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'Justice League' film to begin production in April

By Wade Sheridan   |   Feb. 22, 2016 at 3:28 PM

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- As the release date for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice nears, Warner Bros. Pictures has announced the start date for Justice League: Part 1.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the superhero team for the film -- which will feature Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and possibly others -- will begin shooting on April 11.

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"The idea that we could begin to boot up a Justice League concept was a cool thing," said director Zack Snyder, who also helmed 2013's Man of Steel and Batman v Superman to help set up the DC cinematic universe.

"It was a little bit of an 'about time' moment, and I don't blame [the studio] for feeling that way, because it's a long time coming," he continued. "But I do feel like it's a little bit of a creative hurdle. It seems like an easy thing to do at first glance, the idea that, 'Oh, we just get the rest of the superheroes in there.' But you have to [establish] a world where they can exist."

Dawn of Justice will help lay the ground work for Justice League as it will also feature Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg in the film when it hits theaters March 25. Afterwards, Warner Bros. will be releasing the villain-focused Suicide Squad directed by David Ayer on Aug. 5 and a Wonder Woman standalone film directed by Patty Jenkins on June 23, 2017.

The announcement comes after the studio teamed up with Omaze to promote Dawn of Justice and help raise money and awareness for nonprofit organizations located in eastern Congo, including the SEED Project and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.

In a promotional video posted Monday for the charity campaign, Cavill asks kids who they thought would win in a battle between Batman and Superman, only to be hilariously disappointed when they choose Batman.

Those who donate to the cause are entered into a chance to win an opportunity to ride in the Batmobile with Affleck to the film's New York City premiere, ride in a helicopter with Cavill and take photos with the cast on the red carpet.

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