On the Monday following the opening weekend of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros did something unprecedented: they released a deleted scene from the movie online. And not like a tiny scene of Clark Kent looking for his glasses, but a major scene that revealed an honest to goodness plot point. Titled "Communion" the scene saw a SWAT team invading the Kryptonian ship to find Lex Luthor standing in front of a demonic creature holding three mother boxes. We've since learned that the creature is Steppenwolf, a general of the armies of Apokolips, the uncle of Darkseid, and the main villain of the Justice League movie. That's a major scene to reveal on what seemed like a whim, but director Zack Snyder has opened up about why that scene was released in such a way.
A handful of lucky journalists were given a tour of the London set of Justice League, where a bunch of interesting details about the upcoming blockbuster was revealed. Cinema Blend's own Sean O'Connell got the chance to ask Zack Snyder about "Communion" and why it was released in such a unique fashion.
That scene was our way of ... I felt like, 'Oh, that'd be a cool after-credits sequence, but then I was like, 'I don't know. Can I do that?' Because Marvel does that. Is that a thing? We were like, 'Oh, maybe there's another way to do it.'
I always kind of feel like Zack Snyder thinks out loud during interviews, but I think I get what he means. They considered having "Communion" as an after credits scene but decided against it because that's what Marvel typically does. Apparently, they still wanted people to see the scene, so they just opted to post it online.
That doesn't make much sense for a few reasons. To start, that scene wouldn't make a good after credits scene. It's the right feel for one (a tease of a powerful enemy for a future film) but not in the right context. That interaction with Steppenwolf and Lex takes place in like the middle of the fight with Doomsday, so it doesn't really make sense to put it out of sequence and just throw it in at the end.
Secondly, while Marvel is most associated with the end credits scene, it's not something they exclusively own or do. It has really gone from being a "Marvel thing" to a "blockbuster thing"; if anything Marvel just popularized it. Plenty of films have used it for their own purposes; even Finding Dory had an end credits scene. It's understandable that DC Films wants to avoid comparisons with Marvel, but the end credits argument feels like more of an excuse. Batman v Superman wasn't getting very good press at the time, and it seems more likely that they released the scene to restart conversations about the film and point people away from criticizing it.
Regardless, if they had planned it out better (which is to say if they had planned it out at all) the idea of that moment would have made a cool post credits scene. I would argue that "Communion" should have been kept in the finished film, but it is a super confusing sequence that comes right in the middle of the third act when a million other things are happening.
We can all judge that for ourselves when the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition comes out on July 19 and we can see how the extended cut plays out.