3. Character Development
Development for four major characters was always going to be tough when two of them are brand new to the DCEU. An extra half-hour of footage really helped flesh them out much better.
Lex Luthor gets the best upgrade in the Ultimate Edition. As divisive as Jesse Eisenberg’s performance is, the brilliance of the character shines through in the extended cut. His plan (in the theatrical cut) felt more like he was pitting Batman and Superman against each other on the basis of “one guy doesn’t like the other, and the other just wants to save his mom.”
In the Ultimate Edition, Luthor uses the deaths in the Africa sequence to pit the world against Superman, finalized by using Wallace Keefe (Scoot McNairy) as an unknowing pawn. The additional footage emphasizes just how brilliant Luthor is in some respects. There is also a bonus scene when law enforcement go to arrest Luthor, teasing the future of his villainy.
Lois Lane also gets more to do. In her investigations, she discovers the special military bullets used in the Africa massacre and how they lead back to LexCorp. She also ties the Keefe character back to Luthor in an important added scene. It allows the audience to understand Keefe was not aware of the bomb in his wheelchair.
As mentioned earlier, Clark Kent enjoys more screen time as well, specifically as a journalist. He finally feels like an equal character to Batman in his own movie. He also gets a much-needed extended sequence in the Africa scene where he fights off drones.