Saturday, July 18, 2015

Analysis of purported Batman v Superman Plot - SPOILERS

Because the Entertainment Weekly coverage and the Comic-Con trailer have recently given us a lot more insight into the forthcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, I thought it would be a good time to revisit the purported full-plot synopsis that was posted on an IMDB comment board a couple months ago. It appears below in block quotes, section by section. If you prefer to see it all in one piece, go here. [NOTE: IMDB administrators have since removed the posted synopsis. If this was requested by WB, it adds further evidence of the probably validity of the synopsis.] [NOTE: the full-plot synopsis appeared even earlier than IMDB at 4plebs last winter.]

Even though the BvS trailer gave us lots of good snippets (and seriously, it is an amazing trailer!), we still don't ifficially know anything about Luthor's plot, how Wonder Woman factors in, and what the big threat to Earth is going to be. If the purported synopsis is accurate, then what follows has lots of SPOILERS. I am going to take the purported synopsis section by section, assessing how likely I think it is that each section will actually play out in the movie and giving my analysis of the plot, character development, and themes.

Three years after the Battle of Metropolis, Clark Kent is protecting the world as Superman and working as a reporter for the Daily Planet newspaper. Superman has become a controversial figure, with some blaming him for the destruction caused by General Zod and others believing him to be a hero.
Likelihood of Legitimacy: 100%.
These tensions were confirmed in the teaser trailer and even further in the Comic-Con trailer. I think this is a great way to move forward from Man of Steel -- a movie I loved but that I know not everyone was on board with. One thing that is undeniable about MoS, though, is that it got lots of people talking and the debates continue even two years later. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that MoS did not skirt difficult moral questions by making it seem like there was one easy answer. I appreciate the creators for taking that approach, but it is more controversial. Now the controversies are showing up in the DCEU itself.
We are going to see more Daily Planet scenes in BvS, which I think will be a good addition to Clark's development in this universe.

Lois Lane is covering the civil war on Khandaq in the Middle East, while Clark is forced to cover minor stories. He befriends Jim Olsen, a photographer who lost his legs in Zod's invasion, but doesn't blame Superman, and applied for the Daily Planet because they defend Superman, and they cover a football game between Metropolis and Gotham City in which Clark meets Victor Stone, a quarterback for the Metropolis team whose father, Dr. Silas Stone, is an robotic engineer at S.T.A.R. Labs who spearheaded a new high-tech prosthesis program which includes Jim's legs.

Likelihood of Legitimacy: 80%.
The presence of Khandaq as a fictional nation and this take on Victor and Silas Stone aligns well with elements from the New 52 in the comic book universe. But we don't have any hard evidence of the Khandaq elements, though I think it makes sense in terms of bring other worldly controversies into this mix of the controversy around Superman. Is Superman a U.S. hero? Based on the end of MoS, it seems that he does not want to be restricted in that way. But other countries might be nervous about whether they really want Superman operating within their borders. Having Lois be our first link into international affairs makes a lot of sense.
We do know that they shot footage of the Metropolis v Gotham football game, but there have been rumors that that scene has since been excised from the movie. I tend to think that the football game will still appear, because it makes sense for Victor Stone and it makes sense for the Metropolis-Gotham rivalry, especially now that we've learned from Comic-Con that they are sister cities across the bay.
We have also seen on-set photos of Scoot McNairy with green-socked legs. This makes sense in terms of CGI prosthetics and he also seemed to be dressed in a way consistent with a Daily Planet photographer. I have also said from the beginning that he has a Jimmy (or "Jim") Olsen look. So I tend to buy the synopsis in this regard. It also makes sense from a story perspective of putting someone else in place who can defend Superman against Bruce, Lex, and the Senator who seem to be stirring up animosity against Superman.

