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US Blu-ray box set incl. new the Editor's Cut





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Spider-Man 3

Comparison:

  • Theatrical Version
  • Editor's Cut
Release: Jul 19, 2017 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB
Compared are the Theatrical Version and the Editor's Cut (both available in the new US Limited Edition Blu-ray trilogy box)


14 differences (audio track alterations excluded), including
* 8x additional footage Editor's Cut
* 9x additional footage Theatrical Version
* 6x alternate order of events
* 3 recuts

Difference: 82.2 sec (= 1:22 min), resulting from
* Additional Footage Editor's Cut: 367.9 sec (= 6:08 min)
* Additional Footage Theatrical Version: 450.1 sec (= 7:30 min)



Background


In 2007, Sam Raimi's final installment of his Spider-Man trilogy was released. Despite an incredible box office result of $891 million, fans and critics were not fully satisfied. It is still a Raimi but it can't keep with the previous ones: Putting the goofy scenes aside, the main point of criticism is the character Venom. The reason for that is simple: Raimi was urged to use the Venom character by the producers. Raimi himself wanted Vulture as villain and rumor had it that Vulture would be played by Ben Kingsley. As for the score, it was already confusing back then that Danny Elfman was on board even though he allegedly refused due to creative differences during the second installment. As a result, the score by Christopher Young was edited.

And now, 10 years later, a new cut of Spider-Man 3 sees the light of day. Some of the critized issues back then have been kept in mind during the editing process. The new cut is called Editor's Cut and it mostly traces back to cutter Bob Murawski who got an Oscar for The Hurt Locker by the way. And the fact of the matter is that this new cut is approx. 1.5 minutes shorter than the Theatrical Version which insinuates rather uncommon alterations. But before I will go into detail, I would like to explain a few more things regarding the so-called Editor's Cut.

When Spider-Man 3 was released theatrically, an Extended Cut of the second installment called Spider-Man 2.1 was released for home theaters. Certainly, there is the The Amazing Spider-Man series but odds are that with Spider-Man: Homecoming being shown in theaters, the distributor wanted to cash in with a new cut of Spider-Man 3. But then again, if that was true, the marketing department screwed up royally because the Editor's Cut has never been announced. Almost two weeks before (!) the release of the new Limited Edition box set, the Editor's Cut had been available via stream on Amazon.com for a brief period and then removed quickly (as reported by us). Even though there has never been an official statement, the flames of speculation regarding the Limited Edition box set were fueled.

Being released on 06/13/2017, speculations became a fact: Apart from lots of bonus features, disc 4 of the box set does contain the new Editor's Cut. So far, the US Limited Edition Blu-ray box set is the only release worldwide that contains the new cut and any fan should consider getting it because not only are the discs region free (ABC) but the box set also contains both versions of the second installment. In addition to that, further audio tracks and subtitles are available for the Editor's Cut of the final installment (e.g. French, Spanish and German). This goes for the bonus features as well. So, I guess the million dollar question is: What are the differences of the Editor's Cut?



The Editor's Cut


As already mentioned, the Editor's Cut is a bit shorter which also explains the absence of some scenes from the Theatrical Version. A few scenes are shorter now and on top of that, the scene with Mr. Ditkovich in the hallway is completely missing. However, the the most noticeable difference is probably Aunt May giving Peter a pep talk and Harry's butler who convinces him to help Peter after all in the Theatrical Version. This has dramaturgical consequences because it now perfectly illustrates that the two main characters act on their own. Certainly, one might argue there but at the end of the day, it only enhances the storyline resp. the quality of the movie itself. Furthermore, there is a little less footage of "Emo Peter" in the Editor's Cut in keeping with numerous alterations during the entire sequence.

Which brings me to the following aspect: There are several recuts and scenes with alternate footage, especially in the middle of the movie. How Peter is more and more drawn to the black suit that causes Eddie Brocks getting laid off which is why he becomes Venom in the first place is different here resp. it makes more sense structurewise. Due to the mentioned cut scene with Mr. Ditcovich, the subsequent conversation with Ursula during which Peter is in a different mood appears different and that is not just because Peter's apology regarding his behavior is shorter now. Peter's conflict with Harry is being shown a little later in the Editor's Cut. Moreover, Peter appears more arrogant here (instead of being some depressed emo dude). The butler scene has been replaced in an interesting was as well because Harry now is getting convinced by looking at the broken picture with his former best friends. Bottom line, it becomes crystal clear that the new cut is not the longest one possible. It simply follows a different path.

I believe this is a good way to describe the new scenes. Despite the fact that the Editor's Cut, they do exist. Apart from the already described alternate scenes, the sand castle scene stands out. Right after Sandman gets back on his feet, a scene with a length of approx. 2 minutes follows. Not only does it give the character a little backstory here but it also explains his motivation. Moreover, the Editor's Cut contains the additional footage of "Black Spider-Man" from the trailer which are missing in the Theatrical Version. Due to small additional scenes with Peter getting the black suit, the suit's power (and also Venom's origin) is easier to understand.

