Fans got some pleasantly surprising news a few weeks ago when it was revealed that the theatrical version of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice won’t be the only cut that we see. Warner Bros. is also releasing an R-rated cut of the film on Blu-ray, which director Zack Snyder refers to as his “director’s cut,” and now the filmmaker has revealed exactly how much new footage will be in this home video version. We figured it’d be somewhat substantial given that Jena Malone’s character has been cut from the theatrical version of the film entirely, and speaking with THR, Snyder revealed that his director’s cut includes an extra half-hour of footage:
“[The DVD version] is a half-hour longer, and some of that additional material is some of the stuff we took out for the rating. I was like, ‘Cool, I can put it back in for the director’s cut.’ There was nothing by design. This was the material I just put back in, and then when [the MPAA] looked at it again, they were like, ‘Oh, now the movie’s rated R.’ And, by the way, it’s not a hard R. There’s no nudity. There’s a little bit of violence. It just tips the scale.”
Snyder’s wife and producing partner Deborah Snyder pointed out that some folks figured this R-rated cut was a response to Deadpool’s success, which makes no sense given that this director’s cut was finished long before Deadpool hit theaters. But given that the movie seems quite dark already, folks are curious to see how much edgier the R-rated version is.
Addressing complaints that Batman v Superman looks “too serious,” Snyder pointed to The Dark Knight as an example of how approaching the comic book genre with sincerity can garner incredible results:
“I would go back to the Dark Knight argument and say, ‘Is that a bad thing? What does that mean?; By the way, the most serious movies I’ve made in the past always have irony in them. I just gave it the weight that it deserves as far as the mythological conformation. But it’s still a guy in a red and blue suit fighting a guy in a black suit. I mean, they’re in costumes. The movie is fun, and Batman fights Superman. If you can’t have fun there, then something’s kind of wrong with you.”
Snyder has become the de facto overseer of the entire DC Cinematic Universe at Warner Bros., producing films like Wonder Woman and preparing to direct Justice League – Part One, and Deborah—who’s also a member of the DC Brain Trust—explained Warner Bros.’ philosophy when it comes to making these superhero films:
“Zack and [DC chief creative officer] Geoff Johns have outlined a timeline of where everybody is based off of, where our characters go in Justice League. So there’s a framework. But it’s filmmaker-driven, in that we want to hire directors who still have a point of view and that have latitude because we don’t want all the movies to feel the same. David Ayer has a certain tone and feel to what he brought to Suicide Squad, as does Patty [Jenkins] to Wonder Woman. They have freedom to tell their story in the way that it needs to be told.”
Zack elaborated while possibly throwing some shade at their biggest rival superhero studio:
“Our philosophy, though, is it’s filmmaker-driven. A lot of it comes from the idea of ‘do unto others.’ How would I feel if I was told, ‘Listen, this is your movie, but shoot it like we say’? It’s not fun and cool, and I don’t think you get the best work from everybody. To understand that, there is a bigger storyline, and let’s all support that and not blow up the entire universe because you have an idea that you think is awesome but doesn’t make sense with the bigger thing.”
It’s no secret that Marvel Studios has something of a “house style,” utilizing many of the same cinematographers, production designers, and editors on all of their films, so it feels like Snyder’s maybe not-so-subtly referring to their approach to filmmaking here. In terms of an overall mandate at Warner Bros., Snyder says it’s about quality above all:
“The mandate is that we try and make the best movies we can. If you’re making a Flash movie with Ezra Miller, it’s like millennial Flash. It’s going to be a little lighter than making a World War I epic with this feminist icon like Wonder Woman. The films do live in a united universe. I feel like the danger is — and I think that the studio would acknowledge this — when you start to mimic things like tone. Then, when you go to the movie, you pretty much know the experience you’re going to have.”
Indeed, while we’ve still only seen one DC Cinematic Universe film thus far, the upcoming slate does appear to be switching up the tones, with David Ayer’s Suicide Squad bringing out a much more fun-loving, rambunctious attitude to the table.
But that all changes next week when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is finally unveiled to the public at large on March 25th, and the Snyders’ overall plan for the DC Cinematic Universe will become much more clear. For more on the film, peruse our recent links below.
- ‘Batman v Superman’: Over 40 High-Resolution Images Further Reveal the Superhero Epic
- ‘Batman v Superman’: Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL on the Batman Theme, Collaboration and More
- ‘Batman v Superman’: New International Trailer Features New Footage of the Dark Knight
- ‘Batman v Superman’: Is the LexCorp Viral Site Teasing Brainiac?
- ‘Batman v Superman’: Zack Snyder Considered Putting Christian Bale in the Film