Letter From The Editor - Issue 63 - June 2018

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Writing Fantasy

  
At The Picture Show
November 2017

Justice League

League of legends

IGMS is invited to an exclusive press conference with the masterminds behind Justice League

Justice League
Warner Bros.
Director: Zack Snyder (uncredited: Joss Whedon)
Screenplay: Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon, based on characters created by DC Comics
Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Ciarán Hinds, Joe Morton, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane and Henry Cavill
Rated PG-13 / 2 hours / 1.85:1
November 17, 2017
(out of four)

Ladies and gentlemen of the press corps, please, please, take your seats, we're just about to begin. Thank you for attending this advance screening of our new motion picture Justice League, which we definitely did not frantically cobble together in the editing bay yesterday after lunch. I'm Geoff Johns, chief creative officer of DC Films, and I'm joined here today by our great crew of content creators that turned this movie, and this universe, from a recklessly preemptive idea - a desperate display of corporate franchise one-upmanship - into a sputtering, obligatory reality.

We will now be taking questions.

Q: Yeah, so about Justice League ... what in the absolute hell was that.

GJ: I think I know what you're getting at. You're used to seeing superhero movies with one superhero - maybe two, occasionally, like if the main guy has a friend who's also a superhero. But our vision for this picture was: What if we teamed up a bunch of superheroes together? So that became our real focus - our raison d'être, if you will. Six superheroes in a single movie. Game changer. It's like an all-star superteam!

What we learned is, if you have six superheroes in one movie, you can do without stuff like ... y'know, other characters, or a screenplay, or structural coherence, or like story, or real locations ... hell, we even did without Henry Cavill's mustache. And believe me, we coulda had it. If we'd wanted it.

Anyway, you want to see what 300 million dollars looks like, this is what 300 million dollars looks like. That's Justice League. Presented by Mercedes-Benz.

Q: Three-hundred million dollars and your human/machine CGI composite still looks like ass?

GJ: That's right.

Q: And what is that thing anyway? Cyborg? What is he?

Vaunted character actor Joe Morton: Actually, I know this one. Cyborg - cybernetic organism. He has a neural-net processor; thinks and learns like we do. It's superconducting at room temperature. *winks*

Q: Right, and we saw him for like 5 seconds in Batman v Superman, yeah? And ... wait, so he's part of the Justice League?

GJ: Correct.

Q: I thought you said this was, like, an all-star superteam.

GJ: Well, yeah, but every all-star superteam needs a Zaza Pachulia, amirite? That's Cyborg. He's our Zaza Pachulia. If he was one of the good superheroes we would have hired actual professionals to create that CGI exoskeleton he's got. Instead we just let one of the interns do it.

Q: As for your heavyweights, obviously the biggest one is Superman. He's appeared in three of your new DC movies, and so far you've given us ... let's see ... Anonymous Nomad Superman, Superman the Killer, Pariah Superman, Criminal Defendant Superman, Dead Superman ... and now in Justice League, it's Amnesia Superman. Have you ever thought about actually letting Superman be, y'know, Superman?

GJ: Oh, what, "truth" and "justice"? *wanking motion* He's supposed to be, what, a "symbol of hope"? A "hero"? *more vigorous wanking motion* Look, you worry about writing your little questions, we'll worry about what Superman's supposed to be like, capiche? And if we think Superman should be snapping necks, or destroying cities, or being put on trial, or being generally reviled, or getting killed and brought back from the dead, then that's the way it's gonna be. We're the experts here.

Q: Quick follow-up. In this movie, Batman - alias Bruce Wayne - says, and I quote, "Superman was a beacon to the world. He didn't just save people; he made them see the best parts of themselves." But ... I mean, didn't Batman just spend an entire movie hating Superman and trying to kill him?

GJ: Martha, tho.

Q: No no no, we're not making any Martha jokes - and that doesn't answer the question anyway. Batman spent two solid years not just hating Superman, but taking a moral stand against his very existence. Then Superman died. Now suddenly Batman has magically decided Superman was his role model all along? No mention of the fact that he straight-up tried to wipe the guy out like 10 seconds before the events of Justice League begin. He was actually trying to do Lex Luthor's job for him. He was the beta Doomsday.

GJ: You're living in the past, bro. Batman trying to murder Superman was, like, ages ago. What, you're gonna dig up every little thing from Batman's past? Who among us hasn't tried to assassinate the living embodiment of all that is good and noble about humanity?

