Saw the Ultimate Cut and still very much have grievances.
I’ve been tinkering with the already-released digital version and come up with TWO(!) slightly different edits. I didn’t want to change the film too much, as I wanted an edit that would still make sense with future movies (hence no, lopping off endings or leaving out too many subplots). To those hoping for a more radical change, both of these are, for better or worse, still Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman. They are merely given another editing pass for clarity and cohesion.
Both of my edits are built on two chief premises:
Restructure the film (primarily in the first half) for better plot progression. As many here and elsewhere have complained, the movie, even in its Ultimate Cut iteration, feels quite disjointed and occasionally overwhelming, cutting between different characters that have not previously been established. By far the biggest change is pushing back the Africa sequences. The events of the last film are now the inciting incident and Africa serves as a so-called point of no return. Furthermore, now, we have an inkling that Lex Luthor is manipulating things behind the scenes already.
Omit certain sections in their entirety, including the Knightmare sequence, the future Flash cameo, and the murderous Batmobile chase. In cutting these, it helps bring back the notion of a Batman, who has become cruel but not outright homicidal. From interviews with Zack Snyder, it seems that an outright murderous Batman was not quite his intention.
The differences between my two edits (each running about 2 and a half hours) are as follows:
Batman v. Superman - The Final Cut - the less radical of the two edits. This mainly focuses on the two goals above. Like the release cuts (theatrical and ultimate), Batman seems to be the de-facto protagonist, if there indeed is one. This was my first version, but, in my mind, it had one major issue that caused me to create the second version.
Man of Tomorrow - this helps refocus the movie into an outright Man of Steel sequel. The only two storylines tracked in the first act are Superman (the clear protagonist) and Lex Luthor. Nonetheless, Batman’s spectre is felt. In a classic ploy to draw audience attention to a certain character (From Russia with Love/The Third Man), we keep hearing about Batman, but we don’t get to meet him until 23 minutes into the movie. This remedies my issue of how the released film efficiently set up Batman’s motivation, only to perplex audiences by seemingly ignoring the motivation and having Batman look for a “dirty bomb.”
If anyone’s interested in testing them and owns a copy, PM me. I definitely would like opinions on which of the two cuts work better. I’ll recreate the “winner” in full Blu-Ray when that release comes out.