The Reason Black Suit Superman Was Abandoned

by Chris Foti
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Justice League is the film that a lot of people want to forget about, but it just won’t go away. New information about the “Snyder cut” and behind the scenes drama seems to leak every couple of days now.

WB clearly rushed it out so that they can say they did it and move on from the Snyder era of DC Films. Fans for the most part felt “meh” about it and it didn’t leave the Avengers impression Warner Bros. was originally hoping for.

The most recent bit of news that has emerged finally answers the question of what happened to Superman’s black suit in the film? When Justice League was filming (under Zack Snyder), Henry Cavill posted a close up of what looked like his Superman suit in black.

Again, this was during the original filming of the movie, so plot details were few and far between. It got fans excited. In the comics, after Superman famously died fighting Doomsday, he was resurrected wearing a black version of his suit. In Batman v Superman, Superman died fighting Doomsday, so it got fans talking. We saw the Death part of Superman, now it was time for the Return. Say what you want about Zack Snyder, but he certainly respects the source material and adapting what you see on the page onto the silver screen.

Then, of course, everything that happened with the film happened. Joss Whedon came in and reshot the majority of the film. CGI mustached Superman became a thing. And while Superman did in fact get resurrected, the final cut of the film had no mention or sign of a black suit for him.

One of the two deleted scenes from the home release did have a tease of the black suit in the background, but it wasn’t what fans were hoping for.

Michael Wilkinson, the costumer designer for Justice League, has recently revealed that there was an intention to have Superman wear the black suit, but it was ultimately scrapped.

“The black suit is something that has fascinated us as filmmakers from the get-go. We saw a glimpse of it in the nightmare sequence from Man of Steel when Superman was wading through skulls, and also in the deleted scene from Justice League where you do see Clark walking through the spaceship and it’s teased in the background.

When we were prepping Justice League, at first, it seemed that it might be a logical choice for the look of Superman when he’s resurrected. Zack is extremely respectful and passionate about the depiction of Superman in comic books and graphic novels, and traditionally when he is resurrected, he is in the black suit.”

Wilkinson goes on, but here is where things get interesting because it seems the negative reaction of BvS being so dark and grim altered their plans.

“But as the tone of the film developed and we were in pre-production, the filmmakers felt that the classic red and blue suit seemed more appropriate to our story and our script. It seemed that a more positive, upbeat image of Superman was what was needed – the idea of hope and that the world could in fact be saved was important, so that’s the direction we went.”

The studio wasn’t expecting the negative backlash BvS got and there was only a couple of weeks between the theatrical release of the film and production of Justice League, so it’s no coincidence the studio scrambled to make Snyder lighten his vision before cameras started rolling. This also aligns with rumors that WB felt the original cut Zack Snyder presented was “unwatchable” and made him lighten it up before they ultimately brought Whedon on.

Hindsight is, of course, 20/20. Looking back at his body of work, Snyder probably wasn’t the best person to be in charge of creating a DC cinematic universe. However, WB made their bet with him and it’s a shame they interfered and didn’t allow him to finish his vision that they allowed him to create. Snyder was planting visual foreshadowing everywhere in his films and it would’ve been cool to see them play out.

One can only hope that WB has learned from their mistakes and will go back to allowing their directors create their vision for these characters. The two best DCEU films, Man of Steel and Wonder Woman, are 100% the vision of the director and it shows. It seems like James Wan’s Aquaman and Matt Reeves’ Batman film(s) will be too, so let’s hope that trend continues.

On a side note, Henry Cavill clearly loves playing Superman and is really good in the role. Warner Bros., can we please get a passionate director to tell a standalone Superman story to give Cavill the sequel he deserves before it’s too late?

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