WARNING: The following contains both major plot spoilers for DC's upcoming Justice League movie, and entirely theoretical ones. Proceed with whatever level of caution your faithful English butler suggests is wise.)
So here's the thing about the recent press visit to the Justice League set that I found myself invited along to: It had a very clear and very pointed purpose. While there was a whole lot of general information to be disseminated, the main thread of the visit was undeniably to make clear to a gang of gawking geeks with notepads that Justice League is set to be a whole lot more fun, and conventionally comic booky, than many felt Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was.
But that apparent alteration in tone isn't the only thing that seems set to change come November 2017.
A Newly Revealed Justice League Scene Could Be Set To Change The DCEU Forever
Specifically, one that a whole lot of concept art — and interviews with producers Deborah Snyder and Charles Roven, and director Zack Snyder — made clear is set to be very much a part of the final film.
That scene? Well, that'd be the "small section of the film" — seemingly but not confirmed to be an opening sequence — that, according to Deborah Snyder, will act as a history lesson. In it, we're set to have the film's main McGuffins — the Mother Boxes — explained to us by watching ancient history unfold. As Roven explained:
"Back before history, mankind, the Atlanteans, the Amazonians — and actually the Old Gods — teamed together, and decided that, based on an event that happened, these Mother Boxes were to be placed in the care of the Amazonians, mankind and the Atlanteans."
That sounds interesting and all (especially for everyone who loved Man of Steel's opening sequence), but the real game changer might not lie within the practical events described above at all.
What's Really Important Here Is When That History Lesson Takes Place
While Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and this summer's Suicide Squad are firmly rooted in the present-day goings-on of the DCEU, it increasingly appears that next year's cinematic offerings (Wonder Woman and Justice League) are set to take a very different approach.
With more and more focus being placed on the DCEU's past (specifically the ancient mythology that predates the rise of Batman and Superman by a millennia) it seems that DC is actively trying to create something very different to what many critics of Batman v Superman might have imagined: A comic book universe that goes a whole lot deeper than just the crime-fighting antics of Batman and Superman.
After all, by making Justice League's plot a follow-up to events that took place thousands of years ago, Snyder and co. are essentially reducing the central importance of, say, Superman, to something more like prominence. The on-screen DCEU may have begun with Man of Steel, but that doesn't mean that superheroes only came into being with the arrival of the Kryptonian farm boy on Earth.
That Refocusing Of The DCEU Makes Wonder Woman Its Most Important Character
After all, Gal Gadot's Diana Prince looks likely to be the only major DC hero who has actually been around for more a few decades — ostensibly being thousands of years old herself. Aquaman's age isn't yet confirmed (though he is apparently from a younger generation of Atlanteans) but it's been hinted that he can match Wonder Woman in terms of longevity.
With Wonder Woman's superheroism predating Batman and Superman's by decades, (not to mention providing the Justice League with its only link to an increasingly topical past) it stands to reason that her importance within the team may well be far greater than we currently suspect. Batman may represent the Earth's gritty present, and Superman its possible future, but if Wonder Woman is the only member of the Trinity to fully understand the world's past, then she might just prove to be the most essential Justice Leaguer of them all.
Or, y'know, that history lesson might just turn out to be straight-up exposition, and Wonder Woman might wind up being screwed out of a central role entirely. But until Justice League arrives in November 2017, there's no reason not to keep on hoping.