Justice League: Warworld
Official release poster
Directed byJeff Wamester
Written by
  • Jeremy Adams
  • Ernie Altbacker
  • Josie Campbell
Produced by
  • James Krieg
  • Kimberly S. Moreau
Starring
Music byMichael Gatt
Production
companies
Distributed byWarner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release date
July 25, 2023
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited States

Justice League: Warworld is a 2023 American animated superhero film based on the DC Comics superhero team of the same name. Produced by DC Studios and Warner Bros. Animation and distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, it is the seventh film in the Tomorrowverse and the 51st overall installment in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line.

The film is written by Jeremy Adams, Ernie Altbacker, and Josie Campbell and directed by Jeff Wamester. It stars Jensen Ackles, Darren Criss and Stana Katic. In the film, the Justice League unites together to liberate the gladiator world of Warworld. The film was released on home media and digital on July 25, 2023. A sequel, Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths, is set for release in 2024.

Plot

In the Wild West town of Last Stand, a female gunslinger[a] enters a standoff between the townsfolk, led by Bat Lash, and bandits led by Jonah Hex. Hex explains the town is populated by gold miners, ranch and farm owners who were supposed to pay "protection interest" to Hex and his men, but they took back and barricaded the bank that had their money. He asks for her help to bring order, but she sides with the townsfolk and saves a little girl from Hex's men and Lash from a wagon loaded with dynamite. Hex calls her a "Wonder" and the townsfolk call her an "Angel." When Bat Lash asks for her name, she cannot remember, and it feel strange to her. Later that night, while distracting Hex so the townsfolk can retrieve supplies, she learns that Hex’s men have hijacked a train to transport explosives and destroy the townsfolk’s fort. She derails the train as Lash evacuates the townsfolk, but Hex kills Lash. In a fit of rage, she beats Hex near death before silently leaving the town.

On Skartaris, the Warlord Travis Morgan takes a mercenary sent by his archenemy, the wizard Deimos, as a slave to work in the mines, but the mercenary offers to take Warlord and his army to Deimos's castle in exchange for freedom and gold. While traveling to the castle, the army is attacked by several monsters, and Warlord's best warriors Mariah Romanova is captured and Machiste is killed. The mercenary struggles with unfamiliar knowledge and memories. In the castle, after evading several death traps, the mercenary finds a throne room full of treasure with Mariah and a slave woman shackled to the throne. The mercenary, the Warlord, Mariah and the slave woman – who finds a golden lasso – battle Deimos until he flees. The mercenary and slave woman realize they need to find their way home and leave via a portal.

In the 1950s town of Grovers Mill, federal agents Clark Kent and King Faraday investigate reports of a crashed UFO. They go to a diner to meet with state trooper Bruce Wayne, Diana Prince, and other witnesses. Kent, Wayne, and Prince hear eerie music which no one else can hear. All the diner’s patrons are revealed to be White Martians who pursue Kent, Wayne, and Prince to the crashed UFO. Inside, they find a Green Martian, who a hysterical Faraday insists they kill. After Kent subdues Faraday, the room transforms, and they realize that the world around them was an illusion except for them, Faraday, and the Martian, whom they deduce is a prisoner and free.

The Martian introduces himself as J’onn J’onzz, and he reveals to the three who they really are and that the four of them had been taken captive by a Zeta-beam teleporter,[b] with J'onzz’s psychic abilities being harnessed to project illusions on the artificial planet Warworld, which is powered by the violence and fear of its prisoners. He had also been attempting to lead them back to reality via telepathic messages. Lobo subdues Kent, Wayne, and Prince and brings J'onzz to Mongul, who had hoped J'onzz would have the key to harness Warworld’s planet-destroying power.

Seeking to take Warworld for himself, Lobo stalls Mongul as he is about to execute J'onzz. Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman recover their costumes and fight their way to Mongul’s throne room while J'onzz possesses and merges with a White Martian, revealing that the two halves of the key were hidden between both Martian races. Possessing both halves, J'onzz uses the key to activate Warworld’s self-destruct sequence. A mysterious woman rescues Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman and teleports them back to safety at the Watchtower just in time before Warworld explodes. She states that Warworld's destruction is nothing compared to the forthcoming Crisis.[c]