Bruce Wayne was in Metropolis during Zod's invasion and believes Superman to be a threat, elaborating counter-measures to disable him if necessary. He's also funding an effort to rebuild a vacant area of Gotham with new housing projects for low-income families. As Batman, he's been active for 15 years, but remains a fugitive of justice that many believe to be an urban legend. Clark has been studying the Batman's sightings despite his editor, Perry White, not seeing any potential in that story.

Likelihood of Legitimacy: 95%.
Most of this is now confirmed by the Comic-Con trailer, even though this plot synopsis was posted several weeks in advance. We don't know for sure that Bruce is funding rebuilding efforts, but some shots from the trailers do seem to be in some vacant areas. And we had on-set photos of Clark talking to people in what might have been low-income neighborhoods. The other thing that is not 100% certain is that Batman is a fugitive of justice, but that seems very likely.
I love the idea of Bruce personally witnessing the Kryptonian invasion of Metropolis as a way to bring his character into the MoS universe. It also seems like a strong character move to have this be yet another devastating, personal loss for Bruce in which he felt powerless to stop it. First, the death of his parents, then the death of Robin, and now lost employees and possible some close personal friends (who was he talking to on the phone in the trailer?). The long shot from the trailer of him running toward the overwhelming wreckage and debris cloud perfectly captures his determination yet his powerlessness.
I also love the idea of Clark Kent as a journalist investigating the Batman legend. They are bringing these characters together in a multi-leveled way that can add real depth to the tensions.

Lex Luthor funded Metropolis' rebuilding after Zod's invasion and has been contracted by the United States government to reverse-engineer leftover Kryptonian technology for them. Luthor believes Superman to be a threat and runs a smear campaign against him through the media vehicles he owns, and is funding the development of anti-Superman weapons, including Kryptonite, which is created through exposure to energy from the World Engine. Luthor also has collected Zod's body and harvested his DNA, using technology based on the Genesis Chamber to craft a biotechnological weapon that could fight Superman.
Senator Veronica Cale is supervising Luthor's experiments, but believes the biotechnological weapon shouldn't be deployed due to potential backlash given many still regard Superman as a hero, something Luthor seeks to rectify.
Likelihood of Legitimacy: 85%
The Comic-Con trailer does seem to confirm that Lex is working closely with the government, represented by Sen. Finch (note that the synopsis correctly predicted a female Senator character but was incorrect on the name, perhaps supporting the "past draft" hypothesis that I mention at the bottom of this post). And he seems to have Zod's body, because it was Mercy Graves walking in front of the corpse in the trailer. We also see Lex checking up on his Kryptonite after a possible LexCorps attack or break-in. It also seems very plausible to me that Lex would be partially responsible for sweeping up the outrage and fear toward Superman, just because this seems like a Lex-type manipulation to do.
I think this follow-up to the technology and Kryptonian DNA left behind from MoS makes a lot of sense in the realistic type of world that they're creating in the DCEU. A big part of MoS was the first-contact perspective and the devastation that Kryptonian technology can bring --- first on their own planet, and then (if not for Superman) on Earth. The fact that they left behind a lot of this technology is an interesting idea to explore, and it offers a great way to bring Lex into the picture as he might be a scientific and industrial genius who is on the cutting edge of new technologies, as opposed to more seasoned or veteran engineers or scientists who may be too stuck in Earth-based thinking to crack the Kryptonian tech/DNA.
I think Sen. Cale/Finch's balancing of what she thinks is right and how it will play in public perception is a smart way to set up a political character, and I also think it could be great to see how Sen. Cale/Finch thinks she is overseeing Lex but really Lex is manipulating her in part of his larger plan.

