The heavily-hyped Ultimate Edition of DC's controversial Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice arrives this month on Blu-ray, with the (presumed) intention of clearing up a few mysteries — like the small matter of what became of Jimmy Olson — while adding some much-needed coherence to the story proper.
Much of the new footage does exactly that, adding particular weight to Clark Kent's investigation into Batman and fleshing out the Senate explosion by depicting Superman rescuing civilians — a sequence which clearly needed to be in the original cut, making you wonder once again just what Zack Snyder was thinking when he cut his own movie in such cryptic fashion.
What Happens In Arkham...
One scene, though, has both eyes trained firmly on the future of the DCEU. In the theatrical cut Batman, visiting an incarcerated Lex Luthor, is subjected to a vague threat about the bell having been rung. "He's coming!" yells Lex, presumably in reference to Darkseid (if not Steppenwolf), as a steady stream of snot drips from his nose. Somebody get the man a tissue already.
The same scene is extended in the Ultimate Cut in a very revealing manner, seemingly teasing the prospect of meeting Lex again much sooner than we might have imagined. Check the prison scene out in its full, original glory.
If this quote from Bruce's own mouth is intended as a wink and a nod to the audience, it's far from subtle.
We know the Caped Crusader has "friends" in Arkham Asylum because that's precisely the place that's been holding the various members of the Suicide Squad since their original imprisonment at the hands of the Bat. Anyone who's been following the Lex situation closely will know that this has been on the cards for a while, raising the question of exactly what role Lex Luthor has to play in Suicide Squad.
On the one hand, his involvement could be a mere cameo, fan service intended to link the movies of the DC Extended Universe together. More likely, though, Luthor has been cooking up a scheme of some kind.
I previously questioned whether Lex intentionally got himself thrown into jail at the climax of Batman v Superman. Plotting his own capture would be a neat way to satisfy the authorities that he no longer presents a threat, while engineering a situation in which he has access to certain other members of Gotham's criminal elite, some of whom know Batman all too well.
It's all guesswork at this point, obviously, but we've already seen Batman and Superman face off — could Suicide Squad be quietly setting up the frankly mouth-watering idea of Lex Luthor and the Joker coming together like a brooding, Zack Snyder-ified Bonnie and Clyde? Maybe, maybe not. But I'm so down for that.
We'll know before long what Suicide Squad has in store for Superman's oldest foe. Harley Quinn and friends take over Gotham on August 5.