Warning: SPOILERS below - potentially for the whole of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and beyond.
We've been seeing a lot of pictures of an incomplete Superman statue on the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice set over the last few weeks - some small, some huge, all teasingly uninformative. We've already taken a look at just how massive it looks set to be here, and wondered just what it could mean for the movie here. Our best guess was that it could suggest a storyline in which a robo-armored Lex Luthor seriously beats on Superman - with his own statue.
Well, from the looks of the latest pictures leaked from the set, things could be a whole lot more serious than that. They show the statue, or at least its broken remains - but this time it's surrounded by police officers, firemen and EMTs, and they're laying flowers around it. You can check them out for yourselves below:
Now, so far, we've largely assumed that the statue would be raised at the film's start, in recognition of Superman having saved Metropolis in Man of Steel. That still looks as though it might well be true - at least, shots of the statue standing would seem to support it.
However, those shots of police officers and firemen mourning? They suggest that something else entirely might be set to happen. Something...fatal.
The Superman fans out there probably see where I'm going with this. The mourners surrounding a broken Superman statue might just suggest that the film is going to touch on the classic 1992 storyline 'The Death of Superman' - which saw the hero die in battle with the seemingly indestructible villain Doomsday. Though the statue in Metropolis' Centennial Park was actually built to commemorate his sacrifice, it seems plausible that the film could alter the origins of the statue, and then use its destruction as a symbol of the city's loss at the movie's end.
Add in the already rumored appearance of Doomsday as the villain, and what might initially seem an unlikely ending - would DC really kill off their crown jewel just before the Justice League movie? - becomes a whole lot more plausible.
Plus, Superman only stayed dead for a matter of months, anyway - turning out to have been in stasis in the Fortress of Solitude the whole time.
How's that for an ending? Superman dies, leading to a huge, Superhero-introducing (and Justice League-creating) funeral - setting up the Justice League movie, and placing the emphasis on the newly introduced DC characters. Reassure fans he's not actually dead during a post credits tease, and then bring him back halfway through Justice League.
Either that, or someone just dropped that statue, and the whole crew is really sad about it.
[Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice](movie:711870) is set for release May 6, 2016.