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.
Co-author of STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER–THE TEAM DALE REWRITE