When Batman v Superman hits theaters on March 25, it will finally, thankfully, mark the beginning of a DC Comics movie "universe," where the storied comic books brand's characters will mix and mingle like they have in print form for decades, but have never done on screen. You could speculate that the move is based on what Marvel has already been doing for years with massive box office success, but nobody at DC or Warner Bros. is going to admit to playing catch-up.

Instead, during a huge Batman v Superman press conference this week, director Zack Snyder said that there was really no intention to create a DC movie universe until Batman v Superman kind of forced the issue. Once you have the brand's two best known characters in a movie together, it's kind of hard to ignore that there's a larger sandbox to play in. Via io9:

"The thing that's interesting about the process with this movie is once we committed to the idea of having Batman fight Superman it was only then that we were like, 'Okay, that implies that a universe exists,'" Snyder told a group of reporters.

"[Also] I was obsessed with the Trinity. I really wanted to see the Trinity, that being Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, in a single moment," Snyder added. "That was a thing I was really interested in trying to get into this movie. And those conversations are really what lead to this 'Dawn of Justice' subheading for the film. That we could now have conversations about the fact that the Justice League and or the DC Universe now could evolve from this."

But while that Dawn of Justice tagline implies a Justice League creation story, Snyder's wife and producing partner Deborah Snyder said that Batman v Superman only takes the tiniest dip into that pool, although nobody will really know until the release since they obviously want to keep some aspects a surprise. Via Slashfilm:

...it was a careful balance about telling this Batman and Superman story and giving a little hint and tease to the story of Justice League thats yet to come," she said.

For his part, Batman himself, Ben Affleck, said at the press conference that Gal Gadot's appearance as Wonder Woman is his favorite part of Batman v Superman. And since there are something like nine DC movies planned right now, including two Suicide Squad films, two Justice League films, plus Flash and Aquaman movies, the conversation at the press conference turned to Affleck possibly directing a DC superhero movie.

"I learned a lot from Zack on this movie," Affleck said. "One of the really valuable things about it for me was watching a guy who really understands how to make films on this level, with cutting edge technology, combining in camera stuff with visual effects and and all the tools at a director's disposal." Affleck added that he'd always wondered about directing movies like this, so it was great to see one up close. "So I felt like, if that day did come, that I definitely picked up a lot of valuable information and tricks."