The reaction to news of an R-rated director's cut of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice coming to Blu-ray has divided fans, with some welcoming the move and some lamenting it. The extended cut will bring more than just a revised rating, though; it will also include a wealth of footage that was cut from the theatrical version.
While not much has been known up to this point about what will be included in the additional footage, some clues have started to emerge. For instance, news of actress Jena Malone's scenes being cut from the theatrical version brought with it hope that fans would be able to see those scenes on the Blu-ray. According to new comments from director Zack Snyder, fans will indeed get to see Malone in the director's cut, and a few other characters as well.
A new article in Entertainment Weekly (via Screen Crush) offers some details on the R-rated cut provided by Snyder. For instance, Snyder confirms Malone's scenes in the extended version, and while he does not say which character she plays, he does say which characters she doesn't play: "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."
Snyder went on to list other actors who will be in the director's cut as well, without giving away who will they be playing:
"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."
So just what are those Easter Eggs, and what will they reveal about the future of the DC movie universe? Snyder was tight-lipped about that as well, but did offer that "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." That Easter egg and others may have appeared in the theatrical version, but for the fact that Snyder himself thought the movie was getting overly-long. Typically studios are the ones who decide to cut a movie down to size, but in this case Snyder says the call was his:
"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."
With superhero movies getting longer as the pressure increases to set up future movies, a 2 hour and 22 minute movie is certainly not out of the norm. Three hours would be pushing audience's attention spans a little more, and including the extra footage in a home video release where viewers can pause the movie for an occasional break makes more sense. For those worried that they won't be able to show their kids the Blu-ray release due to the increased violence of the R-rated version, Snyder says that the PG-13 theatrical version will make its way to home video as well. The downside there, of course, is that the Easter eggs and additional characters will still be missing from that cut.
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.