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What's This Deleted Batman V Superman Scene Mean?

Only days after Batman v Superman hit theaters, Warner Bros. released a video on YouTube featuring a deleted scene! Now, the already-long movie certainly didn't lack epic-looking scenes featuring larger-than-life characters and Lex Luthor inexplicably twitching. But it's hard not to watch this scene and think about what it all means, and how it might've made sense in the theatrical cut of the movie. You know what that means: time for rampant, unfounded speculation! It should go without saying, but here we go: major spoilers for Batman v Superman ahead.

What's happening here?

First things first: we need to figure out what we're looking at here. We see a bunch of armed military guys infiltrating the downed Krytponian ship that Lex Luthor uses to build Doomsday out of the body of General Zod. When they approach Luthor in the weird pool of maraschino cherries, he's standing in front of some big grey monster-guy thing, which has three cubes floating in front of him. The figure disappears shortly after the armed men arrive, and Luthor turns to see them aiming their guns at him. That's a confusing bunch of stuff...but here's what it all might mean.

Luthor's arrest

One of the criticisms lobbed at Batman v Superman is that it doesn't have the best pacing, a result of lots of cuts from one scene to another without much in the way of connective tissue or logic. Such is the case when it comes to Lex Luthor. We see him unleash Doomsday on Superman and Batman, but the next time we see him, he's getting his head shaved for his stay in prison. This scene looks like it fills in that gap a bit. Those military guys? They're going to drag him away to superjail. But what about the rest?

Mother of all Boxes

The alien figure has three giant cubes floating in front of him. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has its own Cosmic Cube, in the form of the Tesseract, the DC Extended Universe is likely relying on its own six-sided MacGuffin: the Mother Box. Those are self-aware, super-intelligent computers that come from the planets New Genesis and Apokalips, the latter being the home of the intergalactic bad guy named Darkseid (more on him in a minute). Earlier in the film, Batman has a vision where he's fighting soldiers with apparent allegiance to an authoritarian Superman, which features a bunch of flying guys who look a lot like Darkseid's comic book minions, known as Parademons. Meanwhile, when Cyborg's origin story unfolds in surveillance footage found in Luthor's files, we see that a device very similar to a Mother Box plays a big role there, too.

Ding for Darkseid

Since powerful, alien cubes tend to be one thing in the DC Universe, we can assume we're most certainly looking at something, or someone, from Apokalips communicating with Luthor. It's a reasonable assumption given how heavily Batman v Superman hints at Darkseid's approach in future movies, and how completely crazy Luthor seems to be when Batman visits him in jail. Darkseid's known as a master manipulator. While "Darkseid made me do it" may not excuse Luthor's crazy monster-making plan in this movie, it sure would help explain the fact that he let an unkillable monster loose on Earth with no clear plan as to how to control it for his own ends. Plus, as pointed out by a post on Screencrush, Luthor's repeated "ding, ding, ding" dialogue during his nutty prison rant could tie back to the Mother Box's tendency for communicating with its users via repeated "pings."


Next question: who is that figure that Luthor seems to be communicating with? On first glance, it looks like it could be the bad guy Steppenwolf, a general of the armies of Apokalips, and a frequent thorn in Superman's side. As one of Darkseid's underlings, it makes perfect sense for him to be making contact with Luthor on Earth, rather than Darkseid himself. Again, Darkseid's the kind of baddie to get others to do the dirty work for him, so it would make a bunch of sense for this to be one of his cronies. That said, there's another choice for who this might be...

...or Yuga Khan...

While Steppenwolf is a more obvious answer, since he's a relatively well-known and established character, a fan has theorized on an io9 post that the figure might actually be Yuga Khan, better known as Darkseid's father. That's right: the HBIC of Apokalips used to be Darkseid's daddy in the comic books. While the resemblance seems stronger here in some ways, Yuga Khan is actually a much newer character than Steppenwolf. If the DC Extended Universe is making way for Darkseid's grand entrance, it doesn't make as much sense for the figure to be the guy who was the boss before. There's still at least one more possibility, however...

...or Brainiac?

Now bear with us, here. To be fair, there is really no resemblance between this mysterious alien and any of the versions of Brainiac from the comics. Of course, there aren't many similarities between the Flash we see in this movie when he invades the Batcave during Bruce Wayne's dream-vision, and the one we see in the comics, either. Moreover, Luthor has asked the Kryptonian ship to "teach me everything," and in some versions of Superman's story, Brainiac has been a corrupted, super-intelligent AI from Krypton. And, Brainiac has taken over Lex Luthor's mind in the comics before! It's possible that this could be the DC Expanded Universe's new take on the classic Superman villain, and we're just getting a taste of things to come.

So why was it cut?

There's a pretty good reason why this scene probably got axed in Batman v Superman: the movie is already pretty long, and this scene wouldn't do much more for the narrative besides confuse it further. We've already got the dream sequences and visions that don't get much in the way of explanations. There are many, many subplots that don't get resolved, either because they're just set-up for future movies, or director Zack Snyder simply couldn't get to everything he wanted in the time allotted. After all, the deleted scene is potentially huge for fans of the comics who saw Batman v Superman for all the amazing DC Comics goodies that made their way on screen. But for more casual fans who don't know Kryptonite from Kalibak? Probably better off leaving this scene on the cutting room floor.