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Justice League writer Chris Terrio weighs in on Ray Fisher Cyborg controversy

Forget Darkseid, Ray Fisher’s current epic battle is with Warner Bros.

The actor who played Cyborg in Justice League has been vocal on facing outright abuse on set by Joss Whedon. Now, Justice League screenwriter Chris Terrio is adding insight to how the character was altered by the reshoots. 

Setting up Cyborg

In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Terrio talks of how Cyborg was the character of the movie he felt the most invested in when working on the script with Zack Snyder. 

“I wasn’t invited to the set, but obviously I know Ben, and I got to know Ray Fisher. We developed Cyborg together. Ray came to my apartment in the East Village, and he and I just would take long walks and talk about Cyborg and the responsibility of putting the first Black DC superhero in a movie onscreen.”

“That was a big responsibility that we both understood and took very seriously. Remember, this was before Black Panther. There obviously have been some Black superheroes over the years, but none depicted with such a budget and such scale and in such a mainstream way.”

“Cyborg is the one character who can’t disguise himself. He lives in his skin. His otherness is a constant fact of his life. And that to me—and Ray and I discussed this—speaks about being a Black man in America. You cannot remove the otherness that people force upon you,” he added. “And therefore Cyborg—when he becomes the hero that he always should have been and was meant to be, that felt like something really strong that we wanted the world to see.”

Terrio is frank in the interview on how Warner Bros had little planning for Justice League and was so outraged by the theatrical cut (especially the alterations to Cyborg) that he wanted his name removed.

The Snyder Cut of the movie does build the character, who, as a key part of the story, helps save the day from Darkseid’s attacks. This is a far cry from the clashes Fisher is currently having over the film. 

Fisher vs Warner Bros

Every way that Zack Snyder's Justice League improved Cyborg
Cyborg in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Pic credit: Warner Bros

For several months, Fisher has been claiming that, while he got along fine with Snyder on the original shoot of Justice League, he faced major abuse from Joss Whedon, who took over with rewrites and reshoots. 

Fisher’s complaints range from being given the foolish “Booyah” line as a would-be catchphrase to “gross and unprofessional behavior,” although he would not provide details.

He has accused WarnerMedia President Walter Hamada of stalling any investigations into the Whedon accusations (for the record, Hamada was not involved in Justice League), even though an internal WB investigation was made. 

In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Fisher claims then-DC Comics co-president Geoff Johns would cover for Whedon and push Fisher to make Cyborg happier than the “angry black man” he seemed to be with Snyder’s version. 

Fisher even claimed that Johns refused to cast Bridgerton’s Rege-Jean Page as Superman’s grandfather in the Syfy Krypton series because he was black (Johns has denied the claim). 

When asked about the Fisher and Whedon battle, Terrio was diplomatic. “I probably shouldn’t get into that. I’ve never met Joss. I don’t know him. I did reach out to him at the beginning of the process, through the executives, but I didn’t hear back, which is not unusual.”

Fisher himself remains strident about discussing his treatment over Justice League, which he says is less about his own career and more trying to help others avoid the same ordeal.

“I don’t believe some of these people are fit for positions of leadership. I don’t want them excommunicated from Hollywood, but I don’t think they should be in charge of the hiring and firing of other people. If I can’t get accountability, at least I can make people aware of who they’re dealing with.”

The controversy over Fisher and Warner Bros continues to rage as much as any conflict seen on screen. 

Justice League the Snyder Cut now streaming on HBO Max.

A long-time freelance writer with a major love for movies, TV, books...read more

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