Bruce Wayne v Clark Kent. Dark Knight v Man of Steel. Flying Sonar Rodent Man v The Krypton Chap. Batman v Superman is the point we're trying to make, basically. The twin jewels in the DC crown are going at each other in Zack Snyder's epic superhero square-off, available now on Sky Cinema, and they're so busy beating each other up they probably missed these amazing Easter eggs stashed away in their own movie...
The Watchmen references
Zack Snyder is still mad for Watchmen. After bringing Alan Moore's seminal graphic novel to the big screen in 2009, the director is still slipping references to Watchmen into his other work. Batman v Superman is full of nods. There's the cast for one: Bruce's father is played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan (who played The Comedian), while the US President is played by Patrick Wilson aka Nite Owl II. An advertisement hoarding in Gotham is spray-painted with Rorschach's favourite nihilistic slogan: “The end is near”. And then there's the news article briefly flashed on screen that contains the line: “If the Gotham City Police Department endorses masked vigilantes as our city's watchmen, then who watches the watchmen?”
Historically in the classic era comics, Jimmy Olsen has been Clark Kent's spotty little Daily Planet colleague so you might think that such a wet blanket of a character has no place in Zack Snyder's ultra-gritty/miserable superhero universe. Well, you'd be right. And wrong. Because Jimmy Olsen IS indeed in Batman v Superman. At least, he was. Spoiler That photographer who travels to interview the African warlord with Lois, the one who reveals himself as a CIA agent and promptly gets shot? That was Jimmy Olsen – the credits reveal the cameo, and the Ultimate Edition even names him in the extended scene. RIP Zack Snyder's Jimmy Olsen, we hardly knew ye.
If you've already seen Batman v Superman, you'll remember the very weird dream sequence – or 'Knightmare' as it's become known. Turns out that wasn't just thrown together the morning after one of Zack Snyder's cheese nightmares: it's actually teasing the villain for 2017's Justice League movie. That large symbol on the ground? That's the Omega symbol, the calling card for intergalactic space nasty Darkseid; those winged parademons that fly around picking up the troops in the sequence are Darkseid's minions. All signs point to Darkseid choosing Earth as his next battleground.
It was a TV spot for Turkish Airlines of all places that surfaced this particular Easter egg: a neat little company namedrop that ties into the wider Batman mythology. One shot of Gotham's skyline at night proudly displays a neon sign bearing the words 'ACE CHEMICALS'. It was they who housed the vat of toxic goo that birthed The Joker, and it's been part of the comic’s lore since 1951. Ace Chemicals would also go on to appear in Suicide Squad so this qualifies as a nice little bit of foreshadowing of the Clown Prince of Darkness's appearance.
The biggest Bat-fan ever
The character of Senator Purrington in Batman v Superman is interesting, and not just because he sounds like a very snooty cat. He's played by Vermont State Senator Patrick Leahy, who is almost certainly the biggest Batman fan in the United States Senate. Leahy is a huge Batman nerd and over the years has built up an impressive roster of cameos in several Batman movies, including Batman Forever, Batman & Robin (in which he played himself), two of the three Christopher Nolan movies (he shares dialogue with Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight) and even lent his voice to the animated series. Don't worry about this liberal elite going all Hollywood: Leahy donates all his film fees to the library that first got him into comics as a child.
Find out more about Virgin TV here