The new Justice League trailer unveiled this afternoon at Comic-Con International in San Diego is packed with action, as well as the first reference to Green Lantern in the DC Extended Universe. But did the footage also slyly introduce another beloved DC Comics superhero to film continuity?
Beginning at about the 1:25 mark, we hear the Apokolpitan general Steppenwolf, the film's primary antagonist, say, "No protectors here," as the footage cuts from Jason Momoa's Aquaman to Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman. "No Lanterns," he continues, as we're shown Ray Fischer's Cyborg, "no Kryptonian," as the scene moves on to Ben Affleck's pensive Bruce Wayne staring at what appears to be a hologram of Superman.
But what if that's not the Man of Steel? What if it's another Kryptonian? Stay with us now ...
Look closer at the shot, which arrives at about 1:40. The fluttering red cape, coupled with the trailer's setup of a world in mourning following the death of "the Superman" in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice would certainly lead us to assume Bruce is solemnly studying a representation of the fallen hero. However, once the cape moves out of the way, we glimpse the figure's legs, which almost definitely aren't actor Henry Cavill's muscular limbs. There's a striped, possibly even tattooed, pattern as well, with the suggestion of a flesh tone beneath, indicating that's not the fabric of a costume.
Is it possible that's not Superman in the trailer, but rather Supergirl?
That's not to suggest Cavill's Man of Steel won't be in Justice League; he most certainly will, despite the fumbled efforts by director Zack Snyder and others to play coy about his involvement after it was already confirmed. However, there's an outside chance that when Superman does return, he brings along reinforcements.
It's difficult to imagine that Warner Bros. could keep under wraps the casting of Supergirl and the filming of her scenes, although the Joss Whedon-helmed re-shoots could hide any number of secrets. But perhaps Kara's presence is no more than a file on Bruce's computer, a potential ally like Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash in the fight against the forces of Apokolips. It would be strange if, in a universe where there are "Lanterns," the only heroes on Earth (or in its vicinity) are the ones who answer Batman's call.
Of course, if that's indeed the case, we may need to reexamine the trailer's final moments, in which Jeremy Irons' Alfred Pennyworth addresses an unseen figure: "He said you'd come. Now let's hope you're not too late." The obvious conclusion is that he's addressing Superman. But maybe -- just maybe -- another Kryptonian answered the call.
Arriving Nov. 17, Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Willem Dafoe as Vulko, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta and J. K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.