DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. Animation
For those keeping score at home, Batman vs Superman has Batman, it has Superman, it has Wonder Woman, and now it has Cyborg.
According to Variety, Ray Fisher – known for playing Muhammad Ali on Broadway – will play the S.T.A.R. Labs-born superhero with genius intelligence and state-of-the-art armor. The idea of Muhammad Ali teaming up with Batman is awesome (Hollywood couldn’t make that happen in the 1970s?), but Fisher’s casting also makes it clear how much the 2016 superhero team-up from Warners plans to build toward the 2017 superhero team-up.
Essentially, they now have 4 members of the Justice League in their non-Justice League movie.
Obviously it’s unclear how much of Victor Stone/Cyborg we’ll see in the movie, just as it’s unclear how much we’ll see of Wonder Woman, but if they’re present on the scene it means that 1) we might be able to skip over their origin stories and 2) that Samuel L. Jackson might roll up in a post-credits sequence saying he’s been authorized to go ahead with the “Justice League Initiative.”
So my headline is half-kidding. It’ll be smart for Warners to lay some groundwork in order to lead up to Justice League since they haven’t exactly followed the Marvel formula to the letter (although they would have come close if Green Lantern hadn’t been so terrible). Barring stand-alone films for their already-famous heroes, it’s not a bad idea to include figures like Cyborg in smaller doses in a movie that’s ostensibly about Superman and the guy who got his back broken by Bane beating the hell out of each other (yes, I’m still baffled by the mismatch of strength at play here). After all, they’re “introducing” Batman to us again with this movie; there’s no reason not to introduce players who will have bigger roles when the band finally gets together.
On the other hand, the movie has a lot of superheroes in it, and the inclusion of Cyborg raises an interesting question about what stage of development they’ll all be in when Batman vs Superman takes place. Fisher could be relegated to a single throwaway scene where a young(ish) Victor Stone waves to Superman in the halls of the S.T.A.R. Labs research facility or meets Bruce Wayne during a project S.T.A.R. is teaming with Wayne Enterprises on. “Broadway Actor Cast as Easter Egg in Batman vs Superman.”
He also might already be in full Cyborg gear, but that’s unlikely considering all the other plot work they’ve got to do in the film, and because you can’t get away that easily with holding back on Wonder Woman the same way. If she’s in the story, she’s definitely already super because she was born that way.
Still, it would be impressive if Zack Snyder and company went for the gusto and presented a post-Man of Steel world that has a handful of heroes that all bump into each other or, hell, even fight alongside each other.
Why not make Justice League before making Justice League? At this point I wouldn’t be surprised to hear them announce The Flash and a new Green Lantern are joining the movie, or that they’re planning on giving it a new title. If not Justice League, Batman vs Superman vs Cyborg vs Wonder Woman vs Green Lantern vs Lex Luthor would put butts in seats.