Justice League writer Chris Terrio has revealed that Warner Bros. removing him and director Zack Snyder from the movie caused him to fall into depression. Terrio became one of Hollywood’s hottest screenwriters thanks to Argo, which established his working relationship with Ben Affleck. This got him the job of teaming up with Snyder on Batman v Superman, a partnership that carried over into the team-up flick. But little of Terrio’s original script ended up in the film’s theatrical cut, released in 2017.
Thankfully, Snyder and Terrio’s vision has been restored with Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which dropped on HBO Max last month. Following up on the director’s cut finally being seen, Vanity Fair has shared an in-depth interview with the scribe, in which he opens up about how hard it was for him when the studio reclaimed the movie and employed Joss Whedon to reshoot it, scrapping much of what was already there.
“I went into such depression when the film was taken away and rewritten,” Terrio said. “But I didn’t even feel entitled to be depressed, because Zack and Debbie [Snyder, his wife and coproducer] were dealing with their family tragedy. Measured against that, losing the film that you wrote seems like nothing at all. But it did hurt. It hurts to think that I cared so much about these characters and worked on nothing else for a very long time.”
After being so attached to what he and Snyder created, Terrio’s first time viewing the Whedon Cut was not a pleasant one. The writer explained that he even attempted to get his name removed from the film, however this wasn’t ultimately possible.
“I was in L.A. at the time working on Star Wars [The Rise of Skywalker],” he continued. “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.”
Terrio went on to admit that the release of Whedon’s Justice League, which credited him as co-writer, hurt not only his reputation but also crushed his confidence professionally.
“Yeah. It hurts your reputation, but more importantly, it poisons your soul and your confidence, especially when this other version of the film wasn’t seen.”
As the writer credited to Batman v Superman, Justice League and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Chris Terrio has come under a lot of flak over the past few years, but it’s clear that in each case his original work was interfered with by the studios. At least the Snyder Cut is now out there to help start to heal his reputation.