Chronicling The Justice League Set Visits - Ben, Zack, & Other Interviews

When press were invited over to London into the studio for Justice League there of course came a bunch of interviews that were in tandem with the already surplus of information we received, those interviews include the likes of Ben Affleck, Zack Snyder, Charles Roven, and Deborah Snyder. So the following are transcripts of those interviews with a bonus story on the costume department run by Michael Wilkinson so enjoy them.


On the fights scenes in BvS and whether that style will be used in JUSTICE LEAGUE. 
"We have the same guys who choreographed – who came up with those. I’d like to say it was my idea but I just do what they tell me. The same guys from visual fx to practical stunts. They come up with really creative, cool ideas – this is gonna be the same way I'll approach it when I'm directing, which is to say find a great stunt coordinator, great effect guys and stunt guys who can execute this stuff and put you in their hands and let them do it – it's like getting a great composer, it's almost a separate thing. It it works it feels like it's flawlessly integrated. How could STAR WARS exist without that music.”

On being an executive producer on JUSTICE LEAGUE. 
"Well, why I'm an executive producer is because I'm directing another one – so there's some cross pollination and story and characters. I don't want to give any of that stuff away , but it just basically means there might be some stuff in my Batman that are effected... It's a creative way DC came up with both as being a filmmaker driven company and entity and also making sure that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing and there's collaboration and supervision so that somebody doesn't go sailing off and creating problems with your movie. I get to weigh in on stuff that effects Batman."

On Geoff Johns
"He's a brilliant guy. There's nobody one that knows more about comic books, and has great taste and is really super smart and super nice. And Jon Berg has a big role but really this is Zack's movie and we’re executing Zack's vision."

On Batman being a detective. 
"The whole detective aspect of Batman is more present in this story than in the last one and would probably be expanded upon further in a Batman movie that I would direct. All Batman movies at their heart are detective stories they feel a little bit like noir movies in a way.. somehow feels like THE MALTESE FALCON, at their heart detective stories. And the detective story here is the how do I find these people and bring them together aspect..."

How do you bring Batman back from the edge?
"(on BVS) That was very heavily influenced by Dark Knight Returns, This has other influences I don't want to name because then it will give away story elements and stuff like that. Working with Terrio and Geoff Johns and obviously Zack, we steal the best stuff we can from all the great material out there. But you know, one of the things is this is now not the guy at the end of his rope but in a way a guy at the beginning, starting over, finding hope. The thing that he is hoping for and hanging on to is this group and that starts him off and that's his mission here. Obviously that's something different.This is not a guy that's nihilistic. He believes that something needs to happen and he's in the awkward position of being the guy out there with the cup in his hand trying to say, 'listen – believe in this!'"

Biggest change from BvS
"There's definitely room for more humor. It's not going to be...DC movies are I think by the nature still a little bit more Gothic or mythic then some comic book movies are. But that movie was a really dark, heavy movie that was rooted in Dark Knight Returns, which was a heavy, dark book and this is not that. This an an evolution from that, bringing together these characters who's had their origins and it's about hope and working together and the kind of conflicts you have with working together. It's this world with all these other superheroes, So there's comedy that goes into that, trying to work with other people, and the idea of people working together to accomplish the same goal is the root of all comedy in my view, so there's definitely an opening for some fun it it, but it's still recognizably these characters..."

With all the mother-boxes, parademons – is there a notion Batman is “too old for this shit”? 
"It's not so much, 'I'm too old for this shit' but rather I NEED HELP, this guy is way out of his league, it's definitely stepping up to that level from the comic books where there are things from other planets, all these super-villains that are way more powerful that the average human who had a batarang and a grappling hook can deal with. So we explore what these other heroes can do. You want to be able to use the powers of Flash, and Wonder Woman and Cyborg, where you have to have bad guys that are, ya know, give them to opportunity to get their cars out on the track and hit the accelerator a little bit.”

On Batman being the leader...
"Aquaman is a very strong character played by a very strong actor with a very strong personality, so he's not a guy who has anytime in his life to take orders from people. He's got a kind of strong, stubborn, powerful energy, so it's not like any of these characters show up and immediately go like, 'yes, sir – what should I do Mr. Wayne?' It's about getting very disparate people who are used to being powerful to try and work together and it's about how hard that is. There are some characters who really hit it off with each other and some that don't and almost come to blows, and it's about trying to tame that kind of energy."

