Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for Justice League. Director Zack Snyder helms the follow-up to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which finds Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) putting together a team that includes Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) to combat a looming threat. Not surprisingly, the new trailer makes quick business of stressing the more playful and comedic side of the characters, with Affleck’s Bruce Wayne having a dry back-and-forth with Gadot’s Wonder Woman, and Miller’s Barry Allen having a memorably funny introductory scene with Wayne as well.
I must admit, as a person who was strongly on the side of “No, Sir, I Don’t Like It” when it came to Batman v Superman, Justice League almost immediately intrigues me and feels way more engaging than its most recent predecessor. I’m not saying there wasn’t a coordinated effort to make the trailer feel lighter – White Stripes’ boogie-inducing “Icky Thump” in place of the overworked, dramatic score, laughs over big clattering action, etc. – but it certainly works on the whole.
As far as the new players, Miller’s Allen clearly steals the show on first glance. Miller seems to have successfully given the character a personality that is at once faithful to the character and different enough from Grant Gustin‘s exceptional take on the role in CW’s The Flash. The relationship between Allen and Wayne seems to be a major facet of the story, and there’s an immediate sense that these two actors have chemistry. Wayne’s relationship with Momoa’s Aquaman, however, seems far more confrontational, in a good way. Their meet-cute scene is another main focus of the footage, and the whole thing looks like a gas, with Momoa playing up the stoic warrior vibe. Though that whiskey-chugging moment felt just a little bit too bro-y, if I’m being honest here.
As for Cyborg, we only get a few quick looks at him and one exchange with Batman toward the end of the trailer. The design looks pretty strong overall, but I’m hoping we get a clearer look at his character in the next trailer/footage round-up. Regardless, the major worry about the film – that it would look and act exactly like Batman v Superman – is momentarily quelled, and things look very positive for Snyder’s epic DC adaptation. If the finished product is as consistently charming and funny as this trailer is, DC may be well on its way to rehabilitating its image as the place for all things grim, sentimental, and grey. Time to cross our fingers!