I’m sure I don’t need to dive into the minutiae of the saga of the production of JUSTICE LEAGUE, but it’s safe to say that the end result was disappointing for just about everyone involved, but thankfully, Zack Snyder’s original vision for the superhero epic was unleashed last month and set a lot of things right.
While speaking with Vanity Fair, Justice League screenwriter Chris Terrio broke his silence on the theatrical cut of the film and he didn’t hold back, saying that “the 2017 theatrical cut was an act of vandalism. Zack may be too much of a gentleman to say that, but I’m not.” Terrio was first brought into the DC Universe to rewrite the script for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice at the behest of Ben Affleck. “I think the studio brought me in to appease Ben Affleck, because they thought, ‘Okay, well, we have this movie star who is reluctant about doing this, so why don’t we bring in his guy?’” Terrio said. After the release of Batman v. Superman, Terrio agreed to come back to write Justice League because he “wanted the chance to write these characters with love and hope after getting through the darkness of Batman v Superman. The end of my version of Batman v Superman includes Bruce seeing the error of his ways and promising to change. It’s the return of conscience after an ethical nightmare. And in Justice League, Bruce does do better.” While Zack Snyder did shoot pretty much all of Terrio’s script, the screenwriter’s involvement with the project came to an end when Joss Whedon was brought onboard, and Terrio didn’t see what had happened to the film until a few weeks before its release.
I was in L.A. at the time working on Star Wars [The Rise of Skywalker]. I was on the west side of Los Angeles working with J.J. [Abrams] at the time, and I drove to the studio and I sat down and watched it a couple of weeks before release. I immediately called my lawyer and said, “I want to take my name off the film.” [The lawyer] then called Warner Bros. and told them that I wanted to do that.
At the end, Chris Terrio was convinced not to do so as it would have been a bit of a scandal. “So I shut up and I said nothing publicly,” Terrio explained. “I’ve never said anything about Justice League since then, but the movie doesn’t represent my work.” The critical reaction to the theatrical cut of Justice League obviously stung, particularly as it wasn’t anywhere close to the film Terrio had written, but now that Zack Snyder’s Justice League is out in the world, Terrio is more than happy to engage with those who either loved or hated it. “People do have problems with this version of the film, and they’ll quibble with the length, and they’ll quibble with the way that certain characters are written,” Terrio said. “But that I can take, because that is actual critique of my work. That’s fair game, and that I’ll engage with any day. People can quarrel with the movie, but at least they’re quarreling with my version and with Zack’s version of the film.” There’s plenty more in the Vanity Fair article, so be sure to check the whole thing out.