[WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Batman V Superman]
Now that the eagerly-anticipated Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice has been out for a good few weeks, fans of the DC/Warner Bros collaborations are turning their attentions to spotting clues in the movie that could be indications as to what will come in follow-up films in the franchise. One scene in particular that got cinema-goers talking was one which saw a coated-rather-than-caped Batman thrown into in the middle of a post-apocalyptic desert fighting off a battalion of soldiers brandishing the Superman logo.
Seemingly random to the narrative of BvS, the sequence was assumed to be a dream, and was later coined Bruce Wayne's 'Knightmare'. Many believed, especially those not familiar with the DC folklore that informed the said sequence, was merely depicting a worst case scenario that Ben Affleck's Wayne envisioned, spawned from his fear of Superman's ungoverned vigilantism. However, now some are starting to think that the scene is more of an omen of what's to come in the storyline, rather than just a throwaway dream sequence.
As avid fans of the comics will know, nods to the literary supervillain Darkseid frequented Batman v Superman, most obviously when the huge Omega symbol was shown during the beginning of Wayne's Knightmare and the winged soldiers − known as parademons in the comics − that descended from the sky towards the end of it. Such nods to the source material seem to suggest that director Zack Snyder is hinting at what is to come in sequels Justice League Part One and Two.
While no-one can really know what the Knightmare truly meant until promotional material of the following films comes out, Dawn Of Justice's storyboard artist Jay Oliva has his own theories when it comes to the much-discussed Knightmare, seeming certain that its a sign of dark days ahead, rather than the dream of a tortured hero.
"OK, you've watched The Flashpoint Paradox, my movie, right? In the DC Universe in the comics, there's this thing where – it's a little different than the Back To The Future thing where you can go back in time and change your threads and stuff − but in DC, when you go back in time, you create this kind of Time Boom kind of thing where lots of things change," he stated in a recent Hall Of Justice Podcast.
"I don't know if this is Zack's thinking, but this is mine: what if that isn't a dream sequence? What if what you saw was a Time Boom, a latent memory from the future when Flash comes back? If you look at the cut, he doesn't go to sleep. He's waiting for the [Lexcorp file decryption] and suddenly this [Knightmare sequence] comes in, and he's jogged out of it seeing his own death. And what does he see? He sees Flash. And if you're a DC fan, you know what's happening. You know that Flash going back in time, that memory is now coming back to him... mind you, it's jumbled."
The idea of the sequence being rooted in time travel rather than merely a forgettable dream certainly seems plausible, particularly when considering The Flash's involvement at the end of the scene. A character known for his time-jumping abilities in the comics, Flash is seen cautioning Wayne that "Lois [Lane] is the key." The key to what exactly? While that question wasn't answered in Batman v Superman, it may well be relevant in later movies, especially if Oliva's interpretation of the scene is anything to go by.
But it is perhaps wise not to fret about the true meaning of the scene as fans will have to wait until 17 November 2017 for more answers when The Justice League Part One is finally released. Part Two is scheduled to come out sometime in 2019.
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