Regardless of how you felt about Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, it's safe to say that you probably had a few questions.
After all, director Zack Snyder is already putting together a R-rated, three-hour "Ultimate Cut" of Batman V Superman that will include plenty of footage cut from the film, which suggests that several key plot points were truncated in the theatrical release. So, it's OK to feel a little confused by Bats and Supes's big-screen brawl. Understandably, laying that groundwork for the entire DC Expanded Universe means introducing a lot of questions to be answered farther down the road.
Given all of the press Snyder has been doing these past few weeks to promote the divisive film, however, many of these questions have already been answered. With that in mind, here are the biggest questions from Batman V Superman, finally answered. (Spoiler warning, obviously.)
Did Michael Shannon show up to set or nah?
Hell no. Michael Shannon ain't got time for that. In fact, when asked who he thought would win in a fight, Batman or Superman, the actor wryly said, "I'm so utterly unconcerned with the outcome of that fight. So profoundly, utterly unconcerned. I can't even come up with a fake answer." However, Shannon was there in spirit... in the form of a naked dummy.
According to Jesse Eisenberg, whose character Lex Luther spent intimate one-on-one time with General Zod's stoic corpse in Batman V Superman, production made a life-size model of Shannon's naked body. "They reproduced this actor in his entirety -- in its entirety -- and somebody else's genitals because I guess [Shannon] didn’t sign off on that final page," he said. #TheMoreYouKnow
So is the Joker really Jason Todd?
At one point during the film's 2.5-hour run, a haggard Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) walks past a Robin costume that's been encased in glass and in his Batcave. Fans have suggested that photographs of a topless, tattooed Jared Leto in character as the Joker for the forthcoming film Suicide Squad show scars on his left and right shoulders in the same position as the holes in the Robin costume here.
But Snyder told IGN he has a more orthodox explanation for the scene, one that recalls the 1988 graphic novel A Death in the Family. "In my mind, it was that Robin had died 10 years earlier, during some run-in with a young Joker," he said. "To me, it was a fun backstory... to play with. The whole idea was that there had been loss and sacrifice."
Snyder added: "[Batman] doesn’t really have a life outside of the cave. I thought by including Robin -- a dead Robin -- it would help us understand he’s been on quite a little journey.”
Why did Superman have to die?
Spoiler alert: The Man of Steel doesn't make it out of Batman V Superman alive. He dies, rather senselessly, plunging a Kryptonite spear into Doomsday. "I felt like we had to kill Superman in this movie in order for us to have been serious with the entire premise of the film,” Snyder told EW. "And that’s not to say that he clearly is gone forever."
Another reason Snyder chose to kill off Superman (Henry Cavill) was to give The Dark Knight the sole responsibility of finding and assembling the Justice League. "I wanted Bruce Wayne to build the Justice League," he said. "I felt like with Superman around, it’s a different conversation when you create the Justice League, right? It’s like, 'Me and Superman, we want to make a Justice League.’ [Other heroes would be] like, 'Okay, yeah, I’ll join!' I just feel like Bruce Wayne having to go out and find these seven samurai by himself, that’s a lot more interesting of a premise." Because Bats has so much team spirit.
What did The Flash tell Bruce Wayne?
One of the more kinetic and exciting scenes in Batman V Superman, Ezra Miller's battle-ready Barry Allen appears to Bruce through a breach in space and time (he's awesome like that) to deliver a cryptic message that goes a little something like this: "Bruce! Listen to me right now! It’s Lois! Lois Lane! She’s the key! Am I too soon!? I'm too soon! You were right about him! You were always right about him! Fear him! Fear him and find us. You have to come find us, Bruce!"
Batman just brushes off this whole scene, and it's never revisited again, but it's clearly foreshadowing the main showdown in The Justice League: Part One in which the Justice League goes head to head with Darkseid, one of the most powerful characters in the DC Universe.
How did Lex know about Darkseid?
At the end of the film, Lex Luther magically alluded to Darkseid's imminent arrival. So how did the unhinged tech mogul learn that this dark and foreboding threat was on his way? In a deleted scene, Steppenwolf, uncle to supervillain Darkseid, appears in General Zod's spaceship holding three Mother Boxes, or objects of mysterious power that also have a Darkseid connection. Given all the hints toward Darkseid (a horde of Parademons and multiple mother boxes) in the film, it’s clear that the ruthless New God is investigating Earth and has already corrupted Lex. Of course, a Mother Box also appeared during another crucial scene.
Ray Fisher made his first appearance as Vic Stone, a young athlete who’s transformed into a cyborg with technopathy, the ability to mind-meld and manipulate various forms of technology. Vic's mind is now a computer, one that can process data and encrypt files -- and his body is made up of advanced parts that grant Vic superpowers like strength, speed, and the ability to fly. Vic was transformed after a floating black box merged with his severely maimed body in S.T.A.R. Labs. Snyder later confirmed to EW that this was in fact a Mother Box. "That’s the first glimpse of the Mother Box there," he said. "It was an agonizing birth."
Why did we have to watch poor Thomas and Martha Wayne die... again?
I'm not exaggerating when I say that I've seen Thomas and Martha Wayne get shot in a back alley in Gotham City at least a dozen times. We get it: Bruce's parents were brutally murdered in front of him, and as a result, he turned to a life of vigilantism. So why did we have to see it play out again, in particularly violent detail, in Batman V Superman?
The decision to include the Waynes's murder again onscreen was met with outcry by fans, because, again, it's not like it's not been covered in previous adaptations. However, according to Snyder, that opening sequence was vital to set up the moment Batman shows Superman mercy upon realizing he, too, has a mother named Martha.
"When we were shooting the title sequence, that whole idea about, 'Do we really need to see the death of the Waynes again,' is a big thing to take a shot at again," Snyder said. "But you realize you need it, because it actually pays off. And I really wanted to do it all the way." (Did it really pay off, though? Be honest.)
So Batman is just cool with killing people now?
The Batfleck version of Batman is significantly different than other onscreen interpretations of The Dark Knight. He’s a veteran. He’s been fighting crime in Gotham City for two decades and he's tired. Also, he doesn’t have a problem with killing people -- or branding them with a death sentence. The "no killing" rule has been one of Batman’s cardinal tenets since 1940's Batman #4, in which he reminds Robin that "we never kill with weapons of any kind." That's always been Batman's M.O. He doesn't use guns, and he doesn't kill. But Snyder’s Dark Knight doesn’t have the same moral compass.
"A little more like manslaughter than murder, although I would say that in the Frank Miller comic book that I reference, he kills all the time," Snyder clarified, before revealing that he does in fact have some restraint. "There’s a scene from the graphic novel where he busts through a wall, takes the guy’s machine gun... I took that little vignette from a scene in The Dark Knight Returns, and at the end of that, he shoots the guy right between the eyes with the machine gun. One shot. Of course, I went to the gas tank, and all of the guys I work with were like, ‘You’ve gotta shoot him in the head’ because they’re all comic book dorks, and I was like, ‘I’m not gonna be the guy that does that!’"
Batman’s entire perception of what it means to break the rules set down by society, of committing a crime, descends from his parents’s murder. The fact that Batman doesn't use the very weapon that killed his parents has always been one of the Bat's deeply admirable qualities. However, Snyder's version flips this version notion on its head. If Batman is willing to kill, then what kind of example does that set for Snyder's Justice League?