League of legends
Finally, the Justice League has come together. After four films (“Man of Steel,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Suicide Squad” and “Wonder Woman”), the world’s preeminent super team is making its full appearance in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Directed by Zack Snyder, “Justice League” brings together the heavy hitters of DC Comics on the big screen. After the death of Superman (Henry Cavill), Batman and Wonder Woman gather three other heroes to defend the Earth against a horde of otherworldly Parademons led by the villainous Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds). “Justice League” is the most important movie in DCEU history, the moment DC fans have been waiting for since the DCEU was jumpstarted in 2013’s “Man of Steel.” This connects the great settings of the universe, from Metropolis to Atlantis. A creative crew of considerable strength has been recruited behind the scenes, including writer Joss Whedon and composer Danny Elfman. The movie features a super team of actors to portray the heroes of the Justice League. Here are excerpts from an exclusive Q & A with four of the League leaders:
Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman
All five of these heroes have epic special abilities, but Wonder Woman stands alone in many ways. What do you think she brings to the League? I think that she brings the heart. She really cares for everyone in general, and definitely cares for each member of the League. In the beginning, she does worry that they’re recruiting people who have no real experience, and asking them to risk their lives in order to save the world – something that’s highly dangerous – which none of them has ever even attempted before. Diana, in a way, is the glue that holds the League together. She’s tries to find ways to help each of these people, at different times, to feel stronger, capable, loved, and ultimately to believe in themselves.
When you were making the movie, do you recall any moments during production that were particularly fun or memorable for you? I think that the most memorable moment for me was the first time we all stepped onto the set in our costumes – I was laughing all the time because it was just so surreal [laughs]. We would be shooting these VERY intense scenes and I would get a glimpse of someone in their costume and just begin laughing.
And did you have a favorite costume of the bunch? Oh, mine, for sure [laughs]! By far.
It is true that you were actually expecting your second child at some point during the “Justice League” production? Yes. I got pregnant while we were shooting “Justice League.” It’s very intense to shoot a movie as it is, so then I was also experiencing morning sickness and migraines and stuff like that. But, honestly, the whole thing was great.
What do you hope audiences experience when they see “Justice League” in the cinema? I just hope that they will enjoy the movie, but I also hope they enjoy the dynamic of the League working together. It’s just a wonderful group of actors, and they all bring their own unique qualities to their characters. So, I hope the audience feels like they’re part of the team and will come along for the ride.
Jason Momoa is Aquaman
What went through your mind when director Zack Snyder first approached you about playing Arthur Curry / Aquaman and reinventing this iconic super hero for a new generation?
So, I was just standing there, kind of in shock. All I could think of was the traditional Aquaman from the comics – who is white and blond and wears the orange and green costume. I thought he had to be joking… but Zack had this look on his face. He said, “Hear me out,” and told me that he wanted the Aquaman in this film to be an outsider, along the lines of Clint Eastwood’s character, the outlaw Josey Wales. I was born in Hawaii and raised in Iowa, and basically grew up an outsider, so I could definitely identify with that. I also liked that Arthur is a half-breed – half-Atlantean and half-human – and was really interested in the idea of him being this brown-skinned Super Hero who is part of two worlds but doesn’t belong to either one. I think that’s pretty special. And me being a Hawaiian, Aquaman’s mythology also resonated with me because we have water gods in our culture – and that goes for many islands. That’s why it feels like such an honor to play this guy.
You’re a part of this fantastic ensemble cast bringing these larger-than-life heroes to life – Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg and Ezra Miller as The Flash. What was it like the first time all of you came together on set in you full superhero glory? I played it cool, but I was totally geeking out on the inside [laughs]. We really loved being on this journey together, and always wanted to see each other on set. Whether it was doing team-building scenes or these ambitious, complicated stunt sequences, we’d always support each other and try to make each other laugh; it was always a joy.
You recently wrapped filming Aquaman’s first-ever solo feature with director James Wan. Can you give us a tease of what audiences can expect? All your questions will be answered next year [laughs]. The cool thing about “Aquaman” is that it’s an origin story, and where we start and where we end up is just going to be amazing. It really is a beautiful movie, and I feel really lucky to be part of it. James is fantastic to work with and what we shot down there in Australia was incredible.
