Batman V Superman Was Originally Way Longer, Because Zack Snyder

Even before Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hit theaters, we knew that an extended cut was planned for the home video release. The biggest news at the time was that the longer version would be rated R, as some of what was cut out was violence. We also knew that at least one character (played by Jena Malone) had her story removed entirely. However, it now appears there are many subplots missing, as the editor of the film says the original cut of the film that had everything in it was nearly four hours long.

David Brenner was the man with the unenviable task of trying to edit Zack Snyder's movie down to a reasonable length. Pro Video Coalition conducted an interview with the accomplished professional editor who spoke about the difficulty of the job of editing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Between the two heroes, their alter-egos, the villain, the second villain, Lois Lane, Holly Hunter’s senator, Alfred, Wonder Woman and all the other supporting players, the film is just full of characters. Brenner says that a lot of character development and smaller story arcs had to be trimmed down, even to make a reasonable length for the extended edition.

What’s kind of fun is that we went back and did an extended cut where we put a lot of this [character] 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 with the fat was cut out.

If the version of the film that contained "everything" was four hours long, it’s nearly amazing that David Brenner was able to make the movie three hours in length, nevermind the two and half hour version we saw in theaters. Brenner had apparently had some experience doing this type of heavy lifting for Zack Snyder. He was also the editor in charge of Man of Steel, which Brenner says was three and a half hours long before Brenner got it down to its theatrical two-and-a-half hour runtime.

Even the two-and-a-half hour theatrical release struck many as a little long, though with everything that Zack Snyder was trying to accomplish in the film, it was likely deemed impossible to do anything else. The film has to set up the conflict between Batman and Superman, while also introducing Batman and Lex Luthor as characters. Then you throw into the mix Wonder Woman, and most of the rest of the forthcoming Justice League characters, and there’s just a lot of work to be done there. Even with the movies length it feels like things are missing, which is likely why the three-hour extended edition was planned.  

How much are you looking forward to the extended edition DVD? Let us know in the comments.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.