Time for a superhero rumor with some… legs! (OK, sorry. That was horrible. I’ll stop now. On with the show.)
Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice has been busy filming in and around Detroit for weeks now. And they haven’t been hiding their presence. Onlookers have picked up photos of Metropolis and Gotham helicopters, and even photos of Ben Affleck’s aging Bruce Wayne as he springs into action to (we think) save civilians from a crumbling building. No image, though, has created as much of an uproar as the one Batman-News.com shares. Click here to see a photo of Batman v. Superman co-star Scoot McNairy and his… socks.
Yes, the Argo co-star was photographed smoking a cigarette and checking his phone, allegedly between takes. But when you scan down, you see that Scoot McNairy is wearing socks over his calves that suggest his legs will be altered in post-production, the way green-screen technology allows a filmmaker to manipulate an image. And the Internet took this particular baton and ran with it, on legs cloaked in mysterious green material.
Some guesses were obvious. Some were extreme. One really made sense. So we wanted to take the time and discuss then possibilities. What do Scoot McNairy’s green socks mean? Who might he be playing in Batman v. Superman? Let’s try and figure it out.
Early on, after he was cast, Scoot McNairy’s name was associated with that of Dick Grayson – Batman’s longtime partner who endured several hardships due to the Caped Crusader’s crime-fighting ways. In the comics, after fighting alongside Batman for years, Grayson eventually assumed the mantle of Nightwing, fighting crime on his own. Here’s where McNairy could fit in. Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman projects deeper down Bruce Wayne’s timeline, as we know. We won’t endure a fresh origin story. Wayne will already have been Batman for a long time. In fact, there had been rumors that Ben Affleck’s Batcave will contain a memorial to a tattered Robin costume. Perhaps we’ll learn that Dick Grayson was physically damaged fighting alongside Batman, and that these injuries forced him out of the crime-fighting life? Maybe McNairy plays a psychologically damaged Dick Grayson, and Robin’s legs will be mangled (digitally, in post-production)? It’s nothing more than a hunch, but I kind of like it more than the obvious answer, which we’ll discuss next.
Yes, yes, it makes sense that because Zack Snyder wants to digitally correct Scoot McNairy’s legs, he might be playing a version of The Flash on screen. That fits, for a number of different reasons. Snyder’s films is subtitled Dawn of Justice, and the rumors have been swirling for a while now that he will want to add characters like Wonder Woman, Aquaman and, yes, The Flash while building to this Justice League movie. One of the rumored solo projects Warner Bros. is believed to have on its plate is a Flash/Green Lantern team up, so introducing those heroes on screen (and soon) seems imperative. Pair that information with the knowledge that DC’s movie universe will NOT cross over with television programs like Arrow and The Flash, and it’s now vital that Snyder introduce a Flash to his cinematic world. Does that mean McNairy is it? Possible. He’d make an excellent Flash, whether they went old school with Jay Garrick, or updated his role to be that of Barry Allen. I’m not sure why Snyder would have his Flash wearing cubicle-drone wear, but maybe Scoot has to burst into action at sonic speeds, leading to the green socks on this stellar character actor.
Here’s where our guesses get a little freaky. In this shot of Scoot McNairy, shared via Twitter by Tim Reinman, we can see that the "socks" aren’t limited to the actor’s calves. They go all the way up his legs. And not one leg, but both. His feet are covered in them, as well, meaning Zack Snyder might be replacing whole chunks of McNairy’s body. Could he be replacing them with metal? Since we already know that Ray Fisher has been cast as Cyborg in Snyder’s movie, how about Scoot McNairy playing Metallo, one of Superman’s dangerous rivals? Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice isn’t lacking for villains. Jesse Eisenberg has been cast as Lex Luthor, and it is believed that Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) will be at odds for the bulk of this feature. But why can’t Snyder lay the ground work for future antagonists, possibly revealing that the radioactive cyborg Metallo (who runs on Kryptonite, a major component of Snyder’s film) is at least present in this universe? We don’t know Scoot McNairy’s character as of now. But if he’s revealed to play former journalist turned thief John Corben, know that Metallo is coming, at some point down the timeline!
This casting would require a gender switch, but anything is possible in the realm of Zack Snyder’s superhero world. (Like an African-American Perry White, for example.) Oracle is an identity adopted by Barbara Gordon, daughter of Gotham City’s Police Commissioner Jim Gordon (who, for all we know, has NOT been cast in this universe as of yet). Barbara was paralyzed from the waist down when the Joker shot her in the spine. Confined to a wheelchair, she assumed the identity of Oracle, and used her expansive computer skills to feel Batman a steady stream of information on his crime-fighting missions. Here’s where things get interesting. The character of Oracle is a major component of Rocksteady Studios’ immensely popular video games Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. The Dark Knight frequently checks in with Oracle when he needs assistance. Could McNairy be playing a male version of the character, assigned to a wheelchair and missing his legs? There have been a few "McNairy is playing Lieutenant Dan" jokes online today. Maybe they aren’t THAT far off.
A Brand New Character
It’s also entirely possible that Scoot McNairy was cast to play a completely new character who has no connection to the comic book roots of Batman or Superman. Yes, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel had familiar roles like Perry White, Lois Lane and Jonathan Kent. But noted character actors like Richard Schiff, Harry Lennix and Christopher Meloni brought new supporting characters like Dr. Emil Hamilton, General Swanwick and Colonel Nathan Hardy to life. They became part of Superman’s story, and it’s entirely possible that McNairy has been hired to play a new role for this film. Maybe he is a veteran of war whose story inspires Superman. Perhaps he’s a former criminal who now serves as an informant for Batman. And maybe none of these guesses are correct. Part of me really believes if McNairy were playing Flash, and his green-screen legs were vital to his existence, he wouldn’t let himself be photographed on a smoke break. Where does the line between fact and misdirection lie? We may never know.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.