There were a handful of scenes in Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that bluntly teased the larger future of the DC Extended Universe, but none of them were more mystifying than the so-called "Knightmare." The sequence is one of the most controversial in the film, with fans regularly debating about the nature of Bruce Wayne's vision -- but if the latest trailer for Justice League is anything to go by, the upcoming blockbuster may wind up providing the specific answers that movie-goers have been wondering about.
To do a quick rewind on this morning's trailer, the specific moment in the Justice League teaser that we're talking about arrives about one minute in. Featured as voice-over narrative, we hear Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne say, "I had a dream it was the end of the world" -- all while footage showcases flying Parademons; a battlefield-leaping, axe-swinging Steppenwolf; and soldiers turning to ash. It's not hard to conclude that the dream Wayne refers to is the Batman v Superman Knightmare, and given hard-to-ignore correlating elements and aesthetics, it seems to conclude that yes, a dozing Dark Knight was given a glimpse into the future of his own timeline and the invasion of Darkseid and his forces from Apokolips. Of course, it's not only interesting to think about the implications of this, but also the question of whether or not the blockbuster will address exactly why it was that Batman had the vision.
When it comes to the Knightmare sequence, the big 'X' factor is obviously Superman, who is the central focus of the whole thing. Batman enters the desert landscape with a clear chip on his shoulder against the Man of Steel, as he has apparently been on the hunt for Kryptonite, and things don't get any better when it's revealed that he's been tricked and is captured by Supes' soldiers. The strong suggestion is that Superman has joined those responsible for destroying the planet, but what does that mean if it's a preview of what's to come? Does that mean that we already know what will happen when the Kryptonian is inevitably resurrected in Justice League?
Given the DC Extended Universe's weird fascination with a darker take on Superman, one could easily see this coming, but still the answer to that question could be no... provided that Bruce Wayne actually heeds the warning and directions that were given to him shortly after waking up from the Knightmare. Appearing in a time-traveling cameo, Ezra Miller's Flash appears and says:
Bruce! Listen to me now! It's Lois! Lois Lane! She's the key! Am I too soon? I'm too soon! You were right about him! You've always been right about him! Fear him! Find us, Bruce! You have to find us!
As noted, this is gibberish to Bruce, who has no idea who The Flash is yet, but it certainly means a lot to the audience. Clearly Lois Lane (who makes her first Justice League footage appearance in the new trailer) is somehow "the key" to stopping a devastating future from coming to fruition -- probably involving Superman turning evil. The upcoming DCEU blockbuster will still feature a taste of this fate, as the trailers are obviously full of invasion footage and we'll probably see the events that lead Flash to start time-traveling, but if Batman can decode it all, he and the other heroes can potentially change the future, including the destiny of Superman and perhaps the entire profile of the DC Extended Universe.
Of course, there is an important detail that's left hanging in all of this, which is the actual nature of the Knightmare. You might remember that Batman doesn't actually have any powers (outside of being rich harharhar), so prophetic dreams aren't exactly part-and-parcel with the character. Maybe it was a side-effect of temporal distortion caused by The Flash's impending visit? Maybe some other form of sci-fi strangeness that kinda-sorta tracks? Hopefully it's a matter that is addressed in Justice League and ultimately helps Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice make a little more sense.
This is mostly just speculation for now, but it won't be long until we start getting some firm answers. We are now just a little over a month away from the release of Zack Snyder's Justice League, arriving in theaters on November 17th, and you can be sure that we'll have plenty more coverage coming your way in the lead-up and aftermath!