Writer Chris Terrio was recently interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, and in that conversation he gave a series of loaded answers. The BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE writer spoke a lot about the homework he did, and the way he approached the character. I covered some of his remarks on Friday, and now there's more to delve into.
For starters, Terrio makes it clear: He's a superhero fan, but not a comic book guy. "The first movie I ever saw was SUPERMAN 2. I almost drowned in a pool at age four playing Aquaman. I went away from comics for most of my life. But I stayed on top of superhero movies," he said. While that might be a tough pill to swallow for diehard comic book fans, you can't argue that there have been seminal films that someone like Terrio could turn to when crafting his BATMAN V SUPERMAN script. One set of films the writer thought of, in particular, were Christopher Nolan's Batman movies. "The ones that intrigued me the most were Nolan’s films. They were ways of asking interesting questions in a genre form. We stand on the shoulders of those films in a way. Nolan helped establish a space in which superhero movies can be taken more seriously."
The writer says his affection for Nolan's films almost crossed a line at one point, while writing BATMAN V SUPERMAN. "We thought a lot about those films, to a point where I had to stop watching The Dark Knight because I found I was rewriting it."
As for his non-Nolan, non-movie research, Terrio pointed to the works of some of the comic book world's finest writers. "It’s impossible to know everything in the DC universe, but I threw myself into it and tried to learn as much as possible and I found such intelligence in so many of the comics," he said."Obviously Frank Miller is a well-known and respected writer who influences this film very directly. Also writers like Grant Morrison, who asks difficult philosophical questions in an extremely smart way," Terrio added.
Despite finding works in the comic book medium that spoke to him, Terrio maintained that he wanted to sort of keep a distance from the literary source material while writing BATMAN V SUPERMAN. "I tried to take in as much as I could while also keeping a little bit of an outsider’s eye."
That outsider's eye could make for an excellent partnership with Zack Snyder, who's seen as a total comic book junkie. The merging of Terrio's more distanced, more cerebral approach with Snyder's more fanboy-friendly sensibility could create a perfect a marriage of styles.
The world will find out on March 25, when BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE finally arrives in theaters.
I must say, I can relate to him. The first movie I can remember ever seeing was a Superman film, and I- too- am a huge superhero fan, yet never really became a comic book guy. That's not to say I've never collected, as I have a shelf dedicated solely to my DC collection, but I've always been more a superhero movie fan than a comic book fan. So this is all cool to hear, as I know where he's coming from.