When Warner Bros. started to get the ball rolling on their DC Universe, Marvel was already in the midst of the second phase of their Marvel Cinematic Universe, so Warner Bros. obviously had a lot of catching up to do in a short amount of time, so it didn’t take long for the studio to announce a full slate of DC films. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that there was enough planning done behind-the-scenes with how these films would connect together.
While speaking with Vanity Fair, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and JUSTICE LEAGUE screenwriter Chris Terrio said that he was in the dark a lot of the time as it seemed like Warner Bros. considered hitting a release date to be more important.
I was not consulted on the order of the films, even though I was the person writing Justice League. They just determined that it was going to be Batman/Superman, and then Wonder Woman, then Justice League, and then Aquaman. So there was never any thought to how the world was constructed before they issued this edict. They said, “Conform to this schedule.”
This lack of planning definitely complicated things for Chris Terrio, as much of the foundation for the DC Universe wasn’t in place when he was writing the script. “The Wonder Woman script wasn’t even finished when I wrote Justice League,” Terrio explained. “So I had no basis to write Wonder Woman other than Batman/Superman. Themyscira didn’t even exist. I was never shown anything on the page for it. I didn’t know whether people could talk underwater. That was a thing that I had to ask, because I didn’t know if I could do underwater scenes with Aquaman and Atlanteans. It was all just from scratch because there had been no [solo] character films.” Terrio added that because of the lack of set-up, Justice League needed to establish multiple main characters, resurrect Superman, and create a long game mythology for the franchise. “I just don’t know how you could do all that in under two hours,” Terrio said. “Maybe the 2017 release proved that you couldn’t.” Since Justice League obviously didn’t perform quite as expected, Warner Bros. have slowly started re-configuring their DC Universe and look to be embracing the multiverse more this time around, with several of their upcoming movies taking place in different universes.