Luthor has also been monitoring other individuals with super-humans powers unbeknowst to the government, and has captured and experimented on several of them through Cadmus, a LexCorp subsidiary dedicated on genetic research. A paramilitary team under LexCorp's employ, led by his head of security Anatoly Kniazev ambushes Aquaman after luring him into a trap in a LexCorp oil rig and captures him, bringing him to Cadmus for experimentation. Luthor's activities have attracted the attention of Diana, princess of Themyscira, who is on Men's World masquerading as a wealthy humanitarian. She connects Luthor to the string of disappearances she's been been investigating and decides to pursue that lead to Metropolis.
Likelihood of Legitimacy: 60%
Most of this is unconfirmed (except for Diana probably posing as a wealthy humanitarian, because the trailer and EW article show her attending an upper-crust event with Bruce... probably a museum re-opening or fundraiser), but I think it all sounds great. I love Lex's maneuverings and I can just imagine his holier-than-thou attitude as he tries to take down (while under it all probably feeling threatened and insecure) various powerful beings.
There have been rumors from Heroic Hollywood that Aquaman is captured and that him being locked up is his cameo in the movie, but it's not confirmed. If this is true, I think it's a good way to bring Wonder Woman in and I also like the echoes of MoS with the oil rig scene. There is an underwater shot in the Comic-Con trailer that might show a chained up Aquaman. I can't really tell. But if that is the case, then he is being held in a manner different than the synopsis implies (or that Heroic Hollywood described).
Could Lex's "paramilitary team" become the Superman soldiers we've seen in the trailer, maybe wearing S-shields and operating in a way that Lex has designed to put blame and anger onto Superman?

Clark calls Lois in Khandaq, which doesn't allow Superman in their airspace. The camp is attacked by rebels and Superman springs to action to help Lois and the soldiers, in the process causing an international incident. Lois returns to Metropolis, while Cale uses the incident to convince the American Congress that Superman represents a potential political liability if they continue to harbor him. Superman is later informed by General Swanwick, one of his fiercest supporters within the government, that the Congress has ordered him to attend a summit in Washington, D.C. to discuss his place in the world. The aftermath of Superman's actions in the Middle East are observed by Bruce, Diana and Luthor.
Likelihood of Legitimacy: 60%
As above, we don't have confirmation or on-set leaks of Khandaq, but perhaps what we thought were sets built in New Mexico for Themyscira were actually sets for Khandaq? I am hoping that this plot development is true because it gives a good role for Lois to play and she can be saved by Superman but not in a oh-gosh-I've-fallen type way. Instead, it would be because Lois is fearless in her work and that work is of a sort that brings her into dangerous situations.
I think the international tensions make a lot of sense, as I mentioned above, and something really brilliant about this, if it were true, would be that the Senate hearing scene from the opening of the Comic-Con trailer is not actually from the beginning of BvS where Superman has to answer for the damage in MoS. Instead, that scene is from the conclusion of Act I in BvS and Superman is answering for the international Khandaq incident! If you listen back to Sen. Finch's dialogue, it could make sense either way, and in fact, it might make MORE sense with regard to the Khandaq incident. When she says they are holding Superman "responsible," that doesn't make a lot of sense for the MoS damage because clearly Zod was primarily responsible. But it would make sense for a Senator to say publicly that they hold Superman responsible for an international incident so that the U.S. government can deflect their own responsibility and try to ratchet down diplomatic tensions. (EDIT: Since I posted this, ManofSteelAnswers also posted a new episode with analysis that it makes more sense for this hearing to be focused on something more recent than the Kryptonian invasion of Metroplis.)
Furthermore, in the teaser trailer, Sen. Finch's lines about "what he can do" and "what he should do" make more sense as being about events in BvS rather than in the initial events of MoS because she seems to be saying that they need to rein him in going forward... not that he did something wrong already in the past.

