At this point, Warner Bros. Pictures appears to be in damage-control mode with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, looking beyond the film’s theatrical run and already beginning the promotional cycle for the film’s home-entertainment release with an R-rated “Ultimate Cut” featuring 30 additional minutes of footage.
The studio has already made the surprising — and somewhat unprecedented — decision to release one of the deleted scenes that will appear on the upcoming Blu-ray, something that’s generally unheard of at this early stage of the film’s theatrical release (it’s been just three days since the movie premiered). The scene unfolds inside the Kryptonian ship seen in the movie, and features a mysterious, gigantic creature and a brief shot of Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor immersed in the ship’s regenerative pool.
While a recent report indicating that studio has set a release date for the Blu-ray was quickly debunked by the studio, the film is already available to pre-order on Amazon and director Zack Snyder has begun promoting the R-rated cut during interviews related to Batman v Superman.
“We call it the ‘Ultimate Cut’ because to me it’s a deeper dive into that world and there are storylines in there that get fleshed out by the longer version,” Snyder told Collider. “I would say that we didn’t really take out much of the Superman/Batman story because I felt like, you know that’s kind of the movie, but there was some sort of interstitial stuff that surrounds the story, that kind of finishes some of the ideas that we trimmed back, and I think that’s what you get.”
It’s uncertain whether the monster that appears in the deleted scene will be identified in the extra footage from the “Ultimate Cut,” or whether the scene is intended to create more questions than answers, but the studio seems intent on doing whatever it can to send audiences back to the theater or online to purchase the Blu-ray as early as possible in its release cycle. However, anyone who’s seen Batman v Superman will likely recognize the cube-like objects in the creature’s hands, which are similar to the one glimpsed in [Spoiler Alert] the scene from the film featuring Victor Stone, the Justice League hero known as Cyborg.
In discussing the Blu-ray release, Snyder also described some of the specific scenes that will receive extended cuts [more spoilers below].
“There’s a little bit of action, there’s a little bit of violence that we trimmed out for the MPAA that we put back,” he explained. “The Batman warehouse rescue, there’s a couple shots of Doomsday that were too intense. Then there’s a little bit longer ending, sort of the ending sequence, and the opening of the movie, the North Africa sequence is really much different.”
The North Africa sequence Snyder is referring to will likely include the controversial scene that identifies a character executed early on as Jimmy Olsen, Superman’s famous pal. Snyder previously revealed that the character played by Michael Cassidy in the film — a photographer accompanying Lois Lane (Amy Adams) who’s outed as a CIA agent and quickly executed with a bullet to the head — was indeed Jimmy Olsen.
“We just did it as this little aside because we had been tracking where we thought the movies were gonna go, and we don’t have room for Jimmy Olsen in our big pantheon of characters, but we can have fun with him, right?” said Snyder in an interview with EW.com about the scene, which was later removed from the theatrical cut.
The release date for the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice “Ultimate Cut” was previously reported to be July 16, but is now unconfirmed. However, Batman v Superman is in theaters now.