Set Visit: Producers talk Justice League plus Costume details!

Last Updated on July 31, 2021

Upon our arrival at Leavesden studios, we were ushered into the JUSTICE LEAGUE production office for a look at some concept art. While no photos were allowed to be shared, the ones we saw hinted at the film’s huge, colorful scale, with a major Jack Kirby influence, although Henry Cavill’s Superman was notably missing from most of the images, although he headed the posted cast list on the wall. While checking those out, producers Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder came in to greet us and explain some of the images we got to take a look at. Noting that JUSTICE LEAGUE takes place several months after BvS, here’s what they had to say…


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."


From there, we were taken to the costume department where we 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 Meera, 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 he saw looked very sophiticated and very robotic, with lots of space. In fact, he looked (slightly) like the original version of ROBOCOP.

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.”




About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.