Bruce finds out about Luthor's research on anti-Superman weapons and travels to Metropolis with Alfred Pennyworth under the pretext of meeting Luthor to discuss a partnership to rebrand Gotham's impoverished neighborhoods in order to learn more. Bruce doesn't trust Luthor with alien technology as much as he doesn't trust Superman. Luthor promotes a fundraiser for the Metropolis Museum, the building where Zod was murdered, something which he makes sure to point out. Clark, Lois and Jim are covering the event, with Bruce, Alfred, Diana, Kniazev and Luthor's private assistant Mercy Graves in attendance. Clark interviews Bruce and questions him about the Batman, Bruce dances and flirts with Diana, who also scans Kniazev. Bruce and Luthor have a brief argument in which Bruce plants a device in Luthor's phone, so he can steal the access passwords to LexCorp Tower and infiltrate it, using a signal jammer to evade security.
Likelihood of Legitimacy: 80%
We do know there was a scene filmed at the Broad Museum on Michigan State's campus (my alma mater!) and from the EW article and the Comic-Con trailer, we now know that Bruce and Diana attended that event and did dance together. It is significant that the purported plot synopsis predicted this dance and flirtation before we saw any images of it. At the time of filming that scene, an extra also claimed that Lex and Bruce had a scuffle, which probably corresponds with the "brief argument" mentioned in the synopsis. The Clark/Bruce interview also makes sense given that we know Clark is investigating a story on the Batman. So all of that seems very likely, but there are several other details and characters mentioned here that I cannot be absolutely certain about. (Could Callan Mulvey be playing Kniazev?)

I think this scene is very smart to have at this point in the movie, though, in terms of pacing. It can give us a nice build and release where most of the central characters are all together in one place and they have tensions and suspicions (and attractions, in the case of Bruce and Diana) bubbling under the surface but they don't come out fully yet... that will happen later. If it is the same museum from the end of MoS, then I think that's another nice connection back. And it is a scene like this that makes me hope the plot synopsis is legitimate because it does a great job of giving each character a motivation and a meaningful path forward that will fill even non-action scenes with tension and momentum.

Batman steals data about Luthor's projects, but an algorithm projected by Luthor adapts to the jammer and alerts security. Batman evades Kniazev and his men, but is then confronted by Superman, who believes him to be a criminal. Batman refuses to surrender and, after a brief confrontation, escapes from Superman in the Batmobile. Batman sightings in Metropolis are enough for Lois and Clark to convince Perry to let them go to Gotham for a more extensive investigation. Luthor later reviews footage of Superman and Batman's encounter acquired by the government's satellites and retrieves the signal jammer Batman left behind, which gives Luthor an idea.
Likelihood of Legitimacy: 80%
There are some shots in the Comic-Con trailer where it looks as though someone broke in (or attempted a break in) at LexCorps. The many bullet casings could be from the Batmobile guns or from Lex's security forces. An interesting thing to note is that this scene, if it's in the movie, would have some nice parallels to the novel Enemies and Allies by Kevin Anderson, which I analyzed for its possible connections to BvS.
I think the break in and subsequent Superman-Batman face off could be a great mid-movie action sequence. We get the triad of Lex, Bats, and Supes all sizing each other up but, ultimately, still splitting off to inevitably face off again. I also like it that this one involves each against the other two, but probably at the end of the movie, there will be Superman and Batman finally teaming up.

Superman arrives at the summit, with the entire world watching. Senator Cale accuses him of being dangerous, and Superman defends himself and explains his ideals. The Congress pushes for Superman to swear allegiance to them, including disclosing secrets of his identity and upbringing, but Superman refuses, claiming he will not become a tool of the government.
Likelihood of Legitimacy: 95%
I think this scene is definitely going to be in the movie, but the only question is whether Khandaq is really the impetus behind the summit. The inclusion of a clear and iconic Superman speech would come at just the right time in the DCEU overall and would also help to make this a Superman movie, whereas MoS was about Clark becoming Superman. I also think Superman refusing to be a "tool of the government" continues nicely on what they set up in MoS and will also make Superman fans much happier than, say, The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel did (where Superman was a government lapdog).

