Warning: This post contains spoilers for Suicide Squad.
Audiences who bolt from theaters as soon as the final frame of Suicide Squad blinks by shouldn’t be faulted for not sticking around. After all, those who sat through the entire end credits after Batman v Superman found that unlike most Marvel movies, the DC Comics superhero mashup did not indulge in a post-credits scene. But Warner Bros.’ latest outing does end with a bit of a tease, even if it’s teasing a future story that’s already been pretty well teased.
Some backstory: Marvel has a history of teasing future films and introducing new characters in post-credits scenes that reward moviegoers for keeping their seats warm for a few minutes longer. The DC Extended Universe, while much younger than Marvel’s, does not share this rich history.
For whatever reason—possibly an attempt to prove the DC Extended Universe really is fun!—it was decided that Suicide Squad would have a post-credits, or really mid-credits, scene. Sitting alone in a white tablecloth restaurant, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) confides in Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) that she fears the consequences of word getting out about her idea to form the Suicide Squad, which led to the devastation of much of Midway City. Wayne agrees to protect her if she delivers what he needs. She hands him a binder containing all the juicy tidbits on metahumans like Wonder Woman, the Flash and Aquaman.
Waller suggests that a tired-looking Wayne stop working nights, a sly reference to his after-hours shifts as Batman. Then, after debating the relative merits of using the information for leverage (Waller’s go-to strategy) and using it to forge new friendships (Wayne’s tongue-in-cheek reason for needing it), Wayne tells Waller to “Shut it down,” adding, “My friends and I will do it for you.”
His friends and him, of course, are the Justice League, the superhero supergroup to be featured in a forthcoming movie in DC’s Extended Universe—due in November 2017—as well as stand-alone movies about Wonder Woman (2017), the Flash (2018) and Aquaman (2018). And although it’s logical that Suicide Squad would tease these next chapters in the DC storybook, it’s slightly strange, if only because they have already been arguably sufficiently teased.
In Batman v Superman, Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince steal files from Lex Luthor’s computer which reveal an early-1900s photograph of Prince’s alter ego Wonder Woman, video footage of the Flash and a glimpse of Aquaman. That movie ends with Wayne saying to Prince, “help me find the others like you,” an obvious reference to the work that lies ahead in Justice League.
So if we are to believe that the events of Suicide Squad happen chronologically after the events of Batman v Superman—which they must, since Suicide Squad makes it clear that Superman is (supposedly) dead—it’s not clear why Wayne would need to get this information from Waller. He should already have it. The tease feels even more redundant because just a few weeks prior to Suicide Squad‘s release, at Comic-Con in July, Warner Bros. presented the first trailer for Justice League. It’s possible that the footage was originally intended to be released later—the movie is, after all, more than a year from hitting theaters—but whatever the reason, the timing all feels rather jumbled.
All this begs a question: if a tease coyly hints at something about which we already know a great deal, is it really a tease? Which is to say, if you’ve got an important post-movies appointment (say, with a bed or a pint of ice cream), have no qualms about skipping out straight away—or, as TIME’s critic Stephanie Zacharek suggests, perhaps earlier.
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