DC and Warner Bros. were collectively satisfied with the results of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. The internet went gaga over the Snyder Cut. The movie was released as a response to a multi-year-long campaign demanding the Snyder Cut. Zack Snyder was chosen as the filmmaker to help create WB’s cinematic universe of DC properties. But things were not always easy for Warner Bros. and DC. Screenwriter Chris Terrio has opened up on his experiences with Warner Bros’ DCEU films – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.
In a profile interview with Vanity Fair, Terrio spoke at length about his history working on these films and his relationship with Warner Bros. He brings a lot of new information. Check it out:
Not A Fan Of The Batman V Superman Film Title
“It just sounds self-important and clueless in a way. Tone-deaf.”
Terrio revealed that it wasn’t his call to title it Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He wasn’t sure whose decision it was to go with that name. For him, the name did not resonate as it could not match the theme. He described the final title as sounding like the name for a WWE match event between Batman and Superman. He suspected that it was “the first step toward creating ill will for the film,” by titling it Batman v Superman.
Batman Had Branded Lex Luthor In Early Draft
“The studio seemed to take this position after BvS that my writing was too dark and that this was their problem.”
Terrio emphasized the fact that he was blamed for the issues with the darker tone. One of his examples was how the original script had a more brutal ending between Batman and Lex Luthor. In his draft, Batman visits Lex at Arkham and threatens to brand him, but ultimately doesn’t. An early version of the script, however, had Batman go through with branding Lex. Terrio described how he had “went to the mat with the studio again and again” to preserve Bruce’s ending.
Ben Affleck Brought In Terrio
“Ben [Affleck] called me and said that he was working on this film, which was a Superman film in which he was going to play Batman.”
Ben Affleck recruited Terrio as the actor had issues with the Batman v Superman script. He described that his job was to help find a balanced tone that leads to Batman and Superman’s fight to be logical. He asked Terrio to polish the screenplay to make it work for Batman’s dark arc in the film. Terrio always intended Bruce’s Batman v Superman journey to end with him on a brighter path. But it was always intended for Batman to start in a grim place.
Terrio Wanted To Explore Consequences For Superman
“I’m the one who had been saying that we can’t make a joke out of Superman raining hell upon Black African Muslim characters in the desert, as Lois promises that Superman is not going to go easy on them because they punched her.”
For Terrio, it was crucial to take Superman’s moves seriously while offering political commentary throughout Batman v Superman. Wunmi Mosaku’s Kahina Ziri was a key player for the Nairomi storyline, as she contributed to people changing their views on Superman. It was important for Terrio to tackle the hero’s actions and what they actually mean.
Terrio’s Reference For Lois Lane’s Interview In Nairomi
“So that line was my tribute to her.”
“I’m not a lady, I’m a journalist,” was a tribute from Terrio to the real-life journalist Marie Colvin, who lost her life in Syria. The line was based on Colvin’s encounter with a warlord who wouldn’t shake her hand because of her gender. Colvin gave a similar response to Lois by saying, “There is no woman in this room, only a journalist,” which is what Terrio used as inspiration.
Batman V Superman’s Ultimate Edition Captures Terrio’s Full Vision
“As we learned from the two versions of Justice League, you can’t skip on the character and think the audience will give a shit about the VFX.”
According to him, the 30 minutes that got cut from Batman v Superman for its theatrical release removed crucial parts of his overall story. He had issues with a big chunk taken out where that was the part “that give the character’s motivation for the climax,” as it complicated Batman v Superman’s flow. The writer stresses the fact that when he submitted the script to the studio, he felt that the studio was pleased with it. That’s why he had issues with critics who expressed that Batman v Superman was incoherent when, in fact, his original script made sense.
Positive Working Relationship Between Snyder & Terrio
“You learn pretty quickly who your real friends are and who your air-kiss Hollywood friends are.”
Terrio spoke highly of the filmmaker, Zack Snyder, who made the collaborative aspect easy. It is always good to see two creative people speaking on the same terms when it comes to such a huge venture. He expressed a sense of support and joy from the director as they crafted their stories. He felt positive while working with Zack Snyder. He stated that many of his friends painted him as “complicit in this very public failure of a studio film,” while Snyder would continue to be there for Terrio.