Superman hears Batman's signal jammer and feels weak. He loses control of his powers and the building is evacuated just as it explodes, injuring several people and killing General Swanwick. Senator Cale accuses Superman of being the culprit, and he is forced to escape when the military intervene. Superman is declared a public enemy, while Luthor is informed that the Kryptonite has been a success.
Likelihood of Legitimacy: 70%
We have nothing to confirm this, but maybe this is the Washington DC event that Lois is reacting to with surprise in the trailer. Batman-News reported that there was action filmed at a DC set, so that also might align with this synopsis. If it is true, in terms of pacing and plot it's a perfect rise in the action and punctuation to follow the exposition of the speeches at the hearing. This functions in several ways -- it raises Sen. Cale/Finch's animosity toward Superman, it brings a personal loss for Superman (with Swanwick and he having history fighting Zod together and also Swanwick supporting Superman publicly), it reveals some of Luthor's capabilities, and it seems to back up the anti-Superman public's claims against him. This is also some genius Luthor manipulations because he used Batman's jammer to make Superman think Batman was behind the Kryptonite attack and he frames Superman for the building explosion. (The manipulations grow even denser when, in the next scene, Superman thinks Batman framed him for the explosion.)
We did have an extra claiming to have filmed a scene that was the funeral procession of a prominent figure, possibly the president. I think it's somewhat likely that the extra was telling the truth based on what they'd been told on set but that actually it was Gen. Swanwick's funeral, and not the president's.

Clark returns to the damaged building and locates Batman's signal jammer, and becomes convinced that Batman framed him and is indirectly responsible for General Swanwick's death. Superman returns to Metropolis in search of Batman, but Bruce manages to evade him. He learns about Kryptonite from Luthor's files and steals samples from it from a LexCorp outpost stationed in the Indian Ocean where the World Engine was first activated. Meanwhile, Diana lures Kniazev and his men into a trap and confronts them. Kniazev escapes, but Diana manages to interrogate one of his soldiers, using the Lasso of Truth to force him into revealing where the super-humans are being taken.
Likelihood of Legitimacy: 50%
Other than a past rumor about Bruce breaking in and stealing Kryptonite, we don't have anything to go on in terms of confirming these aspects of the plot synopsis. But I'm still giving it a 50% chance because it is a logical continuation of earlier scenes that have a high likelihood of being legitimate.
If this does turn out to be in the movie, I think it does a good job of pushing forward the storylines of Superman, Bruce, and Diana simultaneously, and it also builds anticipation for the showdown between Batman and Superman because we have already seen what Kryptonite does to Superman, and now Batman has his hands on it.

Batman attracts Superman to the abandoned neighborhood being rebuilt by Wayne Enterprises and fights him with an armored suit, Kryptonite-based weapons and several buildings and vehicles that have been booby-trapped with Batman's arsenal of anti-Superman weapons. The fight is vicious and ends with Superman victorious. Batman urges Superman to kill him, but Superman refuses. Batman then reveals that the fight was designed to test Superman. When pressed for the signal jammer, Batman declares innocence, and they join forces to locate the true mastermind behind the conspiracy.
Likelihood of Legitimacy: 95%
This fight is definitely going to happen. There isn't a lot of text here in the plot synopsis because this is where the action and the visual effects (Zack Snyder's forte!) take over. From the Comic-Con trailer, I have very high hopes for the visual style and the combat in this scene. And if this synopsis is true, it might be the bat signal that Batman uses to "attract" Superman to the abandoned neighborhood, which would be an ideal location because there would be minimized collateral damage and it would represent what Batman blames Superman for and he is trying to rebuild.
What isn't confirmed yet is the ending of the fight. I tend to think that the synopsis is close to how it will turn out because it allows both heroes to save face. Obviously, Superman fans can be happy because Superman wins the fight and also passes the test. But I think Batman fans can also live with the outcome because Batman put up an extremely good showing for a human versus a Kryptonian and also that Batman did achieve his goal of determining whether Superman can be trusted to do the right thing. I think it also matches with the characterization of Batman as emotionally depleted and at the end of his rope, so to speak. In a way, he might have almost been hoping for Superman to release him from his pain and rage, but instead maybe Superman's mercy will help bring him back from the brink.
By the way, I think it's significant that Superman passed the test and did not kill Batman even before Superman new that Batman was innocent in the Washington DC attack. It would be great if the end of this fight had echoes of the Zod fight in MoS where we see now that Superman has decided with a steel-like resolve not to kill any more.

