Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot Avoid Press at 'Justice League' Premiere
The Justice League cast looked heroic at the film's premiere Monday, but most in the press didn't get a chance to speak with the film's two biggest stars.
Ben Affleck (Batman) and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) skipped the press line at at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood (though they did speak to the official Warner Bros. live stream of the event, and celebrity focused outlets E! News and ET landed interviews). Like Gadot and Affleck, Ezra Miller (The Flash) and Jason Momoa (Aquaman) spent time posing for photos with fans, but also largely avoided the press (a jovial Momoa did horse around with a few bloggers for a moment). The premiere followed a press tour in London, where the stars did hundreds of interviews, and Affleck taped an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel just before arriving at the celebration of his film.
Heat Vision breakdown
The premiere, presented by Mercedes-Benz, came as it's becoming more common for stars to skip carpets to avoid being asked about controversial issues, such as the sexual harassment scandals that have hit Hollywood. Gadot has emerged as a champion for women's issues in the wake of this summer's Wonder Woman, and last month canceled an appearance at a dinner honoring director Brett Ratner, who has been accused of harassment. Connie Nielsen, who plays Wonder Woman's mother Hippolyta, said she's proud to be part of a franchise that can be an inspiration to young girls.
"It's been positive to see many women and mothers and fathers, who all of a sudden they can show a whole different vision for their daughters' future," she told The Hollywood Reporter.
The superhero team-up also stars Henry Cavill (Superman) and Ray Fisher (Cyborg), both of whom stopped to speak to press. Justice League is the most ambitious film Warner Bros. and DC have tackled in this shared universe, and producer Chuck Roven noted that giving each character their due was one of its big challenges.
"They are iconic characters," said Roven. "We were helped a lot by the fact that our actors really assimilated into the characters and became the characters, so even if certain things weren't on the page, they were able to give it the nuance that was required."
Director Zack Snyder stepped down from the film in May following the death of his daughter, and allowed Joss Whedon to come in and oversee reshoots and postproduction. Neither director was on hand at the premiere, but Snyder's wife and producing partner Deborah Snyder represented the family at the event.
Diane Lane (Martha Kent), who worked with Snyder for the third time on this film, noted he was able to bring even more depth as he's progressed.
"It's richer in terms of the exploration of the humanity of the characters," said Lane.
Warner Bros. has a number of DC films in the works, including James Wan's Aquaman (Dec. 21, 2018), David F. Sandberg's Shazam! and Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman 2 (Nov. 1, 2019). Shazam! star Zachary Levi walked the carpet and joked around with photographers, while Asher Angel, the young actor set to play Billy Batson in the film, was also there to join his new DC family.
"We're planning to start production on Wonder Woman 2," Roven said of what's on his upcoming plate. "I know Patty and Gal and everybody who was involved with the first one who is able to come back is excited."
Cavill, whose role in Justice League has been shrouded in mystery, does not currently have another solo Superman movie officially slated, but over the summer, Kingsman filmmaker Matthew Vaughn spoke openly about his ideas for Man of Steel 2, sparking buzz about a sequel. Cavill said that should he get the call, he's ready for another solo movie following 2013's Man of Steel.
"I think it's a wonderful opportunity to keep telling the story and develop the character further, and I'd be very excited," he said.
Justice League opens Friday.
Nov. 14, 1:11 p.m. Updated to reflect that ET and E! News landed interviews with the stars.
by Graeme McMillan
by Richard Newby
by Georg Szalai
by Kimberly Nordyke
by Michael O'Connell