I would also like to point something that is almost impossible to illustrate in a comparison: The original score by Christopher Young has been reconstructed to the greatest possible extent hence the alternate music playing in the background. This does not concern every single piece of music though. However, especially during the scenes with Peter and MJ in the first half of the movie, there are numerous new tracks. Even back in the day, Christopher Young explained in an interview that he had scored further themes. And yes, it is a question of taste but the rather calm tracks create a different and also more suitable mood. There is no guarantee that all scenes with alternate score are being listed in the following comparison because finding all those different nuances playing in the background is anything but a cakewalk. One scene is definately worth mentiong though: When Goblin Willem Dafoe shows up in order to crank Harry's lust for vengeance, the Editor's Cut lacks a few harsh words of him.

All in all, not many people expected a new cut and yes, one might as well argue whether or not the lack of some scenes is good thing. But either way, the Editor's Cut follows a different which does not only make it interesting, no. In my opinion, the Editor's Cut is superior to the Theatrical Version.

Fun fact: For some reason, some of the score alterations are missing in the German audio track. This does not concern any of the other audio tracks though.



Time index refers to
Theatrical Version Blu-ray / Editor's Cut Blu-ray
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Different score in the 4th minute when Peter talks about being in a relationship with the woman of his dreams.

Screenshot to illustrate the scene




Different score in the 7th minute when Harry is being made aware of this. The music now appears more mysterious.

Screenshot to illustrate the scene




A different and calmer theme is being used when Peter and MJ are in the spider web in front of the sky.

Screenshot to illustrate the scene




During Aunt May's story in the 15th minute, the score sounds a little less sentimental now.

Screenshot to illustrate the scene




Alternate / Additional Footage Theatrical Version
22:52-22:53 / 22:52-22:53

When Flint falls down the hole, the Theatrical Version contains an additional shot from below.
In the Editor's Cut, the previous shot is longer instead. As a result, one here does not get to see on-screen that he fell into the abyss. The only explanation here (until the subsequent explanation shortly afterwards that is) is that he managed to lose his tail.

no difference

Theatrical VersionEditor's Cut




When Peter says bye-bye to MJ in the 31st minute, the score in the Editor's Cut sounds calmer.

Screenshot to illustrate the scene




Same here when Peter encounters Stan Lee in front of the score board in the 39th minute and it goes on until the beginning of Peter's subsequent conversation with Harry.

Screenshot to illustrate the scene



When Peter takes the ring out of the champagne glass and dries it off in the 38th minute (and also during the subsequent shot of the city), the Theatrical Version continues with a rather sentimental piece of music. In the Editor's Cut, the sound of the violin is audible longer resp. the Editor's Cut once again contains a different score here.

Screenshot to illustrate the scene




Additional Footage Theatrical Version
68:21-68:24 / 68:21

In the Theatrical Version, the shot of Flynn turning around to Spider-Man, who is hanging from the ceiling, is a little longer.

+ 2.5 sec




When MJ leaves the Jazz Room to call Harry in the 73rd minute, the score in the Editor's Cut is more present plus the score in the Theatrical Version is much more melancholical shortly afterwards.

Screenshot to illustrate the scene




Additional Footage Theatrical Version
75:21-76:40 / 75:19

After the phone conversation between Harry and MJ, the Theatrical Version lacks the scene with Peter standing by the phone in front of Mr. Ditkovitch's front door. Peter apologizes. His daughter Ursula tries to be a part of that conversation as well. She asks if Peter tried to reach MJ.

+ 78.9 sec (= 1:19 min)




Subsequently afterwards (MJ visits Harry), the score differs again.

Screenshot to illustrate the scene




76:59 / 75:38-75:57

Before the cooking scene with Harry and MJ, the Editor's Cut contains an additional scene: Peter is sitting around contemplatively. He feels drawn to the black suit again. Sinister music is playing in the background.

19.6 sec




Alternate Audio Track
80:29-80:40 / 79:27-79:38

Worth mentioning with an exact time index: Instead of replacing the score, Norman's announcement from the off during a shot of angry Harry is uch shorter in the Editor's Cut: "(You know what you must do.) Make him suffer. Make him wish he were dead. First we attack his heart!"

Screenshot to illustrate the scene




Alternate / Additional Footage Theatrical Version
81:23-81:47 / 80:21-80:45

After Harry threatens MJ, the following conversation between Peter and Ursula contains alternate dialog - probably changed for continuity reasons because the previous scene in the hallway (she is expecting the call) is also missing in the Editor's Cut. That is why Peter follows her to the phone for another reason. In addition to that, Peter's apology regarding his rude behavior is shorter in the Editor's Cut.