Simultaneously, Diana locates the Cadmus facility in the outskirts of Metropolis and observes the experiments being conducted therein, particularly on Aquaman, and the ongoing development of the biotechnological weapon, Doomsday. Wonder Woman infiltrates the facility and rescues Aquaman, but he leaves her behind and returns to the ocean. Luthor's men, armed with advanced weaponry, spring to action, forcing Wonder Woman to flee. Luthor later informs Cale that the Cadmus facility has been compromised, and that they only have no resort to protect their careers.
Likelihood of Legitimacy: 40%
At the same moment that the Batman v Superman tension is resolved, enter Doomsday! For awhile, I was thinking that it was too disjointed to have one follow the other instead of already establishing Doomsday (if that turns out to be the real threat in the movie) earlier on. But now that I've thought about it, I think this pacing is good because it will keep the focus on Batman and Superman's rivalry as long and as fully as possible. And I'm sure they will have foreshadowing of Doomsday before this point, even if they don't reveal him fully until now.
I like the Wonder Woman and Aquaman connection because Batman and Superman have their hands full with each other. But we don't have any confirmed information about really any of this stuff. One thing that gives me doubts and lowers my likelihood estimate is that we haven't yet seen desert Batman nor have this plot synopsis explained the Superman soldiers. So that has me thinking that maybe the synopsis was from an earlier draft of the script (Goyer's) before they changed it to add the Batman and Superman soldier fights that we saw in the Comic-Con trailer.

NOTE: Another possible reason to doubt the plot synopsis, even though it has a lot going for it, is that the Batman v Superman story arc is now complete and it did not explicitly mention Alfred's role in the debate with Batman. We know from EW and the Comic-Con trailer that there is at least one scene where Alfred and Bruce debate the merits of preemptively attacking Superman. Perhaps this dialogue-heavy scene did not warrant mention in the plot synopsis, but the synopsis is pretty detailed and so I think it probably would have been included if the synopsis were 100% legitimate. This leads me to have some doubts about the synopsis, although I still think a lot of it is very likely to show up in the movie.

Batman leads Superman to the Batcave, where they deduce Luthor is behind everything. Diana arrives and reveals that she knows their secret and exposes Luthor's experiments at Cadmus. Superman is infuriated that Luthor has been weaponizing the technology stolen from Zod, as he still blames himself for all the damage it caused.
Likelihood of Legitimacy: 50%
The trinity together for the first time! Now all attention can be properly directed toward Luthor's schemes, but there will still be a fine line to walk because the public doesn't know Lex is behind it and many people still view Superman negatively.

Superman introduces Lois to Batman and Wonder Woman and they join forces to expose Luthor. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman attack the Cadmus facility to rescue the remaining prisoners, but are then attacked by Doomsday, who has been deployed by Luthor and Cale. Superman fights Doomsday while Wonder Woman helps the remaining prisoners to flee and Batman retrieves data from the Cadmus' servers and fights Kniazev. Meanwhile, Lois infiltrates LexCorp Tower using the signal jammer while Jimmy creates a distraction to find a way to disable Doomsday.
Likelihood of Legitimacy: 50%
I don't know if this will happen, but I really like Lois being a part of the team, as she was in MoS, and I also like how the way this plays out it gives everyone an appropriate role to play. Superman and Doomsday, Wonder Woman and the rescue operation, and Batman doing detective-like work and having a human showdown with Kniazev.
On the topic of Doomsday, I'm okay with his being in the movie (especially if it plays out as the synopsis describes below), though my initial preference was for something more along the lines of Metallo or a B-Zero type Bizarro Superman created by Lex from Zod's DNA. There have been persistent rumors of Doomsday and also some concept art for Doomsday that leaked way back at the beginning of production. Heroic Hollywood also maintains that it's Doomsday, so I think that part of the synopsis is probably more than 50% likely.

