When you talk about movies that never happened, George Miller’s Justice League is one that is highly talked about. Pitched back in 2007 with a reported budget of $200+ million, Justice League Mortal was a hell of a lot closer to being fully realised than you might have thought.
George Miller – the mastermind behind Mad Max and the equally violent, full-throttle movies Babe and Babe 2: Pig in the City – had everything ready to go. The movie had a pretty interesting cast, as follows.
D.J. Cotrona as Superman
Armie Hammer as Batman
Megan Gale as Wonder Woman
Adam Brody as The Flash
Common as Green Lantern
Santiago Cabrera as Aquaman
Teresa Palmer as Talia al Ghul
Zoe Kazan as Iris Allen
Hugh Keays-Byrne as Martian Manhunter
Jay Baruchel as Maxwell Lord
The story saw Batman creating a satellite-system “Brother Eye” to keep the members of the Justice League in check – a storyline we’ve seen in quite a few JL comics. The files on how to defeat each member of the League are eventually stolen through the efforts of Talia al Ghul and Maxwell Lord. Lord has also created a bunch of OMAC robots so the League has something to fight against in big action scenes.
Baruchel came out recently and said that Maxwell Lord would manipulate Superman into going bad, resulting in a pretty interesting showdown between Superman and Wonder Woman.
So what happened? The screenplay was there, the movie had its cast, sets were being built…and then everything went pear shaped.
The writers strike hit and Warner Bros couldn’t keep the cast they had assembled. On top of that, the Australian Film Commission decided to suddenly play hardball with the production forcing the film to be shot elsewhere.
By this time The Dark Knight hit theatres and was a smash hit. There was already an established Batman with Christian Bale, so introducing Armie Hammer as another Batman would’ve been confusing. Eventually, Justice League: Mortal was scrapped entirely and it would be almost a decade before we’d get to see the Justice League on the big screen again.
I would’ve been interested to see just how this Justice League film would’ve gone. Miller is a true craftsman behind the camera and his films have that feel about them that distinguishes them from all others. They feel truly unique and personal – this could’ve been just what the comic book movie industry needed at the time.
The cast is one of the more interesting tid-bits about the cancelled film. Armie Hammer would’ve been a pretty incredible Batman in my opinion, and Jay Baruchel as Maxwell Lord looks like a precursor to Jesse Eisenberg taking on Lex Luthor.
A documentary has been trying to get made, Miller’s Justice League Mortal, but the makers have been quiet for some time after failing to get Warner Bros. approval.
We may never know what Miller’s Justice League would’ve been like, but in just over a week we will see the League together on the big screen for the first time.