Despite its underwhelming theatrical run, which divided critics and fans, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice still managed to properly set up the expanding DC Extended Universe. The backlash from its middling opening, however, prompted director Zack Snyder, the film's stars, and crew to tout the director’s cut as the definitive vision of the superhero smashup. And it didn't take long for fans eager to see the director's cut to start a petition to bring the longer, R-rated cut into cinemas.
It looks as though DC devotees will get their wish: in addition to a new, high-powered Blu-ray release, the Batman V Superman director's cut will also screen in select theaters.
Rumors became fact today as Comic Book announced a limited release of the Batman V Superman Ultimate Edition. The showing will take place on June 27 (roughly a week after the Blu-ray drops) in a dozen cities around the U.S., including Austin, Texas, Chicago, Hollywood, and New York (find a screening near you and purchases tickets here.). Warner Bros. wrote on DC All-Access:
“As a thank you to all of the fans, Zack [Snyder] and the filmmakers would like to invite you to a special theatrical screening of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition. This one night only experience will be on Monday, June 27th in select cities. Reserve your seats now as space is limited.”
In addition, Warner Bros. announced that Batman V Superman will be the first major studio release to utilize the 4K Blu-ray disc. BvS cinematographer Larry Fong took to Twitter to laud the announcement (via Inside CI). The 100 gig, triple-layered format will allow the 2-disc set to pack in the standard theatrical cut of the film, as well as over two hours of bonuses. Among the highlights is a featurette about the upcoming Justice League films, a look at the making of Batman V Superman, and behind-the-scenes looks at Wonder Woman, and Batman. Included in the extras:
Uniting the World's Finest, Gods and Men: A Meeting of Giants, The Warrior, The Myth, The Wonder, Accelerating Design: The New Batmobile, Superman: Complexity & Truth, Batman: Austerity & Rage, Wonder Woman: Grace & Power, Batcave: Legacy of the Lair, The Might and the Power of a Punch, The Empire of Luthor and Save the Bats.
Enthusiasts and skeptics alike have hotly debated the merits of the Batman V Superman full-length directors cut. Fans are clearly hoping, as Jesse Eisenberg and Snyder insisted, that the Ultimate Edition will clear up character backstory, expand upon the sometimes-hazy subplots, and return deleted scenes to the film which caused a good deal of confusion for theater-goers. It's entirely possible the longer cut will, like other director's cuts, allow the Snyder's full vision to sprawl before the audience without the interference of censors, marketing departments, and studio heads.
On the other hand, sometimes extended cuts merely pad out films or give self-important auteurs a chance to stuff their movies with pretentious smoke and mirrors. Whether or not the special edition of Batman V Superman vindicates Snyder or gives further merit to his critics remains to be seen. Fortunately, fans and detractors alike will get their chance to judge for themselves, in a theatrical setting no-less, very soon.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice hits the big screen on June 27 (for one day only), streams online on June 28, and comes to Blu-ray and DVD on July 19.
Suicide Squad will arrive on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017; Justice League on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020.