Doomsday marches to Metropolis, and Cale learns that Luthor has sub-programming in Doomsday to maximize collateral damage to further damage Superman's reputation. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman battle Doomsday in Metropolis, and are joined by Aquaman, who wants to repay his debt to Wonder Woman and get revenge against Luthor. Together, the heroes manage to minimize collateral damage and avoid innocent casualties, but Doomsday is still able to adapt to their abilities and overpower them in combat.
Likelihood of Legitimacy: 50%
Although the first parts of the movie, according to this synopsis, were very clever and explored interesting themes like responsibility, public perception and fear-based mob mentalities, and the definition of a hero, I do recognize that this movie is also an action flick. And we're now getting into what could be some intense, visually stunning action with multiple iconic DC characters. Awesome! And it continues the idea of Lex as a devious, cold-hearted manipulator. Awesome again!

Mercy catches Lois and they have a fight, but Lois manages to locate Doomsday's systems and insert a sub-routine that allows Alfred to disable the servers. Cale attempts to terminate Doomsday, but Luthor reveals that she can't. When she attempts to expose Luthor, he kills them and makes it appear to be suicide. Without LexCorp satellites uploading battle tactics directly into his mind, Doomsday becomes more vulnerable to attacks, but continues wreaking havoc and causing wanton destruction. Victor is caught in the crossfire while helping innocents and severely injured. With Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman all struggling to protect the innocent, Superman realizes what he must do and soars into Space with Doomsday. He flies into the Sun, with Doomsday still trying to kill him, and they disappear in an explosion. Superman is believed to have sacrificed himself, but emerges from the Sun and returns to Earth as the planet celebrates his victory.
Likelihood of Legitimacy: 50%
A nice part for Lois and Alfred to play, a set-up for the introduction of Cyborg similar to the Justice League: Origin arc in the New 52 (and we do know he is going to be in the movie), and a solid climax for Lex and Sen. Cale/Finch as well as for Superman and Doomsday. I think it makes sense for Superman to ultimately finish the fight (rather than, say, Batman or Wonder Woman or them collectively) because this can be Superman's chance to rise positively and definitively in the eyes of the world, thus bringing some closure to one of the main threads of the movie. Just as MoS was ultimately the story of Superman coming to choose to take his leap of faith with humanity, BvS with the ending as described here can be the story of humanity (and Batman, as the personification of the skeptic) finally embracing Superman.
I also think this apparent self sacrifice by Superman might be a nice beat for the comic book fans because they will know that Doomsday is linked to the famous Death of Superman storyline, so there might be a moment of thinking that Superman really is dead (to return in the next movie). But overall, I think it's best that he survives here to be around for the beginning of the Justice League.

