Zack Snyder has talked plenty in recent weeks about his vision for what became a four-plus hour Justice League epic on HBO Max set in the DC Universe. And now the original screenwriter for that project is speaking out about what happened to his film back in 2017.
Chris Terrio wrote the first treatment for Justice League before Snyder left the project and it was finished up by Joss Whedon. And given his alienation from the DC Universe in the years that followed, it’s perhaps no surprise that he’s not exactly thrilled by the film and the reaction it got upon its release.
In a lengthy interview with Vanity Fair, he called the cut of the movie he wrote “an act of vandalism” and detailed the lengths he went to try getting his name off the script when he found out what had been done to it without Snyder at the helm.
“The 2017 theatrical cut was an act of vandalism,” Terrio told Vanity Fair. “Zack may be too much of a gentleman to say that, but I’m not.”
The interview has lots of details about his frustrations, both with Justice League and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, a movie he did work on at Ben Affleck’s behest. He hates the name of that one, for starters, and said the things he couldn’t control made him want to hit eject on his named involvement with the big DC Universe projects.
When the Snyders left the project, that was effectively the end of your involvement. Is that right?
That’s right. I would only hear occasional reports about the reshoot. I didn’t realize how much of the film was going to be changed—or vandalized, in my opinion. It became clear as I spoke to various actors that it was a wholesale dismantling of what had been there before. I did not hear from anyone who said it was a pleasant experience.
When did you watch his version of Justice League?
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.
Ray Fisher, who certainly had his own issues with Whedon and the resulting 2017 version of Justice League, called Thursday “a day for truth” in his reaction to the piece on Twitter.
“Today is a day for truth.”
I got to witness firsthand the care and consideration that Chris Terrio puts into every character and every word on the page.
I’m proud of him as a colleague, as a friend, and as a human being. https://t.co/4JhA1AVHkD
— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) April 8, 2021
Others, however, were less willing to give Terrio the benefit of doubt and were critical of his thoughts on social media in the hours after the interview dropped. Considering the cosigning from Fisher, though, it’s clear that many in the film’s orbit are much happier with a world where the Snyder Cut finally did see the light of day. And Terrio speaking out, though fairly angrily for several reasons, does give us a much fuller picture of just what went down with the DC Universe and why it’s been such a rocky ride.
[via Vanity Fair]