Chris Terrio talks writing Justice League: Part One
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has been in the ether for a long time now, and one of the many voices at work who has largely been quiet is Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio. Terrio re-wrote a draft of the film by Man of Steel‘s David Goyer and then went on to pen Justice League: Part One for Warner Bros. as well. Now, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Terrio opened up about the film and offered a few teases.
“I initially thought I wasn’t the guy to do Justice League and went off to work on something else. But the first day I went to the set, I saw Jesse [Eisenberg] in a scene with Holly Hunter and I really did feel like I was watching some strange, great performance in an independent film. At that moment, I thought, ‘I’m not done with this yet. I want to go back and keep telling the story.’ Batman v Superman is a bit of an Empire Strikes Back or Two Towers or any similar middle film in a trilogy. The middle film tends to be the darkest one. I do think from Man of Steel through Justice League, it is one saga really. I expect Justice League will be tonally not quite as dark as Batman v Superman. From that point of view, I felt compelled to go back and try to lift us and myself into a different tonal place because I think when you write a darker film, sometimes you want to redeem it all a bit.”
Terrio went on to reveal that despite him having written Justice League: Part One, he may not write the film’s 2019 sequel, and revealed some of the items of research he read in writing both Batman v Superman and then Justice League.
“I have written Justice League Part One, but I won’t necessarily write ‘Part Two.’ This has been the most rigorous intellectual exercise I’ve had in my writing life. For Batman v Superman, I wanted to really dig into everything from ideas about American power to the structure of revenge tragedies to the huge canon of DC Comics to Amazon mythology. For Justice League, I could be reading in the same day about red- and blueshifts in physics, Diodorus of Sicily and his account of the war between Amazons and Atlanteans, or deep-sea biology and what kind of life plausibly might be in the Mariana Trench. If you told me the most rigorous dramaturgical and intellectual product of my life would be superhero movies, I would say you were crazy. But I do think fans deserve that. I felt I owed the fan base all of my body and soul for two years because anything less wouldn’t have been appreciating the opportunity I had.”
Rumors have been circulating for some time that Warner Bros. may be getting cold feet in some regards to the DCEU, but speaking with The LA Times, Batman himself, Ben Affleck, says that’s not the case.
“Look, in the broad sense, from a long-term portfolio perspective, Warner Bros. has already won. They own this vast underexploited [intellectual property] that is DC. They’re going to make all these movies regardless. Will every DC movie be great and be successful? No. Would it be good if BvS works for them? Yes, obviously. But if any one of the movies doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean it all goes away. Green Lantern didn’t work, and Green Lantern is going to come back and work for them.’
“Zack spent two years of his life on this movie, and we put in months and months. We are truly, deeply invested in this movie. We want the movie to be good. We want to be proud of it. I want to make a movie that my kids think is cool. It’s not just us punching the corporate clock. You know, you get up at 5 and go to work at 6 in the morning and put on the suit. It’s not particularly fun and sexy to roll around in a rubber suit fighting a stunt guy.”
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will debut in theaters on March 25. Justice League: Part One will begin production in April for a November 17, 2017 release. Affleck will be joined by Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Ezra Miller as The Flash, and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon in the film.