A few days later, Superman speaks to the Congress once again and speaks in favor of his new allies, as Batman is embraced by the public as reality and the police charges against him called into question, Wonder Woman continues helping people in impoverished countries, Aquaman continues fighting for the environment, Victor is transferred to S.T.A.R. Labs' C.Y.B.O.R.G. Program, Senator Cale is framed of having authorized Doomsday's deployment, and, although Luthor covers up his involvement, his role in creating Doomsday and other Kryptonite-based weapons is exposed and his company loses its military contracts as a result. Superman concludes his statement by revealing that "a new age is dawning." Luthor is drinking in his office when Superman arrives and they discuss recent events separated by a glass window. Luthor accuses Superman of being the end of human achievements, Superman claims that Luthor takes himself as superior to other humans, and is terrified that for all his wealth and power he is still beneath all the heroes that fought in Metropolis and fight everyday for an ideal grander than themselves. The ideal of justice. Luthor vows to destroy Superman. Superman claims he'll be waiting.
Likelihood of Legitimacy: 75%
This denouement makes sense because it involves Superman being accepted and taking a leadership role, Batman shedding his vigilante (and urban legend) status, and it gives Wonder Woman and Aquaman their own niches in the team--helping the downtrodden for WW, and focusing on the environment for Aquaman. I think that's a nice angle and fits well with current events and has the potential to make the DCEU relevant in ways that goes beyond just popcorn entertainment. (I also think Cyborg can end up providing commentary on our personal entanglement with technology.)
This also provides yet another piece of evidence that they are handling the Lex Luthor character really well. It's hard to even keep track of how many different people he manipulates and strings he pulls, I like the scientific research and experimentation angles, and at the end of the days he manages to slip out of having to whole thing pinned on him... but Superman knows! Having this final conversation between Lex and Superman has the potential to bring some good closure.

The script concludes with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman meeting at the Kent Farm to discuss Luthor's actions. Superman points out Luthor won't stop, and there'll be others like him. Aquaman claims to have affairs in his "home", but is willing to assist if necessary, as the heroes have earned his respect. After he departs, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman decide to find others like them of this new emerging race of meta-humans to form a line of defense against Earth and those who seek to bring it harm. Batman points out to reports of a red blur in Central City stopping bank robbers. Superman asks what happens next. Wonder Woman says "recruitment."
Likelihood of Legitimacy: 70%
Parts of this are very likely true but other parts I'm not so sure about. Heroic Hollywood did report on a Flash blur stopping a robbery, but it's unconfirmed. I'd say this is a likely way for the Flash to get his cameo. I also think it is very likely that the main heroes have some sort of conclusion like this where they explicitly decide to form a Justice League, and if Aquaman is portrayed as fairly grizzly and antisocial, then winning his respect here could be a nice character moment.
We have seen set photos from the Kent farm, with Lois in attendance in overalls at the farm (the plot synopsis omits Lois and doesn't mention another Kent farm scene). And we saw Superman (in his suit rather than dressed down as Clark) talking with Martha at the farm in the Comic-Con trailer. So there is definitely at least one Kent farm scene. Based on Martha's dialogue, I would have guessed that it takes place earlier in the movie, but this plot synopsis puts the farm scene at the end. Maybe that could happen, and it would explain why Superman was wearing his suit and cape with his own mom (he is there as Superman with the other leaguers, and he has just stepped outside for a moment with Martha).

OVERALL, I do think a lot of what shows up in this synopsis will be in the movie, but I do not think it is 100% accurate to what we'll see in the final product. Because it revealed some information ahead of time that was later confirmed, I do think it comes from the actual production and not just some fan creation. I wonder if it may be a synopsis of a previous version of the script rather than the final version that was filmed.

But for what it is, this seems to be a very strong plot with good character motivations and development and it carries on some profound themes in a way that builds coherently on Man of Steel. Putting that together with the great visual style and action that is glimpsed in the trailer (plus the fact that we haven't yet seen anything of the climactic action, which could be amazing), this has the makings for a truly great movie.


  1. New info was released today in the Empire magazine feature. It suggests that Aquaman has only a very small role, because Snyder only said that BvS will make it clear he exists. That leads me to downgrade the likelihood of all the portions in the plot synopsis that feature Aquaman.

  2. Heroic Hollywood is now reporting (unconfirmed) that Callan Mulvey plays Anatoly (Anatoli?). This likely makes him a version of the KGBeast. And it would align with the purported plot synopsis.

    So although the Aquaman stuff might not be true, maybe the Lex Head of Security stuff is true. These strengthens my stance that the plot synopsis is based on a prior (not final) version of the script. So lots of it will probably be in the movie in some form, but we can't count on everything from the synopsis.