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CinemaCon 2017: DCEU presentation - Justice League, Aquaman, Wonder Woman

03.30.2017

The WB panel at CinemaCon 2017 was jam packed with their 2017 slate and beyond, but there's definitely a ravenouse group (myself included) of comic book fans that were starving for one thing more than any other and that's news from the DCEU. So, we've decided to break up the panels and give you the DCEU only portion of the panel RIGHT HERE. So, for those looking to hear ONLY about the comic book world of Warner Bros. then you're in the right spot and they most certainly didn't skimp on bringing some goods to the festivities. With that, let's get into the details.

AQUAMAN - So, this was truly unexpected. Star Jason Momoa took to the stage to kick things off, saying that he's there for JUSTICE LEAGUE, which is "the greatest movie in the world. You haven't seen it, but I have," before letting it be known that he's heading out tomorrow to fly to Australia to begin filming on the solo film of the Atlantean Superhero. Then, to everyone's surprise, he turned it over to a featurette with director James Wan and shit got real. A cavalcade of concept art swept in, featuring an armada of Atlantean warriors atop numerous sea beasts of all sizes and shapes (Sharks, whales, etc.), armored up and ready for battle. Wan went on to describe what he saw as a space battle from afar, but as you got closer you realized that it wasn't ships in space, but creatures in the sea. Think the space battle of Star Wars, but underwater and that will give you an idea.

The concept art was simply amazing. Atlantis is portrayed as an epic, monumental, and breathtaking metropolis, filled with a burgeoning populace and "creature traffic" abound. It was bright and full of life and unlike any "world" I've seen portrayed on film before. My eyes were literally going back and forth trying to keep up. We saw armored up Atlantean warriors (some in red) and various shots of the empire of Atlantis. We saw a peek at Black Manta, complete with a comics-accurate costume and "cinematic" advancements (texture and armor) and the helmet (oversized and with the big, red eyes) intact. We got a quick look at Ocean Master (as played by Patrick Wilson) in his full silver armor, again ripped straight from the pages of the comic.

We saw even more creatures of varying shapes and sizes that looked to be a part of the Atlantis environment. Wan described the characters in Atlantis to be very much like Superman in how they go around, swimming instead of flying, but having the same effect. It's obvious that a TON of thought, preparation and vision went into AQUAMAN and my excitement level (which admittedly was not super high before) is now through the roof. The potential, based on these designs, is astounding.

WONDER WOMAN - Director Patty Jenkins and star Chris Pine took to the stage (Gal Gadot just had a baby, so she gets a pass) and introduced some scenes from the just-around-the-corner solo superhero origin flick, WONDER WOMAN. Now, for those that read my edit bay visit REPORT you'll be familiar with one of these scenes, which is Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) and Diana/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) leaving Themiscyra by boat, heading to London. They have some great banter and awkward moments with the strong, assertive-yet-naive Diana bantering with the world-weary Trevor as they head toward the war. Sexual tension and humorous exchanges are prevalent and it again reminded me of why I think they nailed one of the most important aspects of the film; the dynamic between Trevor and Diana.

Next up they showed an extended version of the alleyway attack scene we've witnessed in the trailers. Diana and Steve head into an alley as men close in around them. They attempt to assassinate them, but Diana blocks their bullets with her gauntlets and proceeds to kick the shit out of them. "Anything else you want to show me?" says a shocked Steve. One of the last remaining assassins tries to escape and Diana pulls out her lasso of truth and snags him. It's a cool little scene and has a playfulness about it that reminded me of Indiana Jones, which is one of Jenkins' influences in making the film.

Lastly, we saw Wonder Woman in all her glory in a scene that pick up directly where we left off in our edit bay visit (where Diana first charges into battle in costume in "No Man's Land" leading the charge in an allied assault). Diane enters a city and proceeds to beat the hell out of German soldiers, lauching herself off buildings, using her lasso to toss bad buys, and then smashing through a window (as seen in the trailer) and dishing out some acrobatically awesome beat downs to the soldiers in the room. The choreography is dynamic (and "super") with Jenkins employing an even-handed version of Zack Snyder's famous "speed-ramping" techinique (again, as seen in the trailers) and it reaches a crescendo of coolness as she takes down the last bad guy, a smile upon her face. Diane isn't just the most well-trained Amazon to ever live; she also happens to enjoy it. Simply great stuff and I'm thrilled to see the final product on June 2nd.

JUSTICE LEAGUE - So, we've all watched the new trailer a kajillion times already and I was afraid we'd only see that one again (not that it's a bad thing), but WB brought a VERY extended version that chopped in all kinds of new bits. Before the footage kicked off, however, director Zack Snyder took the stage along with the cast (minus Gadot), including Ben Affleck, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller and yes, Henry Cavill, to introduce us to it. It was great to see them all up there, but only Snyder spoke, talking about the JUSTICE LEAGUE as the culmination of what he's been building towards for the last seven years and how honored he is to be a part of it.

Firstly, the trailer started out with Bruce Wayne on horesback (again, similar to the newest trailer) and in voice over he says, "I've spent so much time trying to tear us apart. Now, I need to bring us together." We then cut to Diana entering what appears to be the Batcave (or similar Bruce Wayne hideout) as he works on the Flying Fox transport ship. He says something to the effect of how he's paid millions on his security system, to which Diana says something to the effect of how he should feel lucky as it took her an entire minute to dismantle it. He then tells her that they need to be ready as "they" are coming, to which she replies that they're "already here."

There's quite a few small new bits as the trailer plays out, including a really bad ass shot of Aquaman just standing still under water and rocking a "badass" pose and then two more new sequences; Wonder Woman is attacking and her sword has left her grasp. The Flash takes off at super speed and gets in front of the sword, tapping it lightly, prompting it to go back into her grip (reminiscent of the Quicksilver scenes in the X-Men films) and then an end stinger of Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) standing with Bruce Wayne and Diana (all out of costume) seeing the bat symbol in the sky and freaking out with giddy excitement. "That's for you! That means-oh, sorry-" he covers his mouth, smiling in excitment. "-that means you have to go." Bruce, somewhat annoyed with Barry's enthusiasm, nods, humoring him. "Yes, that means I have to go." It's a funny bit and shows a really fun dynamic between the characters. Miller is clearly having a blast as The Flash and it's *gasp* really fun.

And that's it for the DCEU panel! Some really cool and unexpected stuff and, as someone who really enjoys the ambition of the DCEU (and have been reading the comics for 30+ years), this is really, REALLY cool. Regardless of where you stand in how the universe has developed, I'd find it hard not to have at least a modicum of excitment for what's in store for the next few years in the DCEU.

Source: JoBlo.com

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