WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Whether it's good, bad, or somewhere in between, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (opens in new tab) has given us plenty to discuss and debate. One of the big talking points is a mid-film Mad Max style sequence featuring a Batman who's exchanged his cape for an overcoat. It's a scene that many have assumed is a dream, but according to DC veteran Jay Oliva that's not the case at all.
Oliva's name might be familiar to those who watch DC's direct to video animated films; he called the shots on the excellent two-part animated movie Batman: The Dark Knight Returns in addition to Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (also great). It's the latter feature which Oliva referenced when talking about Batman's Knightmare sequence on the Hall of Justice podcast (opens in new tab).
"You want to know the answer? Okay… 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."
"Okay, so let me just tell you this", Oliva continued. "Again… 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."
Oliva's interpretation is certainly intriguing - and it could lead to a great payoff in a later DCEU entry - but the ambiguity with which it's presented is a big problem for people who aren't well versed in DC's mythology. It does beg some interesting questions though, like why did Barry decide to time travel in the first place? There's a good chance Snyder's Justice League movie(s) will give us our answer.
Directed by Zack Snyder and starring Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Diane Lane, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Laurence Fishburne, and Amy Adams, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is in cinemas now.
Images: Warner Bros.