Zack Snyder’s recent livestreaming event to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice offered a ton of new insight into the filmmaker’s time at the helm of the DCEU, including some of the more contentious aspects of his tenure. As well as explaining why Superman had no choice but to kill Zod at the climax of Man of Steel, and insisting that his version of Batman didn’t kill anybody, Snyder also found the time to poke fun at Warner Bros. by wondering why they hadn’t made a sequel to the movie.
Of course, another part of Batman V Superman that created a lot of confusion was the Flash’s brief cameo from an alternate timeline, where he shows up to give Bruce Wayne a warning about the future, which left Batman’s alter-ego looking about as confused as the rest of us. It was never mentioned again throughout the rest of the movie, or even addressed in Justice League, leaving many to wonder if it was one of the many abandoned plot threads from Snyder’s planned five-film story arc that got left on the cutting room floor in the wake of studio interference.
During the livestream, the director attempted to clear things up and explain how Ezra Miller’s brief appearance was tied to both Batman V Superman’s Knightmare sequence, and his initial plans for a second Justice League outing.
“I had this idea that in the future when they are talking about sending Flash back to warn him, that Cyborg would be doing the calculations to send him back and say, ‘I have two possibilities of where to send Flash back in time. The numbers point to two moments to warn you’… Like if it’s right near the moment where this event might happen, where Lois might get killed, or Bruce isn’t able to stop it, however that’s happening, it would be important if Flash came closer to that moment so that Bruce could understand the reality of it.”
That doesn’t exactly clear things up particularly well, but Snyder went on to say how the various time-jumps and flash-forwards would have eventually paid off in Justice League 2, although we’d have had to wait a long time to find out just how the pieces eventually fit together.
“In the future Bruce says to Cyborg, ‘Well, what times would you send me back to, what time right now would you send me back?’. And Cyborg says, ‘I’m leaning towards this’. And Bruce says, ‘Do the other one, because you already sent him back there and it was too early, so send me to the other one’. So that’s how he’s able to get Flash back again. Because in the new timeline he goes to a different point in time that’s closer to the event that we haven’t seen yet in this film.”
Batman V Superman already had far too much going on, and given Snyder’s lengthy and complex explanation about how it fit into his larger plans for the DCEU, it was probably for the best that the Flash’s cameo was almost instantly forgotten about and swept under the rug.