‘Batman v Superman’ Original Huge Run Time Revealed

By April 18, 2016
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One of the biggest complaints that fans and critics had with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, was that the film’s editing and overlong run time ended up giving the movie a nonsensical plot, with subplots cut and an overabundance of plot threads hanging left dangling loosely. In general, it seemed like the film’s editing took an already overly-ambitious plot and jumbled story and just mixed it up even more.

There’s been hope from some fans that the upcoming, longer ultimate rated “R” cut of the movie may help heal some of the film’s bigger issues (though I don’t know what could really fix that Martha moment), but it turns out, the original run time of the movie was even longer than the ultimate cut will be.

Speaking with Pro Video Coalition recently, the film’s editor, David Brenner, spoke in depth about the editing process behind the film, and how much they had to leave on the cutting room floor:

“As always there was too much originally shot, so there were a lot of choices to make to get the film to play. Sometimes things don’t work out as well as they might have on the page. Sometimes they didn’t on the page either! So no matter what the budget or scale, as the editor, you’re just trying to get the story and characters to work.”

Brenner also revealed that like he did on Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder decided that he would address some of Batman v Superman‘s script problems in the film’s editing process, rather than I don’t know, making sure the script was solid before they made the movie:

“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.”

What’s that line from Star Wars about getting cocky?….

The film’s editor also revealed that there were even more subplots in the original version of the film than the version in theatres right now, which honestly, didn’t seem possible or plausible:

“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 with the fat was cut out.”

I mean this with the utmost respect, but can you honestly imagine sitting through a 4-hour long version of Batman v Superman? It’d be hard to get me to sit through a four-hour long movie in general, let alone one with as many fundamental editing and script issues as Batman v Superman, which felt like watching a dear friend ignore the fact that they were bleeding for two hours until they just collapsed in the last ten minutes.

It turns out that critics weren’t the only ones mystified and confused by some of the film’s editorial issues either, as Lex Luthor himself, Jesse Eisenberg, revealed while recently talking to MTV about the film’s poor reviews:

“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.”

Listen, whether you loved the movie, or you hated it, it’s interesting to hear Eisenberg say that in the interview because it seems like Snyder and co. made a lot of editorial decisions in post-production that cast members weren’t aware of until they saw the movie. Even thinking about Eisenberg’s comments surrounding the scene where Lex gets his head shaved in the film, with the actor calling it one of the most challenging scenes he’s ever been a part of leading up to the movie’s release… and then it ended up being a 30 second shot of his head being shaved in the theatrical cut, if that.

In his defense though, it was shown in glorious IMAX at least.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is in theatres everywhere right now.

Make sure to keep checking back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.

Alex Welch

Alex Welch

Alex dreams of meeting a girl with a yellow umbrella, and spends too much time* staring at a movie screen. His vocabulary consists mostly of movie quotes and 80s song lyrics. *Debatable