Last week, Warner Bros. released Batman V Superman: Ultimate Edition, an extended R-rated version of the 2016 superhero movie. Surprisingly, the Ultimate Edition is a much better version of the film, with a bunch of extra scenes that help make sense of the conflict (and its true source) at the heart of the film. So what all was added to Batman V Superman? Here's a few of the movie's biggest additions:
Lex Luthor Pulls the Strings
One of the biggest complaints about the theatrical of Batman V Superman was that the confrontation between the superheroes was driven as much by coincidence as it was by the meddling of Lex Luthor. Luthor came off as an opportunist in the original cut, pushing the public's growing mistrust of Superman. However, the Ultimate Cut makes clear that Lex was pulling the strings all along. Some of the added scenes include:
- Antoli Knyazev burning the Nairomi rebels' bodies, in order to make it seem like Superman heat visioned them to death.
- Clark's investigation of Batman begins when he heads to Gotham to interview Kahina Ziri, an alleged survivor from the Nairomi incident who condemns Superman on national television. When he arrives, a homeless man warns him to stay off the streets at night, as the Batman is on the prowl.
- Clark Kent goes to Lex Luthor's charity event on Perry White's orders, having been told that a donor explicitly requested Kent's presence. This sets up the initial meeting between Kent and Bruce Wayne, which we now know was a part of Luthor's plans.
- Lex arranges the murder of Cesar Santos, the criminal Batman caught and branded earlier in the film. This pushes Clark to think that Batman really is acting as judge, jury and executioner.
- Later, Ziri reveals to Senator Finch that Lex Luthor forced her to lie about the Nairomi incident. The homeless man that sent Clark down the Batman rabbit hole? He was also paid off by Lex Luthor. Knyazev murders Ziri to tie up one more loose end, minutes before Lex blows up the Capitol building.
- Lois's investigation reveals that Lex funded the Nairomi civil war, presumably to attract LoisLane's interest and draw her into the conflict. And while Bruce Wayne receives letters from the alleged US Capitol bomber warning him of his actions, Lois heads to the bomber's office and finds a refrigerator full of food...hardly the actions of an actual bomber.
- Lane also learns from a helpful scientist (more on her later) that Lex designed the bomb so that Superman couldn't see it, meaning that he wouldn't have known to stop the explosion. Luthor did this to make it look like Superman could have stopped the bomb, but didn't, in order to push public opinion even further against Superman.
A lot of these plot point are at least implied in the theatrical cut, but the Ultimate Cut makes it clear that Lex Luthor was behind EVERYTHING in the movie.prevnext
Since this is an R-rated cut of Batman V Superman, the Ultimate Cut is a bit sexier than the original version. Bruce Wayne gets a shower scene so he can sadly scrub his bat-muscles for the audience's amusement, while Clark and Lois's scene in the bathtub is a little more...steamier. By paring down the Clark/Lois scene, Snyder actually cuts out TWO separate shots of a shirtless Clark. Considering Henry Cavill's pecs and abs were one of the highlights of Man of Steel, it seems a travesty they weren't more of a feature in Batman V Superman....prevnext
Lex Has Daddy Issues
The Ultimate Cut has a couple of scenes that add some layers to Lex Luthor and provide some contrast between the villain and Batman and Superman. In the first scene, Luthor explains the history of the LexCorp name. Luthor's father named it after himself, but publicly claimed he named LexCorp for his son to help bring in investors. It's clear that Luthor holds a lot of resentment towards his father, but later in the film he takes Senator Finch to his father's study, which hasn't been touched since the elder Luthor "left". Like Superman and Batman, who both lost their fathers as well, Luthor's actions in Batman V Superman seemed influenced by his complicated relationship with his parents.prevnext
Jena Malone's Role Revealed
In the buildup to Batman V Superman's release, one source of major speculation was what role Jena Malone was playing. The popular rumor was that Malone was playing Barbara Gordon, but the Ultimate Cut revealed she had a much more...mundane role. Malone plays a lab tech named Jenet Klyburn, who helps Lane investigate the mystery bullet she found in Nairomi. Klyburn discovers the bullet is made from a mystery metal and later calls Lois to tell her the Capitol bomber's wheelchair was made of the same metal, and also lined with lead to prevent Superman from stopping it.prevnext
Jon Stewart Has a Cameo
It's not the John Stewart people were hoping for in Batman V Superman, but the former Daily Show host has a cameo in the Ultimate Cut. Stewart, playing himself, gives a short monologue on television questioning whether Superman wants to be seen solely as an "American" superhero. Stewart's monologue mirrors comments made by Snyder following Man of Steel and mimic some of the controversy from a few years back when Superman renounced his American citizenship. The serving staff at Luthor's party is shown watching Stewart's show, which adds a level of irony as Luthor is the one driving the wedge between the public and the Man of Steel.prevnext
Martha Gets Some Time to Shine
Ultimately, Batman V Superman comes down to two ladies named Martha and both get a few moments to shine in the Ultimate Edition. Martha Wayne gets a few extra seconds in the opening moments of the movie, as Joe Chill levels a gun in her face. Presumably the scene was cut to keep the movie at a PG-13 rating. Martha Kent's scene is a little less dramatic. After seeing a news report criticizing Superman, Clark calls his mother on the phone. Clark asks why his father Jonathan never left Kansas, to which Martha replies that he was more interested in building a home than seeing the world. It's a nice juxtaposition for later in the movie, when Clark talks to Jonathan's on top of a mountain.
Later in the movie, Martha gets another moment of characterization when she waves goodbye to Batman as he flies away in the Batwing after rescuing her.prevnext
Superman Saves People
One of the biggest criticisms of Man of Steel was that Superman didn't do more to save people. Although Batman V Superman went out its way to show Superman's heroic side, the theatrical cut still showed him moping in the wreckage of the US Capitol after Luthor blew it up. However, the Ultimate Cut shows Superman pulling the injured out of the wreckage before flying away from the scene. Lois watches as he flies away, although other media members question why Superman fled so quickly.prevnext
It's More Violent
Batman's fight against Lex's goons is a bit more violent in the Ultimate Cut, with a few extra additions. One scene in particular shows Batman getting some extra retribution against a goon that stabbed him. After pinning his opponent to the wall with his knife, Batman approaches him and...well, the camera cuts away, but we hear a sickening thud and a scream afterwards.prevnext
The ending of the film remains mostly unchanged, with Superman dying to stop Doomsday from destroying Metropolis. However, a few familiar faces from Man of Steel appear at the Kent farm to pay respect at Clark's funeral. Pete Ross makes a cameo appearance, and Father Leone (the priest who Superman sought out for advice in Man of Steel) leads the funeral proceedings.
The Ultimate Edition also reveals Lex Luthor's final fate, with an extended scene between Batman and Lex Luthor. When Batman shows up to brand Luthor, Luthor gloats about escaping trial by using an insanity defense. Luthor also reveals he knows Batman's secret identity. However, Batman gets the last laugh by telling Luthor he's being transferred to Arkham Asylum in Gotham, which will allow Batman to keep a closer eye on the "insane" billionaire.prev