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Screenwriter Compares Justice League Draft to Back to the Future Part II

Screenwriter Will Beall is revisiting the year 2012, a pivotal moment when Warner Bros. brought him on to pen the script for Justice League. Beall, known for his work on Gangster Squad, Bad Boys: Ride or Die, and Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F, recently shared that his early draft was significantly influenced by the 1989 classic Back to the Future Part II.

In Beall’s version of the script, the second act was set in a dystopian future known as the Knightmare timeline. This nightmarish possible future, ruled by Darkseid, was later introduced in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and expanded upon in the 2021 director’s cut, Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Beall’s original script, written long before Joss Whedon’s extensive rewrites and reshoots for the 2017 theatrical release, was markedly different from the final product.

“The biggest difference with mine, I think, was that much of the second act was that little sort of coda that was on the Snyder Cut, where it’s this post-apocalyptic sort of dream sequence or flash forward, and there are good guys and bad guys, they’re forced to team up. Much of my second act was taken up with that,” Beall explained in an interview with TheWrap. “My version of it owed a lot to Back to the Future II.”

In the Back to the Future sequel, Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, finds himself in an alternate 1985 after Biff Tannen, portrayed by Thomas F. Wilson, misuses Doc Brown’s DeLorean time machine to enrich himself, creating a nightmarish version of reality. The only way to restore the timeline is to go back to the past and fix the point where it diverged, leading to Biff’s dystopian “Hell Valley.”

Beall’s unproduced script did not vanish entirely. Although the 2017 Justice League film was mainly credited to Whedon and Chris Terrio, Beall earned a “story by” credit that he shared with Snyder and Terrio in the extended director’s cut. This version, referred to as the Snyder Cut, restored and expanded upon the Knightmare sequences, adding new footage directed by Snyder.

Following his work on Justice League, Beall co-wrote the script and story for the 2018 film Aquaman. Notably, Aquaman became the only film in the DC Extended Universe to surpass the one-billion-dollar mark at the box office. Reflecting on his work on Justice League, Beall expressed pride in his contributions.

“I’m proud of the script that I wrote, and I’m happy that it helped. I feel like I did my job,” Beall remarked. “So your first job as a writer, working with any of these things, is to be a good steward. You have to respect the fans and the characters and what makes them great, and not try to outsmart it.”

Source: TheWrap