'Batman v Superman' Is "a Bit of an 'Empire Strikes Back,'" Says Screenwriter

Upcoming superhero slugfest is the dark second act in Superman's superhero trilogy, according to Chris Terrio.
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

If trailers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice seem very dark, that's entirely intentional, according to screenwriter Chris Terrio. It is, after all, intended to be the traditionally dark middle chapter of a trilogy.

"Batman v Superman is a bit of an Empire Strikes Back or Two Towers or any similar middle film in a trilogy," Terrio told the Wall Street Journal, adding, "The middle film tends to be the darkest one. I do think from Man of Steel through Justice League, it is one saga really." For the next installment, he teased, "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."

That doesn't mean that he always thought that he'd be sticking with the story as it continued past BvS, however. "I initially thought I wasn’t the guy to do Justice League and went off to work on something else," he admitted. "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.'"

Writing Justice League hasn't necessarily been easy, Terrio said. "This has been the most rigorous intellectual exercise I’ve had in my writing life," he explained, saying that his research included "reading in the same day about red- and blue-shifts 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."

(For those wondering, that's research reference for the Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman, respectively.)

"If you told me the most rigorous dramaturgical and intellectual product of my life would be superhero movies, I would say you were crazy," Terrio (who said that he "won't necessarily" write Justice League Part Two, scheduled for release in 2019) continued. "But I do think fans deserve that."

Justice League Part One, starring Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot, and directed by Zack Snyder, starts production in April. The movie is set for release in 2017.

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