Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a divisive movie. Critics gave the first live-action Batman and Superman crossover mixed to negative reviews. After a record-breaking opening weekend, the film’s box office saw a significant drop-off and never returned to the heights expected of it. Still, the film has a dedicated following as part of director Zack Snyder’s original vision for the DC Extended Universe. The film’s home media release included an Ultimate Edition of the movie featuring an extended cut of the film. While opinions about the film remain mixed, the broad consensus is that the extended cut is the superior version.
ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California is hosting The Director’s Cuts, an event focusing on Snyder's work. The event screened the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition. Snyder attended and took questions after the screening. One of the first was about the genesis of the Ultimate Edition. Snyder revealed that the extended cut of the film existed before the theatrical cut.
“This cut existed before the movie, and then they were like ‘Make it shorter,’ Snyder said. “So what we were trying to accomplish was this [the Ultimate Edition].”
It is worth noting that this kind of thing isn’t unusual for big budget Hollywood films. Directors rarely have final cut approval. The director submits their cut of the film to producers and the studio for notes and tweaks. Director's cut releases usually come when the final cut makes major alterations to the director's vision. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is one example where that was the case.
Snyder’s follow-up to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, is another example. Warner Bros. replaced Snyder with Avengers director Joss Whedon during reshoots for Justice League. Since the film’s release, Snyder fans have called for the studio to "release the Sndyer Cut." They hope that Warner Bros. will release a cut of Justice League more in line with Snyder’s original vision, something like the Ultimate Edition of Batman v Superman. Whether there’s enough raw material to make such a release workable remains a subject of some debate.
What did you think of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition? Let us know in the comments.
Upcoming DC Extended Universe movies include Shazam! on April 5th, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on 25, 2021, and The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021.
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