NOTE: The following post contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Batman V Superman
Possibly one of the most divisive films of 2016 - and easily one of the most divisive films in the comic book movie genre, Batman V Superman posted a solid opening this weekend. How exactly the film will perform in the coming weeks remains to be seen - as word-of-mouth (more than movie reviews - read our Batman V Superman review) determine whether a major film release will have legs, and continue to find success, or suffer from an enormous drop off in week two and three.
Either way, this weekend was marked with unparalleled conversation (some more vitriolic than constructive) as fans and critics speculated on everything that Dawn of Justice set up - since the movie posed a lot more questions than it ultimately answered (this round). We already dissected the Batman V Superman ending - and suggested that Lex's warning that an unnamed "He" is "coming," could mean he learned of the DC villain Darkseid when Lex gained access to the kryptonian archive. Now, in a deleted scene that Warner Bros. has officially released online - we have a definitive answer (albeit one that raises another round of new questions).
The deleted scene, dubbed "Communion," can be viewed at the top of the page - and takes place after Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman defeat Doomsday. In the scene, a Metropolis SWAT team infiltrates the kryptonian scout ship, where Lex created Doomsday, in order to arrest the LexCorp head for his malevolent misdeeds - only to walk in on Lex standing in the kryptonian birthing matrix and "communing" with a demonic looking alien creature (who is holding three boxes).
The scene might look like complete nonsense to casual viewers but to longtime fans of DC comic books, there are several intriguing hints here - which also add connective tissue to other seemingly random pieces of information that went unexplained in the film. At this point, there's no way of knowing exactly what we are seeing here - but we can venture a few educated guesses.
As suggested in our prior ending explained post, whatever, exactly, is happening to Lex in this scene, it addresses why he is babbling to Batman about larger threats that have seen the fall of Superman - and will soon be coming to enslave Earth. Given all the hints toward Darkseid (parademons and a mother box) in the film already - it's clear that the ruthless New God is investigating Earth and has already "corrupted" Lex (whatever that means in the DCEU remains to be seen).
In the end of the scene, Lex is seen coming out a trance-like state - setting up his rambling warning to Bruce Wayne from prison. Certain versions of Darkseid have been shown to poison the mind of people who were susceptible to his wicked ways - turning them into his puppets or, at the very least, influencing their perspective on events and the surrounding world. Given Lex's sociopathic behavior and powerful influence, Lex would be a prime target for Darkseid's corruption.
A "mother box" is responsible for the creation of Cyborg (seen earlier in the film during the Justice League montage) and given the relationship between mother boxes and Darkseid, it's highly likely that the floating cubes seen in this scene are other examples of the advanced New Gods tech. In this context, they might be used to communicate with or otherwise alter Lex from a far-off distance - or hack the downed scout ship. It's also possible that the boxes were in the process of being teleported to Earth - but were disrupted when the SWAT team arrived to arrest Lex (who would no longer be able to keep the mother boxes safe).
Another possibility that fans will, without a doubt raise, is the possibility that in this corner of the DCEU, fan-favorite villain Brainiac could be the byproduct of mother boxes interacting with kryptonian tech and/or A.I. It's probably a stretch to think the actual monster here is a Brainiac construct but the networking of the mother boxes with the kryptonian ship could also have unseen ramifications. Maybe the boxes were being used to reprogram kryptonian tech in the birth matrix? It's certainly possible.
The Demonic Monster
Given that Snyder is attempting to inject DC characters, that include super-powered "New Gods," into the same "gritty" universe he established in Man of Steel, there's no way of knowing, with absolute certainty, the identity of the demonic-looking creature holding the mother boxes. However, the monster shares a lot of similarities to the grey-skinned demons featured in Lex's (now-upside down) painting - suggesting his design was an intentional bridge between Lex's warnings of demons coming from the sky to what is actually going to happen down the line.
At first glance, viewers might mistake the creature for the same winged-minions shown in the Knightmare scene - aka Darkseid's goggled parademons; yet, the most likely identity of the monster is Yuga Khan - Darkseid's father (who has appeared as a horned demon-like creature in the comics). That said, the character could also be a drastically re-imagined Darkseid himself or his comic book uncle, and Apokolips military leader, Steppenwolf (though both characters look very different in the source material). Fans will certainly debate the character's true identity; but, it's also possible the monster is just an unnamed servant of Darkseid - designed to foreshadow the supervillain's arrival for Justice League Part 1. That said, the monster could also have been just the scout ship's projection of Darkseid or his forces and the mother boxes from the archive (similar to how Jor-El taught Superman about Krypton's past in Man of Steel) - rather than a live-feed of the demonic being.
We'll have to wait and see but the amount of content in this deleted scene should certainly get fans excited to see what else will be revealed in the R-Rated 3 hour "Ultimate Cut" of Batman V Superman set to hit store shelves this summer - especially after Zack Snyder revealed the extended cut will also feature a slightly bigger role for Jimmy Olsen.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th, 2016, followed by Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17th, 2017; The Flash on March 16th, 2018; Aquaman on July 27th, 2018; Shazam on April 5th, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14th, 2019; Cyborg on April 3rd, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps. on June 19th, 2020.