot

Thousands of years previously, Steppenwolf and his legions of Parademons had attempted to take over the Earth using the combined energies of the three Mother Boxes. The attempt was foiled by a unified alliance including the Olympian Gods, Amazons, Atlanteans, mankind, and extraterrestrial beings from other worlds. After Steppenwolf’s army was repelled, the Mother Boxes were separated and hidden in different locations.

In the present, mankind is still in mourning two years after Superman’s death, which has triggered the Mother Boxes’ reactivation and Steppenwolf’s return to Earth. Steppenwolf aims to regain favor with his master Darkseid by gathering the boxes to form “The Unity”, which will destroy Earth’s ecology and terraform it in the image of Steppenwolf’s homeworld.

Steppenwolf retrieves one Mother Box from Themyscira, prompting Queen Hippolyta to warn her daughter Diana of Steppenwolf’s return. Diana joins Bruce Wayne in an attempt to unite other metahumans to their cause: Wayne goes after Arthur Curry and Barry Allen, while Diana locates Victor Stone. Wayne fails to persuade Curry but finds Allen enthusiastic to join the team. Although Diana fails to persuade Stone to join, he agrees to help them locate the threat. Stone later joins after his father Silas and several other S.T.A.R. Labs employees are kidnapped by Steppenwolf, who is seeking the Mother Box protected by mankind.

Steppenwolf attacks an Atlantean outpost to retrieve the next Mother Box, forcing Curry into action. The team receives intel from Commissioner James Gordon, leading them to Steppenwolf’s army, based in an abandoned facility under Gotham Harbor. Although the group manages to rescue the kidnapped employees, the facility is flooded during combat, which traps the team until Curry helps delay the flood so they can escape. Stone retrieves the last Mother Box, which he had hidden, for the group to analyze.

Stone reveals that his father used the Mother Box to rebuild Stone’s body after an accident almost cost him his life. Wayne decides to use the Mother Box to resurrect Superman, not only to help them fight off Steppenwolf’s invasion but also to restore hope to mankind. Diana and Curry are hesitant about the idea, but Wayne forms a secret contingency plan in case Superman returns as hostile.

Clark Kent’s body is exhumed and placed in the amniotic fluid of the genesis chamber of the Kryptonian scout ship alongside the Mother Box, which in turn activates after Flash uses his powers to charge it up and successfully resurrects Superman. However, Superman’s memories have not returned, and he attacks the group after Stone accidentally launches a projectile at him. On the verge of being killed by Superman, Batman enacts his contingency plan: Lois Lane. Superman calms down and leaves with Lane to his family home in Smallville, where he reflects, and his memories slowly come back. In the turmoil, the last Mother Box is left unguarded allowing Steppenwolf to retrieve it with ease.

Without Superman to aid them, the five heroes travel to a village in Russia where Steppenwolf aims to unite the Mother Boxes once again to remake Earth. The team fights their way through the Parademons to reach Steppenwolf, although they are unable to distract him enough for Stone to separate the Mother Boxes. Superman arrives and assists Allen in evacuating the city, as well as Stone, in separating the Mother Boxes. The team defeats Steppenwolf, who, overcome with fear, is attacked by his own Parademons before they all teleport away.

Cast

  • Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman:
    A wealthy socialite, and the owner of Wayne Enterprises. He dedicates himself to protecting Gotham City from its criminal underworld as a highly trained, masked vigilante equipped with various tools and weapons. Affleck noted on how the film gave him an opportunity to reinvent Batman and portray a more classic take on the character. He described that in the film, audiences will see Batman as more heroic, and more of a leader. “Batman is by nature, [while] not necessarily anti-social, pretty private, pretty a loner,” Affleck says. “And then in this movie he’s thrust into the role of having to not only work with people, but bring them together and convince them to come in and try to … somehow with Wonder Woman hold all that community effort together. That was a really interesting thing to play for me, and it also does take us to a more traditional role for Batman in the The Final Battle Justice League comics, and his role with the The Final Battle Justice League versus the sort of less typical version we saw in Batman v Superman, where he was blinded by rage and wanted to take on Superman.”
  • Henry Cavill as Clark Kent / Superman:
    A member of, and inspiration for, the The Final Battle Justice League. He is a Kryptonian survivor, and a journalist for the Daily Planet based in Metropolis. In Justice League, Superman was portrayed as more optimistic and hopeful. The character was intentionally excluded from all The Final Battle Justice League marketing materials to emphasize his death as depicted on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman:
    An antiquities dealer, acquaintance of Wayne, and an immortal Amazonian warrior, who is the crown princess of Themyscira and daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus. She is endowed with metahuman attributes and abilities inherited from her parents.
  • Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / The Flash:
    A Central City University student, who can move at superhuman speeds with his ability to tap into the Speed Force.
  • Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry / Aquaman:
    Half-human and half Atlantean metahuman with superhuman strength and aquatic abilities. Momoa was cast as Aquaman in June 2014, and made a cameo appearance in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • Ray Fisher as Victor Stone / Cyborg:
    A former college athlete who, after being cybernetically reconstructed after a nearly fatal car accident, is turned into a techno-organic being enhanced by reactive, adaptive biomimetic alien technology. His enhancements include the abilities of flight, variable weaponry and technopathy. Fisher portrays the character through the use of motion capture for the cybernetic portion of his body. Fisher was cast as Cyborg in April 2014, and made a cameo in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • Amy Adams as Lois Lane:
    An undaunted and compassionate award-winning journalist for the Daily Planet and the love interest for Kent.
  • Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth:
    Wayne’s butler, chief of security, and trusted confidant.
  • Diane Lane as Martha Kent:
    Kent’s adoptive mother.
  • Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta:
    Diana’s mother and the Amazonian Queen of Themyscira.
  • J. K. Simmons as Commissioner James Gordon:
    The Gotham City Police Department Commissioner, and close ally of Batman.
  • Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf:
    An alien military officer from Apokolips who leads an army of Parademons and is searching for the three Mother Boxes held on Earth. The character is described as “old, tired” and trying to find a way to escape his role of servitude under Darkseid. Hinds portrayed the villain through use of motion capture and received some advice in the process from Liam Neeson, who had recently done similar work in A Monster Calls. After the release of the film, Hinds was reportedly unhappy with the final cut of the film, which trimmed down the backstory and characterization of Steppenwolf.
  • Amber Heard as Mera:
    An Atlantean, who approaches Curry to discuss the nature of the Mother Boxes.
  • Joe Morton as Silas Stone:
    Victor Stone’s father and head of S.T.A.R. Labs.

