Learn All About The R-Rated 'Ultimate Cut' Of BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE
A few weeks back when details of an R-rated 'Ultimate Cut' of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice first surfaced, it was widely assumed that the success of 20th Century Fox's smash hit Deadpool played a part in Warner Bros. decision-making process and well, as it turns out, it did, but it mostly served as reassurance moreso than anything else. According to Entertainment Weekly, even though the R-rated extended cut of Batman v Superman was in the works for quite some time before Deadpool hit theaters, it wasn't until the impressive box office returns for the Ryan Reynolds-starrer came in that Warner Bros. executives felt convinced that a more intense adult-oriented home video release was a risk worth taking.
The internet erupted with the news of an R-rated Batman v Superman cut, and now Zack Snyder & Ben Affleck have shared all the details, including Justice League set-ups, Jena Malone's mystery role, & more!
As part of their ongoing Batman v Superman feature, Entertainment Weekly recently sat down with director Zack Snyder (Justice League) and star Ben Affleck (Live By Night) to discuss the somewhat controversial decision to release an R-rated cut of a film that features characters initially created and intended for a much younger demographic. Affleck, speaking from a perspective that many comic book movie fans can relate to, provided his take on the merits of a Theatrical Cut and an Ultimate Edition: "I’m a parent of young kids, and I feel like I wouldn’t want to have a Batman v Superman that I couldn’t show to my younger kids, But on the same token, as an adult, I like to see movies that are R-rated. I think nowadays because we have so many means of distribution and ways that we can do different things, it’s the creative solution to a creative challenge.” He emphasized that the PG-13 Theatrical Cut will always be available as a worthy alternative for younger fans and further elaborated: "You can have multiple versions and I can show my son and my daughters this movie and feel confident that the stuff isn’t too crazy, and then grownups can see larger version, [which is like] the red-band trailer. They can see the more adult version of that movie."
During the conversation, Snyder revealed that he took a few cues from Peter Jackson's extended versions of The Lord of The Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy when making his decision for a Director's Cut and ultimately felt like the Blu-ray & digital HD release of Batman v Superman would be enhanced with some similar bonus content. “We were just like, ‘Okay, look. We’re not making a three-hour movie. I mean, even I didn’t want to make a three-hour movie, I drove the cuts probably harder than anyone. The studio, they were willing to let the movie indulge pretty hard. But I felt like it’s at a manageable two-and-a-half hours. Let’s also not forget the credits are super long, the end credits. So the movie’s closer to two hours and 22 minutes.” He doesn't say how long the Ultimate Cut will be, but based on those comments, it's probably safe to say it'll run short of three hours, although his Ultimate Cut for Watchmen did run three hours and 35 minutes, so who knows?
As for what's in the Ultimate Cut, well, there's quite a lot, so let's delve right in.
First and foremost, following yesterday's news of Jena Malone (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2) being cut from the the theatrical version of the film, Snyder reveals that she will appear in the Ultimate Cut and that her identity will remain a mystery until then, although he does rule out two of the most popular choices: “I think we should keep it private, but it’s nothing that’s been talked about, She’s definitely not Robin or Batgirl. I’m happy to say that.” So, she's not Carrie Kelley or Barbara Gordon... so who could she be? And/or here's an interesting take, could she be playing someone more villainous in nature? Only time will tell.
Snyder teases that a lot of what is being added to the film is quite spoilerly, so he doesn't reveal too much, but he does add that a lot of the more minor characters will receive bigger storylines and a few actors, in addition to Malone, will be rescued from the cutting room floor: “There’s a couple, like, Ahman Green, the running back from the Green Bay Packers, he’s in it. And C.T. Fletcher is like this bodybuilder muscle-guru from Compton, this awesome guy. He’s amazing, and he’s in it, And then there’s just a lot of these Easter Eggs in the Director’s Cut that I think are gonna be fun for everyone.”
Speaking of Easter Eggs, Snyder teases the addition of several that will tease the Justice League movie, which kicks off production in a few weeks, as well as future DC Extended Universe adventures. He also teased one giant addition in particular that will knock the socks off fans: “There’s one giant one that I won’t tell you about yet that speaks to what’s gonna go on in the greater Justice League universe.” Well, that's intriguing to say the least.
As for what earned the Ultimate Edition its R rating, producer Charles Roven (The Dark Knight Trilogy) explains: “There’s not a lot of blood in our movies, The ratings board also judges their PG-13 and R ratings by what they consider to be a level of intensity and how much that intensity goes throughout the entire movie. There are some pretty intense scenes in Batman v Superman, and if they went on longer and had that same level of intensity, that might cause the ratings board to shift their rating.” So, in layman's terms, it sounds like the Ultimate Edition won't be just a cut that adds gratuitous violence and blood, it seems to be striving for something a bit more. It's essentially being described as a more intense affair with longer, more intimate, takes of current scenes, in addition to new material, which in turn may turn the Director's cut into a potentially more powerful version of the theatrical cut.
In case you were wondering, what does an R-rated Ultimate Cut of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice mean for David Ayer's Suicide Squad, a film many hoped would be rated R? Well, as you probably knew by now, there are no plans for an R-rating in theaters, and it sounds like it's still too early to discuss its likely winter 2016 home video release. “I think right now we’re going for the PG-13. I don’t know that that’s going to materially change, We can give that movie the edge that it needs and still maintain a PG-13.”
Finally, while there is still no confirmation on whether Affleck will direct-and-star in his own solo Batman adventure, it once again sounds like he's very much open to the idea and with the now-yearly evolution of the comic book movie genre, as well as the genre evolving into more adult-oriented storytelling, he seems even more excited than ever before: “These movies have definitely evolved from being comic books for children aimed at kids. Now they’re the most mainstream movies made, the most successful, the most widely viewed movies these days,” he says. “Clearly there’s a big enough audience. I think it’s cool. Why not have an R-rated version that you release for download or on DVD later? I think that’s smart.”
So, what do you guys think? Sound off with your thoughts below!
Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City's own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis's most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it's ever known before.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice will feature:
Director: Zack Snyder
Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman
Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman
Amy Adams as Lois Lane
Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor
Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman
Diane Lane as Martha Kent
Laurence Fishburne as Perry White
Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth
Holly Hunter as Senator Finch
Tao Okamoto as Mercy Graves
Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman
Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash
Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg
Harry Lennix as General Swanwick
Christina Wren as Major Carrie Farris
Michael Shannon as General Zod
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Thomas Wayne
Lauren Cohan as Martha Wayne
Robin Atkin Downes as Doomsday
Carla Gugino in a voiceover role
Scoot McNairy in an unspecified role
Callan Mulvey in an unspecified role
Jena Malone in an unspecified role
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters March 25
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