Justice League – the first big screen live-action depiction of DC’s greatest superhero team – is now just weeks away, and Warner Bros. is continuing its unusual marketing campaign with some character-based video snippets. Rather than teasing the plot of the film, the studio has taken a different tactic – shining a spotlight on each team member as individuals, to increase excitement about them joining up as a unit.
This week will see that spotlight zero in on Batman, and this is arguably where the most powerful marketing lies. While Wonder Woman will be a huge draw for audiences, following the giant success of her first solo movie earlier this year, Batman not only continues to enjoy pop culture icon status, but benefits from that audience familiarity breeding a natural anticipation for seeing him work with others. This is undoubtedly a big part of what Ben Affleck refers to in the latest video snippet, shared on Instagram.
We’ve been watching Batman battle villains for decades and, while he has sometimes enjoyed the company of a side-kick or two, he’s a renowned loner when it comes to his particular brand of vigilante justice. Certainly, the Batman presented by Ben Affleck in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is a man who has clearly spent far too much time rattling around the inside of his own head.
But, Justice League is a direct sequel to Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and, as such, while we can expect the more detailed introduction of Aquaman, Cyborg, and The Flash (and, perhaps, a small introduction to Green Lantern?), we can also expect to see a great deal of character progression for Wonder Woman and The Dark Knight. In the case of the former, this should involve her emergence as a guiding hand for the superhero team, but in the case of Batman, this will need to revolve around his growth into a bona fide team player.
So, as Affleck refers to the “evolution of a new Batman,” he’s likely preparing us for the fact that we’re about to see this beloved hero as we’ve never seen him before. He’ll lead the team, and – having no actual superpowers of his own – ground them in humanity in a way that will benefit such a fight against an alien threat to life.
Justice League arrives in theatres on November 17th.