DC and Zack Snyder are not wasting any time. Five days and $500 million into Batman v Superman's incredible and more than slightly controversial life, Snyder has begun teasing the prospect of what's to come in Justice League Part One.
And it sounds f*cking excellent.
Talking to the Empire Film Podcast, Snyder was asked about Darkseid's influence on Dawn of Justice and what this may mean for the Justice League, and what he had to say is very interesting indeed...
"Is the extended dream sequence a vision of the future?"
ZS: "Let's just say this ... It's ok to look at [it] as an impressionistic view of a possible future ... You can speculate about whether or not Flash is coming from that reality or another one, but that's the fun stuff - to try and figure out what Flash is saying to Bruce and what it means. I mean, we know - we're not making it up."
Let's break this down a little.
The desert sequence, complete with the Omega symbol, appears to be a straightforward dream. Bruce, however, knows nothing about Darkseid, and does not have any powers of premonition, implying that the sequence does, in fact, tie in with The Flash's warning - perhaps a visual interpretation for the viewer of that warning, rather than something Bruce is seeing in a dream. That would explain why it's never referenced again, and doesn't seem to play on his mind.
We can probably assume that what we are seeing is a vision of a near-future that will play out if the Justice League fails to defeat Darkseid. The Flash of the future has seen it too, but when we meet Barry Allen in Justice League: Part One, he won't know anything about it.
Snyder goes on to drop another, surprisingly revealing hint about Darkseid...
"Maybe he exists, out in the universe somewhere. Maybe he's looking for something, something that's against life... I don't know."
So we can safely say that Darkseid is in pursuit of the Anti-Life Equation. For those who don't know, the Anti-Life Equation is Darkseid's raison d'Être in the comics. He essentially hypothesises that if a race of sentient beings such as the martians, or humanity, can have free will, the opposite must be true as well.
His goal, therefore, is to obtain the formula that will allow him to control the will of an entire race. It's called Anti-Life because those with no free will are only "alive" in the strictest sense of the word, not in spirit. Obtaining the formula would give Darkseid a similar level of power to Thanos in the MCU upon collection of the six Infinity Gems, but if anything the idea of Anti-Life is even darker.
Could it be that Lex Luthor knows of Darkseid's intentions? The way he warns Bruce from his prison cell of the bell having been rung would suggest he's aware of the threat Darkseid presents not just to the Justice League, but to humanity. It's a lot of information to have collected on the Kryptonian ship in the space of just a few hours, but then again, Lex does look haunted in that final shot.
Check out the deleted scene, which I must have watched at least seven times by now, and see if you can spot any more clues.
Justice League: Part One begins filming April 11, to be released November 17, 2017.