Teen Titans Go! to the Movies was a charming, iconoclastic delight in no small part because it totally dumped on some of DC’s many, many bad movies (ahem, Green Lantern). Perhaps the most overt burn, however, was at Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’s expense, and it turns out that Warner Bros. really, really didn’t want Teen Titans Go! to make a joke about how freaking god-awful that blockbuster was.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, directors Aaron Horvath and Peter Rida Michail explained that Warner Bros. was not a fan of a joke in Teen Titans Go! to the Movies that spoofed the big “Martha” reveal in BvS. The cartoon has Batman and Superman in the midst of a extremely dark and gritty fight, only to stop when they realize that both of their mom’s names are Martha. That’s what actually happened in BvS. However, Teen Titans Go! takes this dumb twist a step further, and the two heroes begin to pummel one another as soon as they confirm that their dads have different names.
“They did not care for our Batman v. Superman Martha joke,” Horvath said.
“That one in particular was on the chopping block for months,” Michail said, noting that they were fighting until the last minute to keep it in the final movie.
Perhaps the reason why Warner Bros. ultimately allowed to them to keep the joke was that test audiences loved it. “We’re making a comedy movie, and if you get a laugh, it’s like, do you want to be the guy who cuts laughs out of the movie?” Horvath recalled?
That must have been a fun moment for the suits at Warner Bros. — figuring out what to do when one of the biggest laughs in an upcoming movie is at the expense of a much more expensive, widely reviled film.
Elsewhere in the EW interview, the pair reveal that Stan Lee’s first-ever cameo in a DC movie came about almost by chance, through lunch with a friend of a friend. Lee was apparently super eager to lend his voice to the film.
“Stan Lee was just busting his balls the whole time,” Michail said.
Teen Titans Go! to the Movies is now in theaters.