Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice doesn't just have a long title; it is also a fairly long movie, clocking in at 2 hours and 31 minutes of superhero rivalry. Director Zack Snyder has said that he cut a significant amount of footage to keep the film from being 3 hours long, even though the studio was "willing to let the movie indulge pretty hard."
But that hard indulging is only off the cards for the theatrical cut of the movie, with a director's cut of the movie to hit Blu-ray afterward. In addition to bumping the rating up from a PG-13 to an R, the director's cut also restores much of the footage that Snyder previously found to be too indulgent. How much time is all that extra indulgence going to add to the director's cut? Snyder has now answered that question as well.
"The why of that is [the director's cut] 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 has said before that much of what was cut was setup for the movie's follow-up, Justice League. With that being the case, it likely got cut because since it was mostly setup for a future film, excising it from Batman V Superman would not negatively affect that film's storyline by leaving plot holes in it. Those who are most likely to buy the movie on Blu-ray, however, are also more likely to care about how it sets up other films in the DCU, so it makes sense to provide them with that additional footage.
In addition, with consumers buying fewer and fewer movies on physical media, adding that half hour of bonus footage gives Warner Bros. a way to sell the home video version to those who might not otherwise make the purchase, opting instead to wait until it hits a streaming service. Of course, the real test of Batman V Superman's success will be the number of people who turn out to see it in theaters - and based on advance ticket sales, Warner Bros. doesn't have much to worry about in that respect.
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.