In the Theatrical Version, she comes in with a smile on her face and tells him that he had a call. She can't resist telling him that it was MJ who called either.


In the Editor's Cut, she says more shily that Peter got a call. Here, Peter then apologizes and she puts him off. She mentions that MJ is on the phone as well but in a more neutral way (because Peter's previous attempt to make a call is missing in the Editor's Cut).

Ursula: "Peter?"
Peter (rather annoyed): "Yes..."
She opens the door: "Hi, Pete. There's a phone call."
Peter: "Ursula. Hey. Listen, I really shouldn't have spoken--"
Ursula: "Don't worry about it. You're a a good boy. It's Mary Jane."
Peter: "Thanks."


Theatrical Version 0.5 sec longer


About two minutes later, after MJ breaks up with Peter and walks by Harry, the score is alternate again - in the Editor's Cut, it is a little less "pushy".

Screenshot to illustrate the scene




Recut
84:17-86:31 / 83:15

After the previously mentioned break-up screne, the Editor's Cut lacks Harry and Peter meeting at the Café. At least for the time being because the scene comes right after Peter made sure that Eddy gets released (at 92:41-92:44 / 86:54-92:43).

+ 134 sec


In the Editor's Cut, the scene with desperate Peter in his apartment is accompanied by a much calmer and more sinister score.

Screenshot to illustrate the scene




Alternate / Recut / Additional Footage Theatrical Version
87:02-90:16 / 83:46-84:29

Here, it gets a little more complicated before the versions are back in sync with Peter walking across the streets in the black suit (thanks to Eddy's forged picture in the newspaper, people have read about his larceny "issues").

In the Theatrical Version, the apartment scene ends with a pan shot to the suit case. Already wearing the black suit, Peter then confronts Harry instantaneously and they fight. Also in the Editor's Cut but later - please see 92:41-92:44 / 86:54-92:43 for further details.

In the Editor's Cut, the camera pans from the family picture to the suit case. Peter hesitates, opens the box and reaches for its content with a smile on his face.


Theatrical Version 150.4 sec (= 2:30 min) longer



Alternate / Recut / Additional Footage Theatrical Version
92:41-92:48 / 86:54-92:47

When Jameson makes a comment, the Theatrical Version shows him doing so while the Editor's Cut sticks to Eddy leaving the room longer.

Theatrical VersionEditor's Cut


Then some additional footage of Peter swinging across town in the black suit - the scenes from the trailer which are missing in the Theatrical Version!
Subsequently, a rather shattered Peter tosses the suit in the suit case and makes a few steps forward.


Then the restaurant scene with Peter and Harry without any kind of further alterations being made (please see 84:17-86:31 in the Theatrical Version after Peter and MJ break up).

Now the pan shot to the suit case, followed by Peter paying Harry a visit (which he already did in the Theatrical Version right after the different shot of depressed Peter in his room - please see 87:02-90:16 / 83:46-84:29). There are a few anomalies here - please see the colored box:
Alternate / Additional Footage Theatrical Version
87:08-87:48 / 89:42-90:12

Up to the moment when Harry comments the kiss, wipes his mouth and Peter attacks, the scene starts differently. Basically, Peter is still in "emo mood" in the Theatrical Version while the Editor's Cut shows him lying on the couch in a cool way. To be more specific:

In the Theatrical Version, Peter appears in the back of the room all of a sudden and after Harry offers him a drink, the latter jokes around that Spider-Man would never drink for image reasons. Peter asks about MJ and Harry pushes his buttons by mentioning their mutual understanding and what kissing her feels like.


In the Editor's Cut, Peter is lying on the couch all of a sudden and his response is much more chilled/cooler.

Harry: "What took you so long?"
Peter: "That was quite a performance today."
Harry: "Ha, ha, ha. Well, it wasn't all a show. She did come to me."
Peter: "Yeah, I got the story. I am really gonna enjoy this."
Harry: "Not as much as I enjoyed it when Mary Jane kissed me. It was just like she used to kiss me. That taste...strawberries."

Theatrical Version 10 sec longer

Theatrical VersionEditor's Cut




Alternate / Additional Footage Theatrical Version
87:51-87:52 / 90:15-90:16

For continuity reasons, a last reaction shot of Peter differs.

no difference

Theatrical VersionEditor's Cut



Now "Emo Peter's" (in)famous walk in the streets (just a reminder: right after causing Eddy getting the pink slip in the Theatrical Version but subsequent to his fight with Harry in the Editor's Cut!). In this scene, the Theatrical Version shows a newspaper article above Spider-Man that clears him. Said newspaper article is missing in the Editor's Cut plus the aspect ratio is a little different as well.

Theatrical VersionEditor's Cut


Editor's Cut 361.1 sec (= 6:01 min) longer in this particular sequence
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