There is no doubt, a lot of talk right now regarding Zack Snyder's follow-up to Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It's a historical movie just by the simply fact of having the two largest superhero icons share the same screen. But also seeing as how this film sets up a larger cinematic universe ala Marvel's Cinematic Universe, there is a lot riding on this film to be good.
There's been a fair share of controversy around the film for sometime due to the fact that it's predecessor, Man of Steel, received a divisive mix of reviews, the casting of Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, the casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, the casting of Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, and many more picking apart trailers calling them too dark, gritty, or giving away too much plot. But nothing has been as controversial about the film's direction than it's recently revealed, R-rated "Ultimate Edition" for home release.
Many are saying that it is simply DC and Warner Bros trying to copy the success of the FOX-produced Marvel hit, Deadpool. While I, and many others tend to disagree, it does seem to be a pretty unfortunate coincidence as far as timing of the announcement is concerned.
But I'm not here to defend the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition's R-rating, I'm actually here to pass on the news that Collider has read from Entertainment Weekly and released to the rest of us, which is a detailed look at the R-rated home release for the film later this year.
Let's take a look at those details, shall we?
The Length of the Film
Charles Roven, the producer at Warner Bros stated that although this movie isn't a four hour movie, they had a version that was pretty darn close to it (this is all paraphrasing of course) and that was a few months ago that that information was given. Well after speaking with EW, Zack Snyder, the director, gave us a little bit more insight into the film's length, his intentions for it's run-time, and just how much he was adamant about cutting from the theatrical release of the film.
“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.”
Jena Malone's Role in the Film
Jena Malone, who is no stranger to Snyder's films, having previously starred in his 2011 film Sucker Punch, has held a certain air of mystery regarding her role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Many have speculated that she'd be playing Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl while others have guessed that her role might in fact be Carrie Kelly, the Robin from Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" story which Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is supposedly taking a lot of cues from. However, despite how good these guesses may be, they're apparently way off and we won't even know who she really is playing until the R-rated Ultimate Edition is released.
“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.”
Cameos and Easter Eggs
Now this should be a given, but with a true extended cut, we can expect to get a hefty amount of additional Easter eggs and cameos. The Ultimate Edition of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will apparently harbor even more hints and allusions to the greater DC Extended Universe.
“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 after picking apart the theatrical version, we can expect to have our hands full after the Ultimate Edition is released. I know I'm anxiously awaiting as we're bound to see a lot of hints about the direction of 2017's Justice League - part 1.
Rated "R" for "sequences of violence"
We know that the Ultimate Edition will contain much more brutal fight scenes but when it was announced that the Ultimate Edition was rated "R" for "sequences of violence", many speculated that it would contain non-stop gruesome killings containing blood (which is stupid to even think) and Charles Roven has finally put it into perspective of just what the MPAA found R-rated about Batman v Superman's "sequences of violence".
“There’s not a lot of blood in our movies. The ratings board also judges their PG-13 and R ratings by what they consider to be a level of intensity and how much that intensity goes throughout the entire movie. There are some pretty intense scenes inBatman v Superman, and if they went on longer and had that same level of intensity, that might cause the ratings board to shift their rating.”
If you look back, there was controversy regarding Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight where parents felt that the film should have been R-rated due to just how intense and dark the film was. It wasn't gory or bloody, it was just "intense" and that could probably be largely credited to Heath Ledger's depiction of the Joker.
On a Suicide Squad-side note, it was asked if, moving forward, Warner Bros and DC were looking to re-arrange the intended ratings for their future slate of films, namely, Suicide Squad to which he responded:
“I think right now we’re going for the PG-13. I don’t know that that’s going to materially change. We can give that movie the edge that it needs and still maintain a PG-13.”
The film is still a generally "all-ages" flick
Ben Affleck, the Batman himself, has stated that as a parent, he's thrilled to have both the PG-13 theatrical release in addition to an R-rated Ultimate Edition coming out on home release.
“I’m a parent of young kids, and I feel like I wouldn’t want to have a Batman v Superman that I couldn’t show to my younger kids. But on the same token, as an adult, I like to see movies that are R-rated. I think nowadays because we have so many means of distribution and ways that we can do different things, it’s the creative solution to a creative challenge.”
I feel like I am one of very few writers on this site that can understand where Affleck is coming from, considering everyone else is seemingly so young. I love being able to share my passions with my kids and I love that they love to watch the films that I watch, but at the same time, it's nice to know there's an unfiltered look into the story of these heroes because as a fan of the comics, I know that those stories can get very intense and very kid-unfriendly at times.
I'm really excited for this movie. I loved Man of Steel and ever since the 2013 San Diego Comic Con, where the idea for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was announced (minus the title at the time), the film has sat firmly and confidently of my most anticipated film. Yes, I anticipated this film more than Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens which was forever at my number two slot. But as a superhero-obsessed individual, specifically DC superheroes, I couldn't be more excited for a film than I am for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice which is just around the corner and I am thrilled that there is going to be even more footage at the end of the year when the Ultimate Edition is released!