Ezra Miller is The Flash
What aspects of The Flash and the character’s history did you connect with? I really love and cherish that I had the opportunity to draw from the incredibly rich legacy of The Flash. I learned there’s a wonderful interplay between inevitability and connection, and between death and love, that exists in all the Flash stories. Much of The Flash’s mythology is imbued with the sensations of Barry Allen’s heart through its anguishes and triumphs. It’s his heart that drives him to connect with and serve the world, even as the very force that gives him the power works to consume him and bring him into an ultimate unity with its current.
Barry is not infallible or immortal; he is very much a fragile, vulnerable human being. He also is not fearless. My version of Barry experiences crippling anxiety and terror. He uses wit and humor to deal with that fear. Barry has been endowed with these powers, some of which he’s incapable of handling because he’s human. At the same time, becoming a quantum anomaly of sorts is changing and growing Barry’s perceptual capacities and appreciation for everything that’s happening around him. This was all very inspiring for me to explore. I found a link between myself and Barry in our admiration of the people around us. Barry and I are both nerds and fans of super heroes. There’s an appreciation, even in life-threatening situations, of the glory he’s beholding, and I found a port of access in that similarity. I, too, was in awe of the people around me as they threw themselves headlong into this work.
What was your favorite moment on set or favorite scene to play. The costume design and fitting process was lengthy and fascinating. I went in for more costume fittings on “Justice League” than I had for all my previous movies, combined; I think it was 25 fittings. I was devoted to the idea that I would be able to fully maneuver wearing the costume, and I wanted my body to correspond to the suit. The wardrobe department worked absolute miracles through intensive labor and meticulous efforts to facilitate my being able to run as fast as I could, and turn my head all the way from side to side while wearing the costume. Their work was a real labor of love, and I was so grateful to that department for making all that possible.
Ben Affleck is Batman
What are the stakes involved? What motivates Bruce Wayne to join forces with Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) to unite the League? It’s your classic end-of-the-world scenario [laughs]. We certainly didn’t suffer from a lack of apocalyptic stakes in our storytelling. What’s interesting about it is that Bruce wants to come together with Diana to assemble this team. He’s a pretty solitary and reclusive guy – almost antisocial at times – but he’s forced to become a leader in reaching out to this group of outsiders and cajoling them into working together for the greater good. And Batman doesn’t tend to play well with others, so it’s a lot of fun seeing him thrust into this leadership position.
The Justice League heroes all have innate powers, but Batman stands alone in that his power is self-made. What do you think he brings to the League? Batman doesn’t have super powers. He’s a brilliant detective who relies on his wits and his training, and he understands what’s at stake and what needs to happen. There are definitely times in the movie when you can see the difference between somebody who’s got super-powers and somebody who doesn’t [laughs]. But the stakes are so high that Bruce is forced to step up and lead. And his will and determination to do what’s right are, I think, emblematic of what the Justice League comes to be all about.
You see the incredible power of this group and it dwarfs what Batman’s capable of. He’s just a guy with gadgets and a bulletproof suit, and yet he’s out there trying to cultivate friendships and collaborations with them because he knows this threat is too big for any one of them to fight on their own. Leadership and heroism are not just about what abilities you have; it’s about character. So, in a way, his power is having the courage to lead and the ability to inspire these people to go off and save the world together.
In “Justice League,” we get to see three new DC heroes in action – Jason as Aquaman/Arthur Curry, Ezra as The Flash/Barry Allen and Ray as Cyborg/Victor Stone. How was it working with these actors and what do you think each brings to the mix? I really enjoyed working with all of them. Ezra has a ton of energy and is a lot of fun. He’s an unconventional thinker and has got a really interesting view on life. I loved working with him. Same with Ray. This was effectively Ray’s first movie, so he brought the enthusiasm of a first-timer to the equation and, in the filming process, I got to enjoy and appreciate what we were doing through his eyes. And Jason is an incredible spirit. He kind of is a super hero in his own way [laughs], or, at least, seems like the closest of all of us to the real thing. He’s just a really inspiring person to be around.
What do you hope audiences will experience when they see “Justice League” in the cinema? I just hope people have fun. We set out to deliver all the excitement and tension and escapism of a big Super Hero adventure for the audience, and we hope they’ll come along for the ride.
Warner Bros.’ “Justice League” opens in cinemas on November 16.
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