Voice cast

Voice actor[1] Character
Jensen Ackles Bruce Wayne / Batman, "Officer Wayne", "The Mercenary"
Stana Katic Diana Prince / Wonder Woman, "Angel", Slave Woman
Darren Criss Kal-El / Clark Kent / Superman, "Agent Kent"
Ike Amadi J'onn J'onzz / Martian Manhunter, Long Haul Truck Driver (Uncredited)
Troy Baker Jonah Hex
Matt Bomer "Old Man"
Roger Cross Machiste
Brett Dalton Bat Lash, Mr. Lang (Uncredited)
Trevor Devall Drifter
John DiMaggio Lobo
Robin Atkin Downes Mongul
Frank Grillo Agent Faraday
Rachel Kimsey Mariah Romanova
David Lodge Sheriff
Damian O'Hare Deimos
Teddy Sears Warlord / Travis Morgan
Kari Wahlgren Harbinger / Kara Zor-el, Cinnamon (Uncredited), Mrs. Lang (Uncredited)

Production

Development

The film was announced by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, after the premiere of Green Lantern: Beware My Power.

By April 2023, the voice cast for the film was revealed.[1] In May, the film was given an R-rating.[2] The film takes inspiration from Action Comics titles Warworld Rising (2022), The Arena (2022), and Warworld Revolution (2022).[3]

Writing

The film explores three different film genres, western, fantasy, and sci-fi from the 50s. This was done at the suggestion of executive producer Butch Lukic, who wanted to explore different genres after working for years on superhero animation, an idea director Jeff Wamester liked.[4] The overrall story model was inspired by King Kong and how it had characters on multiple storylines before converging on the climax.[4] For the Western sequences, Lukic drew inspiration from 60s and 70s Spaghetti Western films, particularly High Plains Drifter, while the fantasy sequences were inspired by films such as Conan the Barbarian.[4]

Release

On November 10, 2022, James Gunn confirmed that all DC projects would be released under the DC Studios banner which includes animated productions.[5] On February 2, 2023, Gunn confirmed that animated projects are being released under DC Elseworlds [6] The film was released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on July 25, 2023.[7] The film was also screened at San Diego Comic-Con on July 21, four days ahead of its release despite also being leaked online.[8]

Reception

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 50% based on 6 reviews, with an average rating of 5.00/10.[9] Hayden Mears of IGN rated the film six out of 10, noting it feels like an event film, but lacks the emotional payoffs for a satisfying experience.[10] Sam Stone of Comic Book Resources criticized the film's "anthology" type story, finding the main plot line following Batman and Warlord more interesting than Superman's and Wonder Woman's side stories.[11]

Notes

  1. ^ Wonder Woman was mentioned in Green Lantern: Beware My Power
  2. ^ Superman and Batman's abduction was depicted in the post-credits of Legion of Super-Heroes. It would be assumed J'onn J'onzz was captured during one of his searches for his people
  3. ^ The story continues in Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths Part One.

References

  1. ^ a b Couch, Aaron (April 27, 2023). "'Justice League: Warworld' Cast Unveiled (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 27, 2023. Retrieved June 10, 2023.
  2. ^ "'Justice League: Warworld' Gets Brutal Blood-Thirsty Rating". Collider. May 3, 2023. Archived from the original on August 23, 2023. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
  3. ^ "'Justice League: Warworld' Trailer Unites Batman, Superman, & Wonder Woman". MSN. Archived from the original on August 23, 2023. Retrieved June 8, 2023.
  4. ^ a b c "The Team Behind 'Justice League: Warworld' Discuss the Stylish DC Triptych". Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on July 26, 2023. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  5. ^ Biordi, Jordan (November 10, 2022). "James Gunn Confirms The Batman's Status in Relation to His DC Universe". CBR. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  6. ^ Legacy, Spencer (February 2, 2023). "James Gunn Clarifies DCU Slate, Future of DC Animated Movies". ComingSoon.net. Archived from the original on March 26, 2023. Retrieved June 7, 2023.
  7. ^ "Justice League: Warworld Trailer Previews R-Rated DC Movie". MSN. Archived from the original on August 23, 2023. Retrieved August 23, 2023.
  8. ^ Perine, Aaron (July 8, 2023). "R-Rated Justice League Movie Confirms Comic-Con Premiere". Comicbook.com. Archived from the original on July 22, 2023. Retrieved July 22, 2023.
  9. ^ "Justice League: Warworld". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  10. ^ Mears, Hayden (July 22, 2023). "Justice League: Warworld Review". IGN. Archived from the original on July 25, 2023. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  11. ^ "REVIEW: Justice League - Warworld Is an Ambitious Mixed Bag". CBR. July 28, 2023. Archived from the original on August 1, 2023. Retrieved August 1, 2023.