WARNING: Potential spoilers for Justice League and its second trailer ahead.
With Wonder Woman setting a new tone for the DC extended universe at the theaters, all eyes are on Justice League this fall. Gal Gadot’s superheroine will make her second appearance this year, returning to form the classic superteam alongside Ben Affleck’s Batman and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman. The film follows Batman V Superman and already seems to have shed some of the seriousness that oozed from Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel follow up, but a new rumor seems to point to the film still grasping some of that grit in reference to the eventual return of Superman.
None of this is confirmed officially, but a rumor that spread online this weekend talks about the impending second trailer for the film and a change it could have in store for the Man of Steel. It’s far more than just a costume change if the rumors turn out to be true.
The details come from the DCEU leaks subreddit and user DCVSMARVEL, with some aid from some “reliable sources.” And like most rumors, it needs to taken with a grain of salt. There’s plenty of reasons why it makes sense for Superman upon his return, but nothing is set in stone until it comes from Warner Bros officially. That said, here’s the portion in question that allegedly gives us our Superman return:
“After the JL title card we get the money shot. Batman is driving towards some kind of ship when Superman in the new suit, beard, and mullet lands right in front of it, red eyes and an evil smirk (fire in the background, raining ash, great visual shot) while Batman has a look of “oh, s%$&” as the trailer ends.”
We’ll also allegedly get a good look at Steppenwolf in the trailer and some close encounters with some Parademons, but it’s the Superman tidbit that is sticking out for many people. It’s not the first time we’ve been teased with the return of Superman in Justice League and it’s also not the first time we’ve seen an “evil” Superman in the DCEU. Heck, it wouldn’t be the second time we’ve seen an “evil” Superman either if you’re a fan of Superman 3:
Most are already expecting to see Henry Cavill return, possibly in time to make an impact of the second Justice League film. But if this trailer is indeed the truth, his return as an adversary to the Justice League will go against fan expectations for the character in a big way. It’ll also make sense.
We’ve seen Superman raised by Darkseid — the major baddie behind the events of Justice League — in an Elseworlds story where Kal-El’s rocket landed on Apokolips instead of Earth, but there’s also been a more traditional story where the Man of Steel falls under the influence of the God of Evil. In the Superman: The Animated Series finale two-parter “Legacy,” Superman is brainwashed by Darkseid and ends up leading his troops to Earth, losing the trust of the people of Earth and forcing him to earn it back in the end. We’ve also seen a different version of an evil Superman in the Injustice series, transforming the hero into a mad dictator after he’s tricked into killing Lois Lane and inadvertently destroying Metropolis.
All of this serves to both show that Superman CAN be bad, it’s not a new bold creative direction, and the “Knightmare” scenario from Batman V Superman might be coming true. The film teased both elements for a Superman that seems to be in control of the world and not afraid to straight up murder guys with his heat vision. Batman is the leader of some sort of resistance, but is no match for Superman, his shock troops, and the Parademons that swoop in at the end. The sequence has plenty of clear connections to Apokolips and Darkseid, including the tyrant’s symbol burned into the ground at the beginning.
This is followed by the scene with The Flash warning Bruce Wayne that “he was right about him” and that Lois is the key. Seeing how the entire film deals with Batman’s distrust of Superman, claiming the guy was right is a bad sign for Superman’s mindset when he returns.
Again, none of this could be real. The rumor could all be a fabrication that is made send fans into a frenzy and spread bad information about DC’s tent pole release. But if it is real, it fits in line with what Snyder and company set up with the last film and is within the realm if possibilities for the character given his history. We’ll just have to wait and see if comes true.