Since the announcement of an R-rated home video version of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, fans have speculated as to what kind of content had been cut from the theatrical version of the film to keep it PG-13. Now, director Zack Snyder and producer Charles Roven have given some insight into the differences between the two cuts.
“There’s not a lot of blood in our movies,” Roven told Entertainment Weekly. “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 in Batman 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.”
As for the specific differences, Snyder revealed that Jena Malone's still-unrevealed role, which was excised from the theatrical cut, would be restored, though he was quick to clarify that Malone's character is "not Robin or Batgirl."
He also revealed that the R-rated version would feature other cameos cut from the theatrical version.
“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.”
Snyder also clarified the reasons behind the two versions, saying, “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.”
One of the film's stars, Ben Affleck, also chimed in, saying he approves of the two separate versions of the film.
“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.”
“You can have multiple versions and I can show my son and my daughters this movie and feel confident that the stuff isn’t too crazy, and then grownups can see larger version, [which is like] the red-band trailer. They can see the more adult version of that movie.”
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters March 25, while the R-rated home video version is expected later in the year.