Metaphorically speaking, I mean. Yeah ... yeah! That's what it was. Yes. A metaphor. We were doing a metaphor in Batman v Superman. Yeah! See, you idiots didn't even get it. It was a metaphor, y'know. Like, about ... politics?

No - civil liberties! Wait, that's politics isn't it. The War on Terror, that's what it was. Superman ... was like ... a nuclear bomb. And Batman just wanted to diffuse it. What I'm trying to say is, that whole thing between those two, was a metaphor. Deep down, Batman always saw Superman as a brother ... from another mo -

* mic gets cut off *

Q: So those two, they never even tried to reconcile the vast philosophical divide that made them such deep adversaries?

GJ: Not one bit. At Superman's funeral, Batman was all like, "Oh shit I just figured it out; Superman good, killing Superman bad."

Q: And now they're friends.

GJ: Best friends. Well ... I mean, first Superman has amnesia. But once his amnesia is gone (spoiler alert, lol), then yeah, he and Batman are tight. And then they get to be in the Mercedes-Benz Justice League together.

Q: Yeah, I've got sort of a random question. In your mind, what is the best way to waste the talents of vaunted character actor Ciarán Hinds?

GJ: Ooh, that's an easy one. Right, so what you do is, in the middle of making, say, a big superhero movie, you completely forget you're supposed to have a villain. Like, you get so hung up on the fact that you've got like six superheroes all in one movie, you don't even remember they've gotta be fighting someone else. Like a bad guy! So OK, once you remember there's supposed to be a villain - you're probably like halfway through shooting by this point - you have one of the interns draw something up. You should have some free trial codes for some Adobe shit lyin' around, just let 'em use that. Draw it up. Doesn't really matter what it looks like, really. Just some, I don't know, armor or something. Maybe some horns. Stupid rubbery face, that sort of thing. Give 'im a weapon - like an axe or something - and then you're done. There's your villain. Shouldn't take more than a few hours.

Anyway, so once that's done, you send the file over to the effects guys and they can just plug him into a bunch of action scenes. Then what you do is, you give Vaunted Character Actor Ciarán Hinds a call, tell him to come over for a few minutes to record a few lines. Tell him you'll give him, what, a million bucks or something. Then have him come in and just say some dramatic stuff about, like, how he wants to kill all the superheroes, or how he wants to, like, take over the world and like rule everybody and shit. Y'know? Then, there you go, you've got yourself a villain and everything. We called ours "Steppenwolf." Whole thing took 36 hours. Didn't even have to use a screenwriter.

Q: And this Steppenwolf, the villain, his evil plan is to ... let me just double-check my notes here ... uh, "collect the Mother ... Boxes." Collect the Mother Boxes, that's the plot?

Zack Snyder: Let me just clarify. Yes, Steppenwolf is trying to get all of the Mother Boxes - that much is correct. But also: Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman and all their buddies, they're trying to stop Steppenwolf from getting the Mother Boxes. See, so it's a whole good vs. evil thing. Vis-à-vis Mother Boxes.

Q: And if Steppenwolf succeeds in his attempt to collect all three Mother Boxes ...

ZS: Oh - yeah, well, if he gets them ... then he wins.

He wins the, uh ... the Justice League.

Q: Have you seen the film?

ZS: I have not seen the film.

Q: Did anyone here actually watch the completed film?

[silence]

Ben Affleck: I mean, not all of it.

...

What? It's like two hours long, what do you want from me.

Diane Lane: I just want to say, just really quickly ...... I am an Academy Award-nominated actress.

Amy Adams: I, also, am an Academy Award-nominated actress.

Q: Geoff, you've now made five movies in this extended universe, most of which have been poorly received and fallen well below financial expectations. Will this DCEU chapter be coming to a close anytime soon?

GJ: Every day I ask this question. There is a man in our building, and every day I go to see this man in his office, which is very dark and very cold. Everyone is scared of this man. No one has ever seen his face. Every day I get on my knees and I talk to this man and I ask him if we are allowed to stop making superhero movies, please sir, may we please stop. And he says no, you must keep making superhero movies. And when he tells me this I begin to shiver, and there is the hollow sound of terror ringing through my bones, and then the man disappears, and then our meeting is over.

Tomorrow I will ask again.

Q: This last question is for Mr. Cavill. Henry: When can we see that new Mission: Impossible movie?

Henry Cavill: That's an excellent question.

Mission: Impossible 6 will arrive in theatres nationwide on Friday, July 27, 2018.

Until then, I am Amnesia Superman, at your service. Proud member of the Justice League.

Brought to you by Mercedes-Benz.


Read more by Chris Bellamy


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