With the massive news last week that fans were finally going to be able to see Zack Snyder’s version of Justice League, many have wondered what other superhero movies have their own extended, director-versions of their movies.
As it turns out, quite a few.
We’ve got a list here of our favorite director’s cuts for you to watch as we all wait for the Snyder Cut next year!
Superman II – The Richard Donner Cut
It is a well-known story of how Richard Donner, who first brought the Man of Steel to the big screen, worked on roughly three-quarters of the second film before being removed over creative differences with the film’s producers. Donner wanted a darker take on Superman, while the studio wanted more camp. Richard Lester came on and immediately re-shot most of the film. As a result, the Donner footage became the stuff of legends for fans who wanted to see that original version. Luckily, Warner Bros. released the footage, edited alongside the Lester footage for continuity, and while it is unfinished, it is regarded as the definitive version of the film.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – Extended Cut or Ultimate Edition
In this extended version of the film, the action leans far more into the R-rated violence and also allows many cut story beats and moments to make their way back into the film. The character of Lois Lane, in particular, becomes much more pivotal as we begin to Lex Luthor’s plans explored more thoroughly. The version clocks in at around 3 hours, so it’s a long one, but for fans of the movie and characters, it is absolutely worth it.
Sin City – Recut, Extended, and Unrated Cut
The re-edited version of Robert Rodriguez’s visually-dazzling film noir sees a good helping of new footage added to the stories, and also sees each individual story edited together as one whole, so anyone who doesn’t wish to deal with the somewhat-confusing weaving of the original film can enjoy each one on their own. While we love the original film as well, it’s still nice to be able to see each story on their own.
Watchmen – Directors Cut and Ultimate Cut
This graphic novel adaptation is somewhat controversial, with many fans of the novel saying the film missed the point, while others believing the film to nail the tone and themes of the comic. But what they can all agree on is that the graphic novel is dense with narrative and thematic elements, and as a result, the theatrical cut of the movie had a lot of stuff cut out. Enter these two editions of the movie, which both add many of those scenes back in. Even the director himself, Zack Snyder, prefers the Director’s Cut, which adds 20 minutes of extra footage and helps flesh out the story. The Ultimate Cut has that, along with the animated short film “Tales of the Black Freighter” mixed into the film, much like the graphic novel. However, Snyder says that he didn’t write the film to have these kinds of moments so the splicing is a little off.
Spider-Man 3: Editor’s Cut
Look, we all know what happened with Spider-Man 3: studio interference left us with a movie that had too many villains, some scenes that define the term “camp”, and a somewhat bad taste in our mouths after the first two films in the series. Some of us love the nostalgia of the movie, but we can’t deny that the Editor’s Cut for the movie helps it a lot. It doesn’t save it, as we still have many of the issues that plagued the theatrical cut, but it does make it better. We get another scene with Sandman and his daughter, more scenes of Peter struggling with the symbiote, and it gets rid of Harry’s butler revealing a major plot detail out of nowhere.
There’s nothing like some great comic films, and all of these extended cuts make their movies better. While not all of them can be said to be “good”, they are still worth watching.
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