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‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ Editor Reveals Film Originally Ran 4 Hours Long

'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Editor Reveals Film Originally Ran 4 Hours Long

While “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” is still playing in theaters, the picture is fading fast. But there is still much more to come. This summer, the studio will release the R-rated “ultimate cut” in July on home video, with rumors that it will make a theatrical bow as well. That version of Zack Snyder‘s superhero epic will run a staggering 3 hours long, but it seems there’s a whole heap more footage that has been left on the cutting room floor.

READ MORE: Review: Zack Snyder’s ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Jesse Eisenberg, Amy Adams & More

Chatting with Pro Video Coalition, ‘BvS’ cutter David Brenner revealed that the original cut of the movie ran four hours long, and while this is usually the point where we’d warn it was probably an assembly version, the editor clarifies that it was actually lots of extra subplots and other material that was featured in those extra scenes. Here’s an excerpt of what he had to say:

In the script there were more story lines than you see in the movie today. That was probably our biggest editorial issue in trying to get the cut down to a reasonable length. For us, the trickiest section was the beginning of the film, until the point where Bruce Wayne tells Alfred the truth about what is on the “White Portugese” [sic] ship… the truth about his plan. This moment set into motion everything until the end of the film really.   Until that point the movie was always tracking many solo paths, some intersecting, some not. Finally in this scene, the paths fork into one road.

READ MORE: ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ Will Likely Earn Less Profit Than ‘Man Of Steel’

In the script there are more subplots than you see in the movie right now. Also in terms of building this beginning we had to move things around. In the script, Lex was introduced much later, but we found that in watching the movie — because he’s such an important player, it was best to set him up sooner. Plus, his presence has so much energy, a twisted comic energy that boosted the film. Generally, BvS was a unique challenge in that we had not one but two protagonists, each with an alter-ego. So there was Clark Kent, Superman, Bruce Wayne and Batman. And then surrounding them are Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, Wallace Keefe (the guy who loses his legs when Wayne Tower falls), Perry White, Martha Kent, Holly Hunter’s character (Senator Finch), and still more characters orbiting them.
It was a lot to juggle. So the plot lines of a couple characters had to go. These people are currently in the movie but we don’t track them, and it’s okay. What’s kind of fun is that we went back and did an extended cut where we put a lot of this stuff back, and we refined it into the same rhythm as the theatrical release.  So what was once a nearly four hour cut with absolutely everything was ridiculous — ended up being about a three hour cut, once all these added storylines were refined and the fat cut out.

So, it sounds like all the stuff that still had some substance will be back in that three-hour cut, but one wonders what else has been left out. Maybe more of Bruce Wayne looking at Justice League clips? However, Brenner also makes this interesting observation: “Zack knew that on ‘Man of Steel‘ we addressed a lot of script questions in the film editing. So he was confident we could do it again.” I’m not sure that method has quite worked out…

Meanwhile, Jesse Eisenberg was asked about the mixed reception to ‘BvS’ and part of his response about playing Lex Luthor is interesting in contrast with Brenner’s comments. “It’s a very complicated mythology that I was able to wrap my head around while we were filming, but I think there were certain editorial choices that I was not aware of that they put in retroactively,” the actor said. Watch below. [via Collider]

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