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Justice League screenwriter calls the theatrical cut "an act of vandalism"

Superman in Justice League
(Image credit: Warner Bros./DC)

Justice League screenwriter Chris Terrio has spoken out about his thoughts on the theatrical cut.

"The 2017 theatrical cut was an act of vandalism," Terrio told Vanity Fair. "Zack [Snyder, director] may be too much of a gentleman to say that, but I'm not."

Justice League had a troubled production. Snyder stepped away from the film after a personal tragedy, and Joss Whedon was brought in to oversee reshoots that substantially changed the film. The Snyder Cut on HBO Max, titled Zack Snyder's Justice League, is the film as Snyder originally intended it to be, released after a lengthy and passionate fan campaign.

"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," Terrio said. "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."

In fact, Terrio disliked the theatrical cut so much, he said he tried to get his name removed from it. "I drove to the studio and I sat down and watched [Justice League] 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." However, Terrio said removing his name could have caused the film to be delayed, so he sided against further action: "I shut up and I said nothing publicly. I've never said anything about Justice League since then, but the movie doesn't represent my work."

As for the Snyder Cut, Terrio explained it reflects a version of his script that he'd reworked: "I rewrote Justice League to lighten the mood a little bit – which became the Zack Snyder Justice League. That's a slightly lighter, less dense version of the script, which I was fine with. I'm sane, and I will play ball with those kinds of notes."

The writer also commented that he's pleased that the Snyder Cut is out there: "I am so happy and relieved that all these thousands of artists and craftspeople all over the world finally can have their work seen by the public, and all the work that Zack and the actors put into this can now be seen. It's sort of a gift that we got from HBO Max, because it wouldn't have been possible a few years ago." 

Zack Snyder's Justice League is streaming on HBO Max now. If you're caught up on all four hours, check out how to watch DC movies in order for the ultimate movie marathon. 

Molly Edwards
Molly Edwards

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for our Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after getting my BA in English.