Fisher And Terrio Teamed Up For Cyborg’s Arc
“His otherness is a constant fact of his life. And that to me—and Ray and I discussed this—speaks about being a Black man in America.”
Victor Stone, Cyborg, is a crucial part of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Terrio revealed that he had worked closely with Fisher in developing Cyborg’s arc. Cyborg became the first Black superhero to be featured in a massive, blockbuster-scale film like Justice League. Cyborg’s arc was one of the things that made Terrio the happiest to see come to fruition.
Terrio Wasn’t Welcomed On The Set By Warner Bros.
“I wouldn’t say that I was banned.”
Vanity Fair asked Terrio if he was banned by Warner Bros. from coming to the set. He denied that he had been forbidden but did explain that Warner Bros. had displayed an attitude of “We’ll take it from here,” implying that they preferred if he wasn’t on set. He was passionate to write the characters “with love and hope after getting through the darkness of Batman v Superman“, especially for Bruce.
The Time Warner Center – Terrio Getting Confronted By Investors
“One guy, who I can only describe as the man who Central Casting sends you when you’re trying to cast Douchebag #1, pulled me aside and started telling me how to write Batman.”
Terrio attended an event that he had been invited to in New York, along with Snyder and the cast. He described one investor as “the man who Central Casting sends you when you’re trying to cast Douchebag #1” had a chat with the screenwriter privately. Terrio only specified that this unnamed individual had gone on to instruct him on how to write Batman. For Terrio, he shared how he felt that commercial results dictated the decisions that came from the higher-ups.
Wonder Woman’s Script Wasn’t Finished When Terrio Wrote Justice League
“So I had no basis to write Wonder Woman other than Batman/Superman.”
There was no finished screenplay for Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman movie and Batman v Superman was the only reference for Terrio. He had little to no characterization basis for Gal Gadot. Since he wasn’t sure if he was even allowed to include scenes with Atlanteans having a conversation in the ocean, he had to ask what the plan was. He also talked about how he wasn’t asked to consult on the other films despite being the one penning the Justice League script.
Terrio Was Not In Support Of Changes Made By Whedon
“I did not hear from anyone who said it was a pleasant experience.”
The reshoots really changed the entire tone of Justice League. This was the core reason why Whedon’s Justice League was an absolute disappointment. Terrio shared that he went even further to write Justice League in a more lightened mood. While he didn’t specify names, he shared that everyone he had talked to, who were involved with the reshoots, all had an unpleasant time. He had also heard, similarly to Snyder, where the demand for Justice League came from in regards to it being only two hours long. The writer was open about going into a depression when Justice League was retooled.
Terrio Reached Out To Whedon During Reshoots
“I’ve never met Joss. I don’t know him.”
Terrio did reveal that he had reached out to Whedon through executives during Justice League‘s post-production. He has no relationship with Whedon, and neither has he met the filmmaker. He stated that he never heard back from Whedon after reaching out through executives. He continued to say that this kind of behavior wasn’t uncommon for the film industry.
Terrio Did Not Want His Name In 2017’s Justice League
“It would be an international scandal and news story.”
Terrio got to see 2017 Justice League a few weeks before it came out. It was happening while he was working on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and his viewing experience wasn’t a pleasant one. He shared his concern on how this would have caused more conflicts in the end. He felt that pursuing that mission would have resulted in negative attention. He was concerned it would get “even worse for the actors, and for all the craftspeople who had worked on it, for all kinds of people.”
In a nutshell, Terrio was not anywhere nearly impressed by Whedon’s Justice League. He believes that he did not represent his work. But now, he is content with the fact that the world to got to see the real vision of Snyder and his own. Terrio acknowledged if it hadn’t been for HBO Max, the world would have likely never gotten to see the Justice League that he and Snyder created.
Did you enjoy Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Zack Snyder’s Justice League? Let us know in the comments below!