The large majority of Zack Snyder’s Justice League is comprised of footage that was shot back during the film’s original production in 2016. Some of that footage is being seen for the first time by audiences since it wasn’t included in the 2017 cut, but there’s only one scene that’s completely new to Zack Snyder’s Justice League. That scene, as glimpsed in the trailer, involves Jared Leto’s Joker in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The larger scene is a new Knightmare where Batman (Ben Affleck) has a vision of a world conquered by Darkseid and where Superman has turned evil (similar to his Knightmare in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice).
So how were they able to tackle this scene which involved bringing a team of actors together during a pandemic?
“It was fairly difficult when it was shot. The U.S. was pretty strictly locked down. A lot of COVID problems, and even getting a film crew together on set was difficult,” said Visual Effects Supervisor Kevin Andrew Smith. “But they managed to do it; they managed to herd all the cats, and there were only a couple shots—I think it was The Flash (Ezra Miller)—he couldn’t be on set…Whatever actors couldn’t be on set, we added digitally or were shot in a remote location on green for their shots since the whole scene is this fantastical world the entire sequence was shot on green with some practical cars and we’re adding the background, so it almost didn’t matter for the shot where you were. If you could get a camera on them over green, we could put them in that world and make sure everything matches.”
All credit to the VFX artists at Weta Digital for pulling off the scene, and making it look seamless. Clearly, this was an important scene to Snyder because it hints at his larger visions for what the DCEU was supposed to look like, and from a visual effects standpoint, they did a terrific job.
Look for our full interview with the VFX artists tomorrow.