Who are the Justice League? The group is comprised of a bunch of different heroes in different combinations based on which comic arcs you’re reading at the time, but it always seems to have three core members: Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman. Warner Bros. new Justice League movie didn’t feature the red-caped Kryptonian in this weekend’s trailer, and seems to be acting like he won’t be in the movie. Even Zack Snyder has been cagey about it.

While speaking with USA Today this past weekend, Snyder wasn’t about to give an easy yes-or-no answer to whether or not Superman will make an appearance.

It’s hard to have a Justice League without Superman. That’s how I feel about it. It was always a super-intriguing concept to me to have this opportunity to have him make that sacrifice but also have him be this, in a weird sort of way, the why of Justice League: What do you do now with him? What does the team think? What does the world need? All that comes into play. It’s fun for us but it’ll be interesting for audiences what we do with him.

If you’ve seen Batman v. Superman, then it’s not a spoiler to mention that the very last shot of the movie is of dirt on Superman’s coffin levitating upwards, much like the hero himself did in life. It’s a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, but it’s right there. Plus, he’s in the concept art teased last summer. It’s a darn good bet that he’ll be in Justice League, it just remains to be seen in what capacity. Will he ride in on a (metaphorical) white horse to save the day when the outcome of the final boss battle looks especially bleak?

What’s interesting to me — and what I think Snyder is getting at here — is the thought of Batman and co. uniting the League simply because it’s what Superman would have wanted, as if his martyr-like death raised a flag the rest of the heroes can rally around. It totally fits with Snyder’s view of Kal-El as a Messianic figure, meant to be an example for lower, baser beings to aspire to.

Justice League opens November 17.

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