Batman v Superman Writer Argued With Studio About Lex Luthor Ending

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Lex Luthor Batman v Superman

The DC Extended Universe has undoubtedly had its fair share of issues throughout its run for a multitude of reasons. The project currently being dissected most is one of the results of those problems, Zack Snyder's Justice League , which helped to complete director Zack Snyder's full vision for the franchise that he kicked off with 2013's Man of Steel .

The follow-up to Henry Cavill's first solo Superman movie was 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice , which took the darker tone of its predecessor and used it for all the new characters that joined the Kryptonian. Part of that team was DC's other superstar hero in Bruce Wayne, who came in holding no punches back and taking out anyone and everyone that stood in his way as the Dark Knight.

Even for Batman's brutal nature in his debut DCEU outing, there was one moment that was changed by this movie's writer in order to give him a sense of redemption.


Lex Luthor Jail Batman v Superman

In an interview with Vanity Fair , Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice writer Chris Terrio revealed that in earlier draft's of the movie's script, Batman branded Lex Luthor instead of punching the wall behind him in the jail cell. Terrio argued against "end(ing) the movie continuing this behavior," which would have ended up "endorsing what (Batman) did" through the rest of the plot:

"The studio seemed to take this position after BvS that my writing was too dark and that this was their problem. But what they didn’t mention was that, for example, in the draft of the Batman/Superman script that W.B. had developed—[which was] the draft I was handed when I joined the project—Batman was not only branding criminals with a bat brand, he also ended the movie by branding Lex Luthor. That ending was a point over which I explicitly went to the mat with the studio again and again. I argued that Batman cannot end the movie continuing this behavior, which amounted to torture, because then the movie was endorsing what he did."

Lex Luthor Batman Jail Batman v Superman

While Terrio was alright with starting the film off with Batman "as a dark version of himself whom we don’t recognize," he didn't agree with the hero never learning from his mistakes:

"It’s one thing if Batman begins the movie as a dark version of himself whom we don’t recognize, but he has to see the error of his ways and remember his better self in the course of the movie. By the end of the movie, he needs to be the Batman we know, and he has to be ready to go and create the Justice League. Otherwise, I said, what was the point?"


Yet again, it seems as though Warner Bros couldn't get out of its own way in terms of the DCEU.

The franchise adopted the dark and brooding tone that Snyder had set up in Man of Steel , which was obviously brought to one of DC's darkest characters in Batman.

With the character being a weathered veteran when fans see him in this movie, it seems to make sense that his methods are a little rough around the edges. However, having him go fully to the dark side with a move like that toward Lex Luthor almost seems like something he couldn't come back from, which is why Terrio fought so hard to change it.

With so much drama behind the scenes of this controversial franchise, it will be interesting to find out what kind of adjustments Warner Bros. makes for the handful of confirmed projects going forward.

Ben Affleck will return to the role of Batman in 2022's The Flash , while Robert Pattinson will lead the way as Bruce Wayne in The Batman .

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.