During a scene a half-hour into the film, depicting Steppenwolf’s first invasion thousands of years earlier, Olympian Old Gods Zeus, Ares, and Artemis are portrayed by fitness model Sergi Constance, stuntman Nick McKinless, and MMA fighter Aurore Lauzeral, respectively. All three were required to reach a specific degree of physicality, with Snyder instructing McKinless to sport “veins like worms and paper thin skin”. In the finished film, McKinless’ face was replaced with that of David Thewlis using special effects; Thewlis received the credit as Ares. The scene also shows a Green Lantern, named Yalan Gur, created through motion-capture CGI and embodied by an uncredited actor.

Two ancient kings of Earth appear during the scene, including King Atlan of Atlantis and Arthur Pendragon of ancient England; portrayed by Julian Lewis Jones and Francis Magee, respectively. Billy Crudup appears, uncredited, as Henry Allen, Barry Allen’s father. Joe Manganiello and Jesse Eisenberg appear uncredited in a post-credits scene as Slade Wilson / Deathstroke and Lex Luthor, respectively. Michael McElhatton appears as the leader of a group of terrorists who clash with Wonder Woman early in the film, while Holt McCallany makes an uncredited appearance as a burglar. Marc McClure, who portrayed Jimmy Olsen in the Christopher Reeve Superman film series, has a cameo as a police officer.

Willem Dafoe and Kiersey Clemons filmed scenes as Nuidis Vulko and Iris West, although their roles were cut from the final film. Both actors are signed for multiple films and are set to appear in the future installments of the franchise. A scene depicting Green Lanterns Kilowog and Tomar-Re visiting Batman was filmed as an additional post-credits scene, further teasing the upcoming Green Lantern Corps, but the scene was later scrapped.

Other scenes that were filmed, but cut from the theatrical film, include: Ryan Zheng as Ryan Choi, setting up the character’s future as The Atom; a fight between Ares and Darkseid, with the villain portrayed by Ray Porter; Harry Lennix reprising his role from Man of Steel and Batman v Superman as Calvin Swanwick, in a scene where it would have been revealed that his character is actually J’onn J’onzz / Martian Manhunter; and scenes featuring Darkseid’s servant DeSaad, with the character voiced by Peter Guinness. These characters will be included in Zack Snyder’s The Final Battle Justice League.

Music

In March 2016, Hans Zimmer, who co-composed the score for Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, stated that he had officially retired from the “superhero business”, though he would later score the 2019 X-Men film X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Junkie XL, who wrote and composed the soundtrack of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with Zimmer, was originally scoring the film. In June 2017, Danny Elfman was announced to have controversially replaced Junkie XL. Elfman had previously composed the films Batman and Batman Returns, and the theme music for Batman: The Animated Series. Elfman used the Batman theme music from the 1989 film Batman.

The John Williams’ Superman theme was used during “a dark, twisted moment” in the film, the time when a resurrected Superman fights the The Final Battle Justice League. The film features a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows” performed by Sigrid, “Icky Thump” performed by the White Stripes, and a cover of the Beatles’ “Come Together” performed by Gary Clark Jr. and Junkie XL. WaterTower Music released the soundtrack album digitally on November 10, 2017, with a release of the physical format on December 8.

Release

The film held its world premiere in Beijing on October 26, 2017, and was theatrically released in North America and elsewhere around the world in standard, RealD 3D, and IMAX on November 17, 2017. Its Japan premiere took place on November 20, 2017 in Tokyo, with only Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher from the main cast attending. In the United States, the film opened to 4,051 theaters in its widest release. The Final Battle Justice League was shown in cinemas for 119 days (17 weeks).

