Jesse Eisenberg Blames Bad Editing for 'Batman v Superman' 

The nearly three-hour movie was trimmed down from a much longer cut, and a lot of Lex Luthor's motivations and logic were edited out. 

 Ben Gabbe / Getty

Most news about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was about the reaction to the film, instead of its content. Reviews doomed the would-be blockbuster over its gloomy tone, strange plot holes, and protracted runtime. As the movie gradually fading from theaters, people are still trying to make sense of it all — and now it’s Jesse Eisenberg’s turn.

The actor’s performance as Lex Luthor was fairly controversial to comic book fans. The manipulative billionaire archrival channeled a spazzed out evil Zuckerberg kind of vibe instead of the sinister Wall Street bad guy/ banker from the comics. But in an interview with MTV News, Eisenberg explained that what many saw as drawbacks in the way he played the character would have been explained in the film’s longer cut.

“It’s a very complicated mythology that I was able to wrap my head around while we were filming,” Eisenberg explain in the interview, which was to promote his upcoming film Now You See Me 2. ”But I think there were certain editorial choices that I was not aware of that they put in retroactively.”

So, according to Eisenberg, the leaps of logic in Luthor’s character, like why and how he’d create Doomsday or if he’s in cahoots with unseen villain Darkseid, were part of a longer cut of BvS that had to be pared down to feature length.

Who knows if this extra material will end up in the R-rated director’s cut set for release later this year. It could have also been in what the film’s editor, David Brenner, explained to Pro Video Coalition, as a nearly four-hour original cut, before the movie was edited down.

“It was a lot to juggle. So the plot lines of a couple characters had to go, he said. “What’s kind of fun is that we went back and did an extended cut where we put a lot of this stuff back, and we refined it into the same rhythm as the theatrical release. So what was once a nearly four hour cut with absolutely everything was ridiculous – ended up being about a three hour cut, once all these added storylines were refined with the fat was cut out.”

It goes without saying that editing movies of this size is such a thankless job, full of inevitable logistical nightmares. And in a movie where you’re tracking two main characters, each with alter egos, a lot of the story must have been trimmed all the way down to fit everything else in. Obviously Eisenberg latched on to something in the character while filming that was lost when all was said and done, and instead of keeping the character’s story logic intact, editors went with something else entirely.

But it doesn’t matter to the normally insular Eisenberg, who admits in the interview he never actively watches the movies he stars in. Any criticism of the movie doesn’t really matter, mostly because the film’s sequel, Justice League: Part One, has already started filming. Still, he offered this forlorn salvo: “Everybody I gave my tickets to to go see the movie at the movie premiere really liked it — including my parents.”

Let the record show that Jesse Eisenberg’s parents loved Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is still in theaters. The next film in the DC Cinematic Universe, Suicide Squad, hits theaters on August 5, 2016.

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