Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had a record breaking opening weekend, despite being critically demolished. (It currently sits at 29%, with an audience score of 73% and falling.) Its $166.1 million North American take puts it at the seventh-highest all-time opening spot, and the highest pre-summer opening ever. As Warner Bros. execs breathe a collective sigh of “oh, thank God Zack Snyder didn’t kill our brand,” they’ve revealed details on the forthcoming R-rated Ultimate Cut.
(Spoiler warning: If you haven’t seen the film, turn back, as these details discuss specific scenes.)
The DVD/Blu-ray packages containing the “director’s cut” will hit stores on July 16th, with pre-orders already available. As expected, the elongated edit will feature some scenes of intense violence, as well as “maybe even some brief nudity,” according to Forbes. It won’t all be more of Snyder’s “go big or go bigger” destruction mentality that will add to the runtime, however, as certain characters will see extended roles, and some excised from the theatrical release entirely will appear. Notably, Jena Malone’s mystery role (heavily rumored to be Barbara Gordon) should return to the film, and (spoiler warning!) Jimmy Olsen will get more screen time before he’s exposed as a CIA operative and removed from the DC Extended Universe cinematic branch entirely.
“We call it the Ultimate Cut because to me it’s a deeper dive into that world and there are storylines in there that get fleshed out by the longer version,” Snyder told Collider. “I would say that we didn’t really take out much of the Superman/Batman story because I felt like, you know that’s kind of the movie, but there was some sort of interstitial stuff that surrounds the story, that kind of finishes some of the ideas that we trimmed back, and I think that’s what you get.”
The director also points to a few specific action scenes that will get stretched for the Ultimate Cut. “The Batman warehouse rescue, there’s a couple shots of Doomsday that were too intense. Then there’s a little bit longer ending, sort of the ending sequence, and the opening of the movie, the North Africa sequence is really much different. It was in there until very recently, so all of it’s finished.” Hopefully this means there will be a bit more clarity about what went so terribly wrong in North Africa that Superman being there for 30 seconds could turn the entire US Congress against him.
One thing it definitely looks like will be clarified is how Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) knows about whatever it is he’s ranting about in his final scene. After a visit from Batman (somehow) in jail, Lex spouts off about how someone has heard “the bell” and is coming to claim Earth. Fans assume he’s talking about Darkseid, and a newly revealed deleted scene supports that theory. Check it out below.
We find Lex in the downed Kryptonian ship, apparently receiving all that information he requested. He’s beset upon by a group of soldiers, who find him taking communion with a giant, horned creature holding three cubes that look just like the one seen in Cyborg’s cameo. A good guess is this creature is Steppenwolf, minion of Darkseid, and that those cubes are Mother Boxes, powerful tools used by the New Gods for teleportation, mind control, and weaponry.
You know what? Trying to explain all that makes me feel like it’s probably for the best that this wasn’t in the movie.
Director’s and Ultimate Cuts may seem like a cash grab for blockbusters of this statue, and while it’s true that BvS needs all the help it can get before it’s considered a success, that’s not always the case. Snyder’s own Watchmen received an Ultimate Cut, and many fans think that’s the best way to watch the film. Even Ben Affleck’s Daredevil got a boost from the Director’s Cut; I mean, it added an entire sub-plot with Coolieo! We’ll see this July if Snyder’s longer, fuller take on this critical flop can redeem itself.