Finally, one of Batman v Superman‘s biggest unanswered ‘Easter Egg’ questions gets an answer in Justice League. It’s a unique detail that actually shouldn’t have been spotted by fans at all, but nevertheless became one of the most infamous set photo slip-ups in DC’s movie history. And with the approach of Justice League‘s home video release and deleted scenes getting closer by the day, more and more high definition clips of the Zack Snyder/Joss Whedon blockbuster are making their way online. Which is a wish come true for superhero Easter Egg hunters.
In this case, it isn’t a superhero or villain being referenced, but Batman’s father, Thomas Wayne. A character that appeared in just a single scene in the opening of Dawn of Justice, playing the part of Bruce’s doomed father. And for the small but pivotal part, Zack Snyder turned to Watchmen alum Jeffrey Dean Morgan… which fans discovered thanks to a massive portrait of Thomas Wayne destined for Wayne Manor. A portrait that never actually appeared on film – until now.
Spotted by Reddit user ‘naelps’ in the closing scenes of Justice League, the large portrait can be found in what’s actually the first shot of Wayne Manor. With the enemy dealt with, Superman restored, and the various Justice League heroes returning to their lives, Bruce and Alfred take in the overgrown mansion with an eye for turning it into a future Hall of Justice.
As the camera tracks behind the two men, before Diana arrives to add that the big, round table should feature seating for more heroes, the portrait can be spotted. On the left side of the frame, the painting of Thomas Wayne (in the image of Jeffrey Dean Morgan) finally makes its DCEU debut leaning up against a large fireplace. Barely visible, but hard to miss if viewers know what they’re looking for. And should the rumors of a Thomas Wayne Batman in the Flashpoint movie prove true, a brief cameo that will soon mean much, much more. Fans can all await another probable tease of Flashpoint by Morgan himself with this discovery.
As fans add yet another Justice League movie Easter Egg to look out for when the movie comes to home video, they can also wonder about the story of the portrait to this point. Since the prop itself was created even before Morgan’s casting was announced, Snyder clearly intended to use it in his film. Was the painting intended for a scene in the Manor, removed when Bruce spent all of his time in the more minimalist lakeside lodging? Or was this always the intention, to have the image of his father awaiting his eventual return home?
The truth of that may never be known, as the exact line between what Snyder and Whedon brought to Justice League seems harder and harder to draw. For the scene in question, fans will have to be satisfied with simply seeing the painting as set dressing. For the poetic, something of a Zack Snyder relic that made headlines when the future of the DC movie universe looked entirely different.
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