Justice League: War is an upcoming direct-to-video animated superhero film, an adaptation of the 2011 comic book crossover "The New 52" by Geoff Johns. The film will be based on Geoff Johns and Jim Lee's "Justice League Vol. 1: Origin" storyline. It was directed by Jay Oliva and scripted by Heath Corson. It is the 18th film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series.
A series of strange abductions have occurred in Gotham City, with video footage suggesting that Batman, a wanted costumed vigilante, is behind the incidents. When a mysterious cloaked kidnapper abducts a woman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) arrives to confront the kidnapper and saves the woman when she is dropped from above. Green Lantern then attacks the kidnapper revealing it to be a monstrous Parademon. As the hero is about to get killed, Batman appears and saves Green Lantern from the rooftop. The Parademon resumes its position and attacks both heroes. They escape from the GCPD and chase the Parademon into the sewers, where it charges a Mother Box, and then it explodes. Batman and Green Lantern check the Box, and deducing it to be alien origin, decide to seek Superman for answer. Another Mother Box is being studied at S.T.A.R. Labs, supplied by The Flash (Barry Allen). Silas Stone, father of Vic Stone, ignores going to his son’s football game so he can study the Box. Arriving in Metropolis, Batman and Green Lantern end up fighting Superman (who has fought a Parademon previously) and confuses the heroes for working with it. The battle spreads over a portion of the city, but it finally stops when Batman calls the Man of Steel “Clark Kent”. Superman, in return, reveals that he knew Batman's secret as Bruce Wayne, and confirms that they are correct but not of Kryptonian origins. On the alien world Apokolips, Darkseid orders Desaad to begin invasion on Earth.
Vic arrives at S.T.A.R. Labs and has an argument with his father, who believes that football has no importance in a world that is changing with the appearance of metahumans. At the Daily Planet, Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern realize the invasion, just as the Box activates and several Boom Tubes appear throughout the world, including S.T.A.R. Labs. An explosion fatally wounding and embedding the Box’ technology into Vic, forcing S.T.A.R. Lab taking Vic to an emergency room in order to save him. Silas loads Vic into a hi-tech medical bed, connecting his son with various technologies. Countless number of Parademons starts to appear around the world, attacking everyone on sight. The Box’ technology ends up connected into Vic and the labs' equipment, transforming Vic into a cyborg. Just as the Flash arrives to save the scientists, Cyborg’s systems reveal details on Apokolips, Darkseid, and the invasion plan. At his foster home, Billy Batson spots a Parademon outside and turns into the superhero Shazam. Air Force One is attacked in the air only to be saved by the Amazon princess, Wonder Woman (Diana Prince) and Superman. After the heroes gather, as Cyborg reveals that the invasion is a set up to terraforming the Earth, Darkseid arrives and proves to be a powerful opponent who defeats the heroes effortlessly.
Superman gets captured and Batman stops Green Lantern and convinces him to help the heroes work together after he unmasked himself. Wayne then gets himself captured in order to save Superman. Green Lantern, acting as a leader, gets everyone together and decides to defeat Darkseid they must disable his eyes first, preventing him from using his Omega Beams. Batman arrives in Apokolips and stops Desaad from turning Superman into a Parademon, but Superman goes on a rampage afterwards. Back on Earth, after successfully disable Darkseid, Cyborg connects with the Mother Box to reopen the Boom Tubes to send the tyrant and his army back to their home world. Though the Parademons are gone, but Darkseid remains, and after Superman and Batman arrive and take a combined effort to force the tyrant into the portal before it closes. With the world is saved, the once-discriminated superheroes are honored at the White House. Grateful to have met others like themselves but debating if they should be a team if a similar threat happens again, the President asks if they have a name, to which the heroes are annoyed when Shazam suggests the “Super 7”.
In a post-credits scene, an Atlantean ship emerges from the ocean and Ocean Master appears carrying a dead body that said to be his king. Seeing the corpses of various sea life affected from Darkseid’s attacks, the Atlantean views as an act of war from the surface and swears vengeance.
- Alan Tudyk as Clark Kent / Superman
- Jason O'Mara as Bruce Wayne / Batman
- Justin Kirk as Hal Jordan / Green Lantern
- Michelle Monaghan as Princess Diana / Wonder Woman
- Christopher Gorham as Barry Allen / The Flash
- Shemar Moore as Victor Stone / Cyborg
- Sean Astin as Shazam
- Steven Blum as Darkseid
- Bruce Thomas as Desaad
- Rocky Carroll as Silas Stone
- Zach Callison as Billy Batson
- George Newbern as Steve Trevor
CHANGES FROM THE TPBEdit
There are some changes from the orignial TPB are as follows:
- Shazam/Captain Marvel appears in the place of Aquaman.
- In the comics after Victor Stone won the football game, they were going to State Finals. In the film, they were going to nationals.
- Scientists found the Parademon in Metropolis after it fought Superman in the comics. In the film, Flash brought it to them.
- Desaad was not killed in the explosion.
- Ocean Master does not make an appearance in the comic, but he does in the film.
- Wonder Woman has yet another costume change.
- In the TPB Freedy Freeman is blonde while the cartoon his hair is black (again).
MONITOR'S NOTES: Newsarama on why Shazam replace AquamanEditYes, Shazam takes the place of Aquaman as a founding member in Justice League: War, the first animated movie based on a New 52 comic book story from DC Comics. But aside from Aquaman being the central character in a future movie, there are reasons the team at Warner Bros. Animation pulled in Billy Batson, Shazam.
"He's such a fun character, inherently, because he's every kid's dream. You're a kid, you say a magic word, and you turn into 'Superman,' basically!" Phil Bourassa, character designer on the project told Newsarama. "He represents the joy of being a superhero. He hearkens back to a classic era, and he's not grim and dark. I just latch onto that. He's fun to draw because you can feel his fun going through you as you work on the character."In this Newsarama-exclusive video clip from the film, we see the first time that Billy Batson says that magic word, becoming the hero Shazam, who is powered by ancient gods with super strength, speed, flight, and, new to the New 52, magic lightning he can summon without the word itself. The clip shows that sense of fun that Billy Batson has, and why he's important to this line-up.
"He is a good connection to Cyborg, who gets powers suddenly thrust on him [in the film]" explains director Jay Oliva. "We used him pretty smartly as a way to relate to Cyborg, and being the one that can say, 'Hey, I'm a kid, but also a hero, and I've been doing this for a little while.' Shazam helps Cyborg through it."
Producer James Tucker echoed that Shazam's "unique viewpoint" was important to the story. "He's a kid that becomes a man, and he doesn't take his powers for granted. He thinks it's really cool to be a superhero. He's comic relief, but he's also badass! Badass comic relief, that's a two-fer!"
Shazam is voiced by actor Sean Astin, who the production team praised for his "youthful exuberance" in his performance. Justice League: War is available now on most digital platforms, and hits DVD/Blu-ray combo pack on February 4, 2014.