In the latest episode of ScreenRant's Batman v Superman: By the Minute podcast, Ben Affleck's stunt performer Richard Cetrone joined the hosts to talk about the "Knightmare" sequence, in which Batman dozes off and has a nightmare that he is fighting an army of Parademons before being captured and brought to a furious Superman, who kills him. Cetrone helped break down the scene, but the biggest revelation was that it was apparently not part of the original screenplay. The scene, which planted seeds for stories that Snyder planned on following up in a number of future movies, was one of a number of sequences that fascinated his fans and frustrated his detractors to no end.
Given the role that Steppenwolf and Darkseid play in Snyder's version of Justice League and its planned follow-ups (which appear unlikely to happen at this point, barring some truly spectacular numbers for Justice League on HBO Max), it stands to reason that the Knightmare aspect was added in after they decided that the New Gods would be the primary antagonists. It also tied into a vision where Batman saw a time- or reality-traveling Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) calling out for help.
"After shooting had already started, that scene was added," Cetrone said, possibly suggesting that when the first draft of the screenplay came in, there was less planning for Justice League going on in he background.
Snyder has said that the upcoming director's cut of Justice League will include additional Knightmare scenes.
Earlier this year, Snyder held a watch-along for Batman v. Superman, where he gave the scene a little more context. In the movie, Barry Allen races through time to warn Bruce Wayne (Affleck) to save Lois Lane (Amy Adams), becuase if she dies, it could pu Superman on the path of teaming up with Darkseid, which results in the world viewers saw in the Knightmare sequence.
"I guess it's boring for him waiting for it to decrypt so he fell asleep, maybe or I'm not sure. Maybe it's a by-product of Flash cracking on the cosmic treadmill or whether it creates some sort of rift where it allows Batman to see into the future. It could be a combo of those things," Snyder said.
Though unseen in the movie, Batman helps lead the human resistance against the regime of Darkseid and Superman, the hero-turned-villain that blames Batman for the death of Lane.
"This is the lake and below us is what is the Batcave to use to turn into their [the resistance] headquarters," Snyder said. "They've stolen this thing from the old LexCorp which is a piece of kryptonite but no, it's a trap — it's a green light. Then you see, these are the Superman storm troopers that have set the trap for Batman because Batman's the guy Superman is looking for, more than anybody."
Zack Snyder's Justice League is currently set for release sometime in 2021.
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