At two hours and thirty-three minutes, you may not be alone in thinking that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice runs too long. If you're on the opposite side of this argument, and want a longer movie, you'll get your wish this summer when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases the Batman V Superman R-Rated Ultimate Cut, which runs nearly three hours. It has now been revealed by the ProVideo Coalition that the original cut of the movie, before any major scenes were trimmed down or removed altogether, was a whopping four hours. So if it felt like something was missing, it probably was.
Leading up to the release of Batman V Superman in theaters this past March, there was much noise made about the addition of Jena Malone to the cast. Especially since director Zack Snyder refused to be forthcoming about who she plays. While it's been widely reported that she actually takes on the role of Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, it didn't really matter. All of her scenes found their way to the cutting room floor. It's believed that her character will be put back into the R-Rated Ultimate Cut, but that hash't been officially confirmed. As it so happens, she's not the only subplot or deleted scene excised from the runtime.
Dawn of Justice editor David Brenner was the man responsible for cutting the DC adventure down to a more reasonable feature film. Quite a bit of violence was nixed to ensure that the movie arrived in theaters with a PG-13 rating. Also cut from the movie is a cameo from Green Bay Packers running back Ahman Green, along with a scene featuring Compton bodybuilder guru C.T. Fletcher. A pretty big Justice League Easter egg was dropped from the movie, but director Zack Snyder hasn't revealed what that is yet. There will be more from the Batman warehouse rescue scene, and more shots of Doomsday that were deemed too intense. Jimmy Olson's scene in North Africa will also be extended. Says David Brenner about the original cut and its run time.
"What's kind of fun is that we went back and did an extended cut where we put a lot of this [character] stuff back, and we refined it into the same rhythm as the theatrical release. So what was once a nearly four hour cut with absolutely everything was ridiculous - ended up being about a three hour cut, once all these added story lines were refined with the fat was cut out."
David Brenner faced a similar task when he edited Man of Steel for director Zack Snyder back in 2012 and 2013. And it's quite amazing that he can get a coherent movie after excising such a big chunk of the narrative. Man of Steel's first cut was three and a half hours long, and was whittled down to a more reasonable two and a half hours. If you loved Batman V Superman, but felt like stuff was definitely missing, it sounds like you should check out the R-rated Ultimate Cut. At this time, it doesn't have a confirmed release date. But the three hour version is rumored for a limited theatrical release before coming home to DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Download.