superman in justice league

Warner Bros. dropped an extended first look at Justice League during last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, but it wasn’t until this past weekend that we saw the first official trailer for the film. We already have an extensive breakdown of the new footage, but one thing you won’t see in the trailer is any sign of Henry Cavill’s Superman. But have no fear, Super-fans: director Zack Snyder is strongly hinting that we’ll see the Man of Steel on screen again very soon.

In an interview with USA Today, Snyder teased the return of Superman by essentially saying the team wouldn’t be the same without him:

“It’s hard to have a Justice League without Superman. That’s how I feel about it. It was always a super-intriguing concept to me to have this opportunity to have him make that sacrifice but also have him be this, in a weird sort of way, the why of Justice League: What do you do now with him? What does the team think? What does the world need? All that comes into play. It’s fun for us but it’ll be interesting for audiences what we do with him.”

When Snyder says it’ll be “fun” for the filmmakers to play with Superman’s role in the new movie, I wonder if he means “fun” in the same way he thought having Jimmy Olsen get shot in the head in the opening minutes of Batman v Superman was “fun”?

Okay, okay, I’ll put my cynicism for this franchise aside for a moment and attempt to look at Snyder’s quotes as a positive thing. As we’ve seen so far in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, Snyder is clearly not interested in depicting Superman as the classic “big blue Boy Scout” he’s traditionally been in the comics and in other movie incarnations. So instead of getting mad at him for not conforming his Superman to our expectations of the character, I suppose we could give him a shot and see if he’s going to do anything interesting with the character once he’s inevitably resurrected.

Will dying impact the character in any serious way? Was the “sacrifice” Snyder mentioned the turning point for the character to shift from the morose, brooding Superman who seemingly doesn’t want to be a hero into the one we know and love from the comics? Was that Snyder’s planned arc for the character all along? If so, it would certainly make these overly-grim movies a bit easier to swallow, and it would definitely align with the studio’s direction that these superhero films should be a bit lighter moving forward.

In the meantime, check out this humorous teaser someone put together for Superman’s involvement in Justice League (via ScreenRant):

Justice League blasts into theaters on November 17, 2017.

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