Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is shaping up to be a pretty busy movie. Not only does it boast a gladiator match between two of DC Comics’ most popular heroes, it will also introduce other members of the Justice League including Wonder Woman and (to a lesser extent) Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg. All this, of course, while also introducing Jesse Eisenberg’s version of Lex Luthor and another mutual enemy for the title characters, Doomsday.
With so much being packed in, it was unclear where exactly actress Jena Malone (who previously starred in Batman V Superman director Zack Snyder’s fantasy action film Sucker Punch) fit into the movie – or even who she would be playing. Rumors and speculation pointed towards Malone playing Barbara Gordon, who has taken on the secret identities of Batgirl and, later, Oracle in the comic books. Now, however, it looks like fans will have to wait for Batman V Superman‘s home release before they can meet Malone’s character.
Entertainment Weekly reports that Malone’s scenes have been cut from the theatrical release of Batman V Superman, but she will appear in the R-rated director’s cut that will be available on the Blu-ray release. This doesn’t, of course, mean that Malone’s scenes are especially R-rated (though it’s a possibility); the more likely explanation is that they were trimmed out in the process of cutting Batman V Superman‘s theatrical version to a weighty 151 minute running time, and keeping the focus on the titular characters and their conflict.
Since Batman V Superman is a comic book movie, the obvious point of comparison here is Rogue’s (Anna Paquin) scenes being cut from 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. Rogue was originally incorporated into the story as part of her own subplot, but writer Simon Kinberg explained that the scenes were cut because they “[did] not service the main story,” and he felt they lowered the stakes of the overall plot. Nonetheless, the “Rogue Cut” of Days of Future Past ended up becoming part of an effective post-release marketing campaign.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s R-rated cut has been the subject of much discussion since its existence was revealed, particularly in the wake of Deadpool proving unequivocally that there’s a market for R-rated superhero movies. It may not be a good thing that so much attention is being brought to the movie’s home release before it has even made it into theaters; while there’s no doubt that Batman V Superman will turn a profit at the box office no matter what, the fact that theater audiences are aware they’re missing out on the “full” version can’t be conducive to pushing ticket sales as high as they can go.
It’s a shame that fans will have to wait a few more months to see Malone’s part in Batman V Superman, but if it makes for a more streamlined story then perhaps the decision to remove those scenes was for the best. And who knows, maybe soon Warner Bros. will be promoting the “Barbara Cut” of Batman V Superman.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25, 2016, which is followed by Suicide Squad on August 5, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps. on June 19, 2020.
Source: Entertainment Weekly