On Batman being violent or deadly. 
"Yeah, definitely in the last movie Batman went to a very dark place that was rooted in trauma that occurred to people that he loved and worked with and what he saw. This really is not about that issue for him so much anymore, he's no longer sort of extreme in that way, he's kind of, from the experiences of the last movie, hes sort of learned some things, I think and is now... I'm trying to say without giving any spoilers... but he's wanting to redeem himself and he's wanting mankind to be redeemed, and he's wanting to make the world better, having learned lessons that were important in the last movie."

A time-frame for his solo movie... 
"I think they have a date for it, but I don't know that I'd be able to make that date as I don't have a script that's ready yet. That's my timetable, that I'm not going to make a movie where the script is not good. I've been on the end of things when you make a movie where the script is not good, and it doesn't pan out. I have a script, we're still working on it but I'm not happy enough with it to go out and make a Batman movie for which I haven't had the highest of standards. It would have to pass a very high bar for me. It can't be like, 'oh this might be fun, let's go bang this out.'"


So that was a really funny scene. Is that part of why you showed it? 
"Well also because it was one of the first scenes we have done. *laughs* So I thought it would be cool to show. Also I think that it shows you know a little bit about the movie. Batman is Batman and Bruce Wayne has this kind of ‘Batman’ humor as he plays the straight guy. It’s what he’s good at. But when I saw the scene, I thought this is fun. It’s an interesting way of understanding how the films have progressed. By no means is this the whole movie cause there’s parts of the movie of course where they face enemies and have to get their stuff together. They’re going to be called into conflict. You guys know I’m a fan of ‘The Magnificent Seven’ or team-making movies so it’s fun for me to finally get to this point now where we’re building a team or “building the Justice League” of course. ‘Batman V Superman’ I think to me was always inherently, conceptually from the beginning was getting Batman into the movie. We’ve talked about how we get Batman into the story and who is Superman gonna fight? Will he fight Zod? That’s pretty much an alien. Who does he fight next? I was with Chris Nolan and this idea came up where we thought let’s see Kryptonite being delivered to Bruce Wayne’s house at the end of the first movie. We thought that was cool and progressed from there till the point where we said he’s going to fight Batman. Then it’s hard to go back, once you say Batman out loud that’s it, it’s going to be Batman."

Is there any chance of Lex's return or is there at least a presence at all? 
"Well that’s a bit of a spoiler but I think Jesse is hilarious and fun. But Lex is in prison and comic-book world prisons are not the most secure places. Very porous."

When you started ‘Batman V Superman’, you knew ‘Justice League’ was coming. You had this whole other slate of movies that were coming. So there’s a vision you need to have but also try to pay attention to the reactions are. How has the audience and critical reaction affected the progression of the films? 
"If it’s about putting more fun in the movie or embracing something the fans love. There’s this larger than life aspect with big fun stuff when it comes to ‘Justice League’ characters. You’ve got Flash and Jason Momoa as Aquaman who brings his own fun persona since I’ve worked with him. He’s using his 'Jason-ness.''

More tidbits from Snyder:

- Superman was on his way in Zack’s vision to having a reason to be Superman in his story. A reason to feel the way he felt about humanity. His moral compass. He had to go through something to be that. Zack jokingly laughs when he says “And I’m not saying that he’s in ‘Justice League’ by the way."

- He discusses the dynamic of Batman and Superman fighting eachother and how they had to dig down deep to find that reason as to why they would fight one another. In ‘Justice League’, they’re (Batman at least) now free of those shackles because it’s about uniting the team against a common enemy.

- Zack says that they’ve had “almost” all Justice League team members together at one time so far on-set. He refers to it at the “making the plan” scene.

- We asked about how ‘Justice League’ will end and that his current film is a “complete movie” on its own, meaning no real cliffhanger, although it obviously leads the door way open for multiple sequels.

- When asked about the current corporate pressure for the movie(s) to perform, he talks about the misconceptions out there and how he is a true dear fan of the comics and how Warner Bros. didn’t push them around on it. ‘Batman V Superman’ was created as a great starting vehicle and not something just to sell tickets. He says the studio has been amazing and they love making personal movies.

- Working on ‘Justice League’ is now giving Zack the opportunity to blow the doors off the scale of the movies including the bad guys, locations, etc.

- Zack is obsessed with tone in his movies and tries to change it up as this trilogy goes on.

