The New “Justice League” Trailer Sends Some Mixed Messages

new justice league trailer

The new Justice League trailer came out yesterday to mixed reactions. It opens with the same air of melancholy as other DC Extended Universe films. However, there’s a new sense of play in the interaction between the characters that hints at – gasp – some actual fun?

First, go ahead and check out the new Justice League trailer for yourself:

The tone is a little inconsistent here. It’s introduced with a quick action montage of Justice League members, then drops abruptly into Lois’ melancholy dream of being engaged to Clark. The grim “Superman is dead and the world is going to pieces without him” montage that follows is in line with most of the previous films. Everything is terrible, no one wants to work together, it’s Earth’s darkest hour… you know, Tuesday in the DCEU.

The DCEU can be entertaining, but it’s rarely fun.

new justice league trailer
Don’t be embarrassed, Flash, the Bat Signal IS cool. I’d be geeking out, too.

There are some promising hints of humor in this trailer, though. We hear more banter than in previous films. Aquaman and Cyborg (who we’ve heard the least about so far) get a playful bonding moment mid-fight, and the Flash radiates nerdy excitement in every scene. Diana hasn’t lost the balance of softness and strength that won over audiences this summer. Even Bruce almost gets to smile.

Levity is important, people. Without that occasional release of tension a movie turns into an exhausting ordeal to be endured. Emotional labor does not make for good rewatch value.

The problem is that these flashes of playfulness don’t exactly fit into the surrounding material. It seems like DC is having trouble balancing the original dark tone with edits meant to take advantage of Wonder Woman‘s runaway success. The last minute addition of Joss Whedon – who despite his faults is a master of ensemble storytelling – may be the film’s saving grace. Maybe he can pull the disparate parts of this film into something that meets the standard set by Wonder Woman.

We’ll find out soon enough. Justice League comes out in the US on November 17th, just before Turkey Day. We’ll either be giving thanks to the Snyder/Whedon team or consoling ourselves with an extra helping of mashed potatoes.

What do you think of the new Justice League trailer? Does it make you more excited about the movie, or do you have concerns? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Author: Khai

Khai is a writer, anthropologist, and games enthusiast. She is co-editor (alongside Alex DeCampi) of and contributor to “True War Stories”, a comic anthology published by Z2 Comics. When she’s not writing or creating games, Khai likes to run more tabletop RPGs than one person should reasonably juggle.


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4 thoughts on “The New “Justice League” Trailer Sends Some Mixed Messages

  1. Pretty thin ‘commentary’ but ok. Is this the same reaction you have when marvel studios movies routinely undercut dark emotional scenes with out of place jokes? is this the same Whedon you’re praising who literally said ‘make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of god, tell a joke’? What about when macabre james bond films full of action and death have light hearted moments amidst all the ‘melancholy’? yet another classless hot take on the dceu.

    And you managed to write this entire article on just seconds of new footage from a couple minute long trailer. I’m not sure how you could have such insight on such little of the actual film that is will ultimately be anywhere up to three hours probably. It just all sounds really ignorant of filmmaking process and the work people put put into to make things like this. It’s the studios who are the ones who want to make money. But they have to hire creative people who actually care about what they’re doing in order to produce things like this. Maybe just keep that in mind next time you want attempt at ‘reviewing’ something. And a trailer of all things, wow.

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    2. But…does the MCU have consistently grimdark content like DCEU?

      I may be wrong, I’m not a professional critic or film student or industry insider, etc, but the tone of Marvel’s movies have always felt funnier, more light-hearted, despite dealing with dark subject matter, which suggests to me that the MCU never had as much emotional weight to lift with its comic relief. The comic relief would therefore, by definition, not be out of place, since its place has consistently been part of the overall narrative, as opposed to the DCEU.

      Assuming MCU movie are in fact lighter in tone, and humor is the norm rather than an outlier, is it fair to ask for equal reactions to playfulness in each franchise?

      P.S. James Bond is a Time Lord. Thoughts?

  2. I appreciate your passion for DC films, friend. I’m passionate too, which is why I’m analyzing a trailer. You know us geeks, we over-analyze everything we can get. I’ve seen all the DC films as I’m sure from your comment that you have. According to box office results I speak for a lot of people when I say they’ve fallen flat.

    DC animated films and TV shows are awesome right now, but the live action movies, well… they’re missing something. Spirit and soul. Heart will help audiences forgive a multitude of sins. DC would do well to remember that.

    As for the Whedon quote, well… yeah, I do agree with that. Jokes lighten otherwise unbearable situations, both in real life and on screen. Whedon has a lot to answer for regarding his personal views (not the place to get into that), but you have to admit that the dude can write banter like a champ.

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