Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice screenwriter Chris Terrio has some choice words regarding the movie’s theatrical release. Specifically, he says that Warner Bros. sabotaged the movie by cutting 30 minutes from its runtime. Further, he takes issue with the lengthy title.
Chris Terrio, who worked with Ben Affleck on the Oscar-winning Argo, recently opened up about his time in the DCEU in a wide-ranging interview. The filmmaker, who also worked on Justice League, was brought in by Affleck to do a rewrite on Batman v Superman. As he explains, stripping 30 minutes from the cut did a lot of harm. Here’s what he had to say about it.
“If you took 30 minutes out of Argo, as they were from Batman/Superman, it would make zero sense at all. Critics would say, ‘what a lazy screenplay,’ because the characters don’t have motivations and it’s not coherent. And I would agree with them.”
When Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hit theaters five years ago, it was not the version Zack Snyder originally intended. The Ultimate Edition arrived later, adding 30 minutes to the runtime and clarified much. The general consensus is that the longer version was better. But Warner Bros. wasn’t having it ahead of the release.
As Chris Terrio tells it, his job was to “create a story and a tone, really, in which Batman could be that person, and in which two heroes could get to the point where they’re fighting to the death.” Having 30 minutes of that work stripped away didn’t help. And as for the movie’s title? Let’s just say Terrio is not a fan.
“I wrote drafts of the Batman/Superman movie, which wasn’t called Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice by me. I did not name the script. In fact, I found out what the movie was called along with the rest of the world on the internet. I was not consulted on the title of the film, and I was as surprised as anyone. I would not have named it Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
The title was lengthy and criticized prior to the movie’s release. It remains unclear who is responsible but Chris Terrio said he suspects it was the marketing department. The writer went even further to express his distaste, saying the following.
“I heard it and I thought, It just sounds self-important and clueless in a way. Tone-deaf. The intention of the film was to do something interesting and dark and complex, not quite as Las Vegas, bust ’em up, WWE match as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
A newly-remastered, 4K IMAX version of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will soon be available on disk as well as on HBO Max. Chris Terrio is also happy that Zack Snyder’s Justice League is out in the world as he was not a fan of the theatrical version, which was largely a product of Joss Whedon’s rewrites and reshoots. You can check out the interview in its entirety at Vanity Fair.