- Given Bruce’s newfound faith in humanity and trying to balance that with building the new team and fight this dangerous force, it’s a Batman unlike any we’ve ever seen before. He was always the loner hero which is no longer the case.

- Zack would speak with Ben during ‘Batman V Superman’ to make Batman less one-note even before Ben takes on his own solo film.

- Geoff Johns becomes the topic of conversation as Zack shows his admiration for his work and comic-book world knowledge. Zack also mentions an upcoming project that they’ll be working on but wasn’t allowed to discuss further with us.

- Zack decided to drop that deleted scene of Steppenwolf’s reveal in ‘Batman V Superman’ online after it was decided that it wouldn’t work as an after-credits scene.

- A journalist asked how Superman's hair would be upon his return, while discussing his evolution from BVS. Snyder laughed, saying: "Well, it would be perfect; a little longer, I guess. That's what the myths are. If he does appear, I think that would be a big part of the story; how you get him back."

Here's some costume details:

Press were taken to the costume department where they met Michael Wilkinson, the costume designer for BvS and now this. Clearly excited about the new characters, he showed up many of his demos, staring with Amber Heard’s Mera, who he revealed was one of his favorite character’s because she’s a sorceress and a badass. Her costume reflects this, with it being made of a new, polyurethane material that almost makes it looked like scale skin, but not. It's very form fitting, and the concept art makes Heard look fierce. Similarly, Willem Dafoe's Vulko looks terrific, with him sporting long hair and a faded, very courtly outfit that makes him look like a knight - albeit an Atlantean version. The costume also gives off the idea that Atlantis was once above water but over time they've evolved to be more in-tune with their environment, having a gilled look.

Moving onto the world of The Flash, we got a good look at the costume Ezra Miller wears for most of the movie, although the concept art suggested a more streamlined, Waynetech variation later in the film (which they suggest may have been worked on by Bruce and Alfred). The earlier version is based on the idea that he’s testing things out, making it look beaten up. It’s a prototype suit, and designed to protect him as he moves through space. So there are rigid pieces on the front, with blades and venting making the costume aerodynamic. He’s a smart, resourceful young man who’s stolen 3D printers, and has hacked into NASA. As he moves he generates electricity, with him being a kind of human sized electrical coil, making the wires which tie the over 100 pieces together light up with a CG effect. While it looks complicated, Miller is able to get in and out of the costume in minutes. The Flash logo is on the suit, but the lightening bolts on his helmet are low-key. Also interesting is that Miller’s tall, lean-physique makes him a stark contrast to the bulkier characters.

As for Cyborg, his costume is the only one that’s fully CGI, with Ray Fisher walking around on set in what looks like a giant sock. The concept art seen looked very sophiticated and very robotic, with lots of space. In fact, he looked (slightly) like the original version of ROBOCOP. Wilkinson also noted that Cyborg will have the ability to turn his chrome for sweats and civilian clothing.

Regarding Batman, the main suit is like the one in BvS, but small, armor plates have been added under the material to protect his vitals now that he’s dealing with this otherworldly characters. The suit is in progress throughout, with a final costume being armored, similar to the one at the end of BvS but more streamlined and sophisticated.

Wilkinson also admits to feeling a kinship with Jeremy Irons’s Alfred, with him essentially doing Alfred’s job of designing these cool costumes. As portrayed in BvS, Alfred is Bruce’s technical guru and crime fighting partner, with us also getting a look at a subterranean bunker where Alfred and Bruce work on their “bat-tech.”


DEBORAH SNYDER: "The death of Superman really impacted Batman in a profound way and I think he begins to regain his faith in humanity. He also feels that there may be something coming or even here already. So he feels that with the help of Diana Prince that he needs to find the rest of the Metahumans. So basically this story is about finding the groove and bringing them all together and it’s a lot of fun because we get to go on that journey and we get to see all the different personalities of all the members the Justice League."

CHARLES ROVEN: "So as I believe those of you who did see ‘Batman V Superman’, there was a bit of a tease or an easter egg about these guys (points to the “Mother Boxes” shown in the deleted scene released a few months ago). These Mother Boxes are best used when they work in three’s and back before there was a history, there were these primary Mother Boxes (points to an Amazonian Mother Box, an Atlantian Mother Box and a Mankind Mother Box). The Atlantians were under water, the Amazonians and actually the Old Gods teamed together and decided based on an event that happened that these Mother Boxes were to be placed in the care of the Amazonians, Mankind and the Atlantians. So that allows us to get into some of those environments in our story and of course Atlantis is underwater so that’s what these conceptual designs are (points to concept art drawings for Atlantis in the ‘Justice League’ movie which include weapons, costumes and more that define the culture). Over here (walks over and points to more concept art of the Amazonian world including wardrobe, locations, etc.) and finally (points to more concept drawings for the world of Man including a good look at S.T.A.R. Labs)."

