Hero: Extended

After some months of expectations, here comes the famous "uncut" version of Hero, closer to Zhang Zimou's vision. Well, maybe... This is an "extended" version, not a director's cut, if we look at the title of this special edition. And after a scene by scene comparaison between this new cut and the original one, it's obvious that the term "extended" is really appropriate. There isn't any new scene in this version, only extended scenes or shots. Most of the modificiations don't exceed a few seconds, that's why this table lists only the major ones.

Sky / Nameless Fight

After kicking the Qin's soldiers' ass, Sky gives some money to the musician.


Broken Sword writes another version of the word "Sword", in front of Nameless

Archery Strikes Back

During the archery attach, Moon protects Broken Sword while he is writing. Nameless stays still, and finally stands. He meets Flying Snow, but wait a few seconds before joining her outside.

Broken Sword's angryness

After that Flying Snow peeps at him with Moon, Broken Sword adds a few missing lines to his talk with Flying Snow.

Broken Sword's Death

After that Flying Snow kills Broken Sword, a line of dialog is added.

Moon / Flying Sword Fight

The fight is much longer, with plenty of new and extended shots.

Snow / Nameless Fight

A few supplementary shots

Nameless / Broken Sword Fight

The introduction of the fight is different. Nameless asks Broken Sword to avenge Flying Snow's honor. Broken Sword agrees with a "Thank You". The fight is also longer, with new and extended shots. All the shots on the characters faces are removed, making the fight real and not anymore "in their mind".

Broken Sword / Flying Snow Meeting

Extended scene, with some new shots

Qin / Broken Sword Fight

Extended and new shots.

Nameless departure to kill Qin

When Moon talks to Nameless after Broken Sword departure, she tries to kill herself, but Nameless prevents her to do so. In the original cut, she just kneels down and asks him to consider.


Yellow Flag

Some new shots of Flying Snow and Broken Sword in the desert. The short shot with Jet Li leaving is removed.


Looking at those modifications, it's obvious that fans will be disappointed. There is no real new scenes, nothing new about Sky. Some of the new shots are interesting, but they don't really improve the movie. Some changes are even unecessary (Broken Sword and Moon on their horse, once, twice, enough...). Is it really the first version wished by Zhang Yimou ? Probably not, but only him could answer this question...

  • July 2004