Marketing

Superman was intentionally left out on all early The Final Battle Justice League marketing materials, including trailers, clips, and posters, which actor Cavill commented as “ridiculous”. Despite his character being hidden from promotional materials, Cavill still joined the rest of the cast on the film’s press tour. Clark Kent was revealed in a final trailer before the release of the film, but edited in a way that writers felt Lois Lane was dreaming about Clark. Sponsorship and marketing partners of the film included AT&T, Gillette, Mercedes-Benz, and TCL. Later after the film’s release, Superman was finally included in a new alternate version of the theatrical poster.

Home media

The Final Battle Justice League was released on digital download on February 13, 2018, and was released on Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray 3D, 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray, and DVD on March 13, 2018 in various international markets. The Blu-ray features two deleted scenes titled Return of Superman. It is also notable for having no director commentary from either Zack Snyder or Joss Whedon. As of September 30, 2020, it has made $21.3 million in DVD sales and $40.6 million in Blu-ray sales, totaling an estimated $62.1 million in domestic video sales according to The Numbers. Forbes reported that The Final Battle Justice League went on to gross more than $100 million in Blu-ray/DVD/Digital-HD sales and rentals.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

The divisive reaction towards the final highlighted cut of the film, with Zack Snyder leaving directorial duties and the final cut of the film in the hands of Joss Whedon, has led to an argument comparing the situation to the one experienced by the film Superman II. Both The Final Battle Justice League and Superman II feature a director who was replaced, for different reasons, before completion of a film, which led to a second director coming in and making substantial changes to the tone of each film. Although the reasoning behind each director’s departure differs, Richard Donner was able to complete his Superman II cut in 2006.

In the belief that Snyder had shot enough material for a finished film, a campaign for a “Snyder Cut” was started to allow Snyder to receive a similar treatment to Donner. Arguments are made that Snyder’s vision would be more cohesive to the previous films than the actual theatrical cut, which Snyder has refused to see. Warner Bros. initially remained silent regarding any intention of making a “Snyder Cut”.

In March 2019, Snyder confirmed his original cut does exist, and stated that it is up to Warner Bros. to release it. In November, however, an insider claimed that Warner Bros. was unlikely to release Snyder’s version of The Final Battle Justice League in theaters or on HBO Max, calling it a “pipe dream”. In December, however, Snyder posted a photo in his Vero account, which showed boxes with tapes labeled “Z.S. J.L Director’s cut”, and with the caption “Is it real? Does it exist? Of course it does.” On May 20, 2020, Snyder officially announced that HBO Max will be releasing his cut of The Final Battle Justice League on their service in 2021.

The cut will cost $20–30+ million to complete the special effects, musical score, and editing, and will be released as a four-part miniseries of Snyder’s original vision of the film, with each installment being an hour long. This will be followed by a version that will combine the episodes into a four-hour long film. It was also revealed that Cavill, Affleck, Gadot, Fisher, Miller, and Momoa would be returning to help complete the project, which will include appearing in additional filming and reshoots.

Future

A sequel was originally scheduled to be released in June 2019 but was subsequently delayed to accommodate the release for The Batman. By March 2017, producer Charles Roven announced that Zack Snyder would direct the film. In October 2017, J. K. Simmons stated that the studio was working on the script of the sequel, alongside The Batman. Shortly after the release of The Final Battle Justice League, Henry Cavill stated that he was under contract with Warner Bros. to play Superman for one more film.

In December 2017, it was reported that there were “no immediate plans” for Zack Snyder to direct any future DC films, being relegated to an executive producer position instead. This came after a reshuffling of film production staff at Warner Bros. due to the film’s mixed critical reception and disappointing financial performance. By 2019, Warner Bros. had prioritized solo films over the project.

After previously declining an offer to direct the first film, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins noted she is open to directing a The Final Battle Justice League sequel.

Notes

  • Snyder was the director during principal photography, but was replaced by Joss Whedon during post-production. Snyder retained directorial credit for the finished film, though reports have indicated Whedon reshot a majority of the film.
  • In home release, RatPac-Dune Entertainment was replaced with Access Entertainment (RatPac’s current owner), following the rape and sexual harassment allegations against RatPac-Dune’s CEO, Brett Ratner.
  • Identified offscreen as Yalan Gur.
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The Final Battle Justice League (2017) part 1 Image

About The Final Battle Justice League (2017) part 1

Genre Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Directed By Zack Snyder
Screenplay by Chris Terrio, Joss Whedon
Produced by Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Jon Berg, Geoff Johns
Story by Chris Terrio, Zack Snyder
Based on Justice League by Gardner Fox
Music Danny Elfman
Release Date October 26, 2017 (Beijing) - November 17, 2017 (United States)
Runtime 2h
Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane
Country United States
Language English
Production Company DC Films, RatPac Entertainment, Atlas Entertainment, Cruel and Unusual Films
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Budget $300 million
Box office $657.9 million
Aspect Ratio 1.85 : 1
Official Site https://www.facebook.com/JusticeLeagueOfficial/
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