DEBORAH SNYDER: "We got a glimpse of this (S.T.A.R. Labs) in ‘Batman V Superman; with Silas (Stone) and the creation of Cyborg but we’re going to see a lot more of that. Here’s some more concept art (points to what they were currently shooting while we were on set which involved J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Jim Gordon along with costumed heroes on a rooftop). Gordon has just activated the Bat signal so the heroes have arrived to see him and we get to see their interaction. Just to let you know, it’s a big green-screen stage so since there’s so many of you and we’re happy to have all of you, we have monitors and headsets outside the green-screen and then we’ll take you in smaller groups so you can spend time on the set. So it’s a fun day to be here. What’s really fun also is that we have a lot of new Batman tech. This is the Nightcrawler and there’s an action set-piece that we’re going to take you to (telling us about an awesome set we’ll be seeing soon) and in the film is an underground tunnel that they were going to build between Metropolis and Gotham City but was abandoned so the project never went forward. Now there is the remains of what was left of the tunnel and instead of using the Batmobile which is too big to fit, Batman can use the Nightcrawler instead to get across. So you’ll get to see that. Not only do we have the Nightcrawler but if we have a whole Justice League, we have to find a way to transport them. So we have the Flying Fox (named after a New Earth DC character) which you can see here (pointing to future set piece art) with Bruce Wayne working on the ship in his hangar and if you see down there you’ll see that it fits all of the team members but it can also carry the Batmobile which will be essential. That will be a set that we’ll be building but we haven’t gotten there yet."

CHARLES ROVEN: (walking past Barry ‘The Flash’ Allen’s apartment set to see more concept art for the Flying Fox) "This sort of gives you an idea for the interior of the Flying Fox. It’s big enough for the Batmobile and has a lot of the Bat tech and gadgets and is its fantastic piece of equipment. Also the Bat tech that you’re gonna see in this film isn’t just big stuff. It will be gadgets that you see and also new things. Batman will have more than one Batsuit that he’s continually modifying for the adventures that he’s going to have in this film. As well as he continues to modify the Batmobile to make it more weaponized for the battles he might be facing."

DEBORAH SNYDER: "And then obviously with the Mother Boxes and the hints from the other movie, we’re dealing with Apokoliptian technology and villians and we have some revisions as we’re always tweaking things. Then here’s our Parademons (shows us the concept art much like the ones from ‘Batman V Superman’) which will be in the film and are work in progress. We’re cheeky I know but we are still working on it and we got a brief glimpse of a version of Steppenwolf (from ‘Batman V Superman’). That part has not yet been officially locked and sealed on casting at this time."

CHARLES ROVEN: "You know one of the great things that Zack is able to do with these conceptual designs is finding a way for him to shoot them for real even though now they’re just works of art."

DEBORAH SNYDER: (after being asked if there are other villains in the story) "Of course we don’t want to give away everything!"

On tonal changes:

DEBORAH SNYDER: "Well, I think those movies, MAN OF STEEL and BvS were a celebration of the darker comics, like Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and The Death of Superman. These are all individual stories, but this is bringing them up - more akin to the traditional comics everyone knows and loves."

On the more fantastic elements:

DEBORAH SNYDER: "Obviously the apocalyptian elements give it a more sci-fi flair, but I think it’s still our world they’re living in."

CHARLES ROVEN: "They interact in a real way. Just like we did in MAN OF STEEL, there are other entities out there, not just on earth, so we’re just following that track."

On J.K Simmons and his new buff physique...

DEBORAH SNYDER: "Well, wait to you see him. He has hair, a mustache, and honestly he came to us and we saw him just two days ago and I think he looks like Commissioner Gordon from the comics."

There of course were other interviews that I'll get to eventually, I just wanted to get share the more important ones first then deal with the latter ones second, I will get to those ones in due course but for now it's the ones above!

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.  Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat.  But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Directed by Zack Snyder, this marks the big screen debut of the Justice League, featuring an all-star lineup: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher.

Sources: Joblo - Joblo

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