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A Batman v Superman Radical Redux Ideas Thread

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DISCLAIMER: I have no video editing skills, and am not working on a specific fanedit. This thread is simply meant to share some editing ideas (which anyone is free to attempt if they so choose), as well as to provide a general discussion space to inspire further brainstorming. (I did not find a general BvS editing thread while searching, so if one already exists and I somehow missed it, I apologize.)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the second most disappointing film I’ve ever seen (the first being The Rise of Skywalker). Despite liking several of its individual elements, for years I’ve written it off as irredeemable.

But I’ve liked most of the rest of the DCEU, I hate wasting the good in bad movies, and being pleasantly surprised by the Snyder Cut of Justice League inspired me to take another look at BvS with fresh eyes, and I hit upon a way to change my single biggest objection to the film: that for its first two hours, Batman’s entire motivation is to murder another hero for no other reason than that he might go bad someday.

In retrospect this seems fairly simple to do, but none of the existing fanedits I’m aware of do it (please correct me if I’m wrong), so I wanted to share it here.

Essentially, I believe it is possible to edit the first half of the film so that, while the destruction in Metropolis left Bruce Wayne deeply wary of Superman’s potential, he actually doesn’t want to kill him, but instead he simply wants to acquire Kryptonite as a contingency if Superman ever goes bad. This would be achieved as follows:

  • First, when he’s debating Alfred, cut out “you want to go to war,” "that son of a bitch brought the war to us two years ago,” and “we have to destroy him.”

  • Second, during that conversation, change “if we believe there’s even a one-percent chance that he is our enemy we have to take it as an absolute certainty” to “if we believe there’s even a one-percent chance he is our enemy…we have to be ready" (“ready” line can be taken from Justice League).

  • Third, cut out the Batmobile chase entirely. It’s unnecessary, but more importantly, the collateral damage Batman leaves in his wake is so over-the-top that it makes him a complete hypocrite. Plus, calmly tagging the truck with a tracker then stealing the Kryptonite from its destination later is better for characterizing Batman as a strategist planning ahead.

Once these changes are in place, the Knightmare sequence/the Flash’s warning from the future – “You were right about him! You were always right about him! Fear him!” – becomes a turning point so real, so harrowing that it radicalizes Bruce. As far as Bruce is concerned, he’s just been shown that the danger isn’t theoretical anymore, that Superman will go bad in the near future, and so he has to be stopped now. (We the audience know that Barry went back too early and that Bruce is therefore misinterpreting the vision, but that only adds to the tragedy.) This can be further sold by sparingly having Barry’s voice echo in certain parts of the vision itself, which would also more clearly suggest that Barry is showing Bruce the future (instead of Bruce having Bat-clairvoyance).

There are tons of other changes I would like to see made to BvS, especially to the dreary, jaded characterization of Superman, “WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME?” and Martha Kent’s awful “you don’t owe this world a thing” advice. But while I may share more ideas later, the above is the one I really wanted to toss out to the community.

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Maybe I should use this as a guide for my own BvS FanFix.

“The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.”
-Sheev Palpatine, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

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How would you handle Doomsday in particular?

“The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.”
-Sheev Palpatine, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

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 (Edited)

Alright, here’s a “radical redux” idea:

Re-contextualize the senate stuff to be about the Black Zero event instead of Africa. Several edits have done this before. But then, move the entire Senate subplot to sooner in the movie, and push everything else back.

Black Zero flashback, the Wallace stuff, all of Lex and the Senator’s interactions, and a heavily edited version of the Africa scene that’s basically just Clark saving Lois on some adventure, all happens before Superman goes to appear before the capitol and the bomb goes off. Oh, and a little bit of Lois investigating her bullet from Africa, like getting a flight to DC from Perry and sending it to the lab.

During the bombing, Superman helps victims and looks sad at Lois, but don’t show him in the fire or fleeing the scene. Edit out any scenes with Mercy in the capitol. Lois tries to console Superman over his failure to see the bomb in an edited version of their hotel scene (he doesn’t say he wasn’t looking, obviously). Oh yeah… and remove implications that Lex was the one responsible, like the piss jar. Wallace should seem like the actual bomber, making a violent statement on Superman’s inability to save people.

After that, all the rest of the movie that’s still able to happen, happens, but now with new and somewhat more logical context. Lex only begins getting into Zod’s ship and importing kryptonite now that the person who was stopping him happens to be dead. Bruce only begins violently hunting for Lex’s kryptonite after being impacting by Wallace’s actions (Alfred’s “turns good men cruel” line takes a dark new context, huh?). Superman keeps trying to be Superman, occasionally saving people and mostly focusing on the violent turn the Batman has recently taken, but he’s very depressed the whole time and is having an existential crisis, which is actually understandable now given his failure at the capitol. And Lois is still investigating the bullet after learning that it’s a Lexcorp metal, which of course ultimately results in the big reveal and her solving the mystery that Lex was actually behind everything all along. And, as an incredibly minor “bonus,” Diana Prince can make her first appearance in Gotham after the events in DC have already occurred; Diana lived in DC in WW84, so perhaps the incredibly loose chronological audience interpretation could be that Lex swiped her photo while he was there and she has now followed him back.

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Are there enough scenes of Lois to make this work?

“The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.”
-Sheev Palpatine, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

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I have a few ideas for a version called “Batman V Superman: League of Justice”, which would try to merge a lot of Man of Steel, BVS, and all the introductionary scenes of the JL members from ZSJL.