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Justice League: Battle for Metropolis is an interactive dark ride based on the Justice League from DC Comics and located at Six Flags Over Texas, Six Flags St. Louis, Six Flags Mexico, Six Flags Great America, Six Flags Over Georgia, Six Flags Great Adventure, and Six Flags Magic Mountain.

In the ride, guests join the "Justice League Reserve Team" and board RTVs designed by A.R.G.U.S. that are equipped with stun blasters to fight against the forces of The Joker and Lex Luthor in Metropolis, who have captured Wonder Woman, Supergirl, The Flash, and Green Lantern inside of LexCorp.

History

Conception

Around 2008, Six Flags began early discussions with Sally Corporation on developing a new, thrilling, "one-of-a-kind" ride akin to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, which had opened at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida in 1999. Due to the cost of producing such a ride and the financial state of the company at the time, the concept was shelved [1]

In 2012, "Justice League: Alien Invasion 3D" opened at Warner Bros. Movie World on the Gold Coast, Australia. Designed by Sally Corporation in conjunction with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, the ride marked the first use of digital media in any of their interactive dark rides. During the ride's development, Six Flags and Warner Bros. executives began discussions to bring a DC-themed dark ride to the west, as introducing new dark ride experiences to the US parks had already been something that Six Flags had wanted to do for years.[1]

Development

Battle for Gotham

While deciding what ride system the new DC dark ride projects would utilize, it was decided that it would use DOF vehicles rather than the standard forwards-facing vehicles used on Alien Invasion. Oceaneering Entertainment Systems, who had produced the ride vehicles for The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, was brought on the project to produce a dynamic-motion vehicle similar but smaller than the ones they had most recently designed for "Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin" at SeaWorld Orlando.[1]

Sometime after, Six Flags and Warner Bros.' contract with Sally Corporation for two DC dark rides at Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags St. Louis was signed and development began, with Rich Hill as creative director. Hill had been a writer on Justice League: Alien Invasion, so he was seen as the best choice to lead the new projects. Initially, the ride was conceived as "Battle for Gotham", and was supposed to feature Batman as the main character and be set in Gotham City, where the story was to be centered around Arkham Asylum, the infamous home to much of Batman's rogues gallery. At this stage, The Joker was the primary villain, though it can be inferred that other Batman villains were to appear.

Justice League: Battle for Metropolis

 
"The architectural styles are completely different; the storyline changes a lot; we had to introduce a new villain - we had Lex Luthor join up with Joker and cause chaos - but it was a big 180° from where we’d been before."
―Rich Hill on the major changes to Battle for Gotham[src]
 
The concept was approved by Six Flags and Warner Bros., though once it was pitched to Geoff Johns, head of DC Entertainment, the company wanted some major changes. While approving the ride, they cited the reason for this as being because Batman and Gotham had already been used so many times in Six Flags attractions in the past, and so he suggested that the setting be changed from Gotham City to Metropolis. DC also had problems with Hill's initial concept for The Joker, which was akin to his portrayal by Jack Nicholson in the 1989 film Batman. Since Warner Bros. didn't want any of the character's likenesses to be recognizable as Hollywood actors, this was later changed.[1]

Soon after, the ride was almost entirely reworked within a week after getting the notes from DC, with the main setting changed from Gotham City to Superman's city of Metropolis. The name was also changed from "Battle for Gotham" to "Justice League: Battle for Metropolis". Because of the story's change of locale, it was decided that Lex Luthor would join The Joker as the two main villains of the ride, a decision influenced by the two characters' existing presence in the parks. Sometime after, it was decided that the ride would live inside of a universe inspired by but not canon to the "Prime Earth" continuity from DC Comics, which was kicked off with the "New 52" relaunch initiative in 2011 and still exists today.[1] Over the weekend, Rich Hill and John Wood flew out to Burbank, California to meet with executives from Warner Bros., DC Entertainment, and Six Flags to pitch the new, updated concept.

After the storyline was approved by the three companies, work officially commenced on the ride. Rich Hill sketched the initial concepts for each of the characters by hand, and Sally's modeling department took these sketches and transformed them into fully-realized molds for both the animatronics and animated models rendered on-screen. The Cyborg animatronic itself took six months of research to make it work and look convincing.[1] Cyborg was also chosen as the host of the ride in order to draw teenage crowds with a relatable character.

Openings

Six Flags Over Texas (2015)

On May 23, 2015, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis opened at Six Flags Over Texas. The ride had previously been scheduled to open much earlier than its counterpart at Six Flags St. Louis, but construction delays pushed the opening six weeks later. This forced Sally to spread its resources thin between the two projects.[1]

Six Flags St. Louis (2015)

On June 5, 2015, the 44th anniversary of the park, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis opened at Six Flags St. Louis. Though the Six Flags Over Texas version of the ride had been delayed, the Six Flags St. Louis version was not, and it opened on schedule.

Following the 2015 summer season, Six Flags and DC were impressed with the two rides' huge success, so they signed another contract with Sally to bring another two versions of the ride to Six Flags Mexico and Six Flags Great America in 2016.

Six Flags Mexico (2016)

On March 4, 2016, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis opened at Six Flags Mexico.

Six Flags Great Adventure (2017)

The next addition of the ride was at Six Flags Great Adventure in 2017. Locals loved the Cyborg animatronic, which led to the 2018 addition for the park being Cyborg: Cyber Spin.

Six Flags Magic Mountain (2017)

This installment of the ride featured Harley Quinn.

Cast

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Schoolfield, Jeremy (June 2018). How Sally and Six Flags changed the industry with ‘Justice League: Battle for Metropolis’. IAPPA.

External links