Abandoned Justice League Film May Get Documentary


Long before there was a Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice or any glimmer of a DC Cinematic Universe, there was Justice League: Mortal.  The film was to be the first live-action incarnation of DC’s most famous heroes — Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, The Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman — together.  Warner Bros. hired the husband and wife screenwriting team Michele Mulroney and Kiernan Mulroney to pen a script for the aforementioned film.

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Happy with the script, the studio fast-tracked the film for production.  Like the current generation of the WB/DC film universe, Justice League: Mortal was to start a new franchise.  Hence, Brandon Routh of Superman Returns (2006) and Christian Bale of The Dark Knight Trilogy (only Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) were released at the time) were not approached.  Jason Reitman was the original choice as the director, but he bowed out stating that he saw himself as an independent filmmaker and not someone who makes big-budget superhero films.  George Miller of Mad Max franchise fame would sign on to direct in September of 2007.

Casting for the film quickly went into overdrive and multiple actors and actresses were considered for the iconic roles.  The studio finally settled on D.J. Corona as Superman; Armie Hammer as Batman; Megan Gale as Wonder Woman; Common as the John Stewart version of Green Lantern; Adam Brody as The Flash; Hugh Keays-Byrne as Martian Manhunter; Jay Baruchel as Maxwell Lord; and Teresa Palmer as Talia al Ghul.  Aquaman had yet to be cast.

However, due to a slew of mishaps — the writers’ strike, delays in filming, and the Australian government denying Warner Bros. a forty percent tax rebate — the film became doomed.  The studio would later change its mind and focus more on individual superhero films which also led to the debacle known as Green Lantern (2011).  After Man of Steel (2013) finished filming, Warner Bros. went back to the drawing board and solidified plans to use the tone of Man of Steel as a launchpad for a shared DC film universe.  And so it brings us to the present where fans are avidly waiting for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice along with other films in this new cinematic universe.

Now, according to Inside Film, director Ryan Unicomb and producers Aaron Cater and Steven Caldwell want to bring the story behind the failed Justice League: Mortal.  The documentary currently has the working title of Miller’s Justice League: Mortal, and it will present the trials and tribulations of the project’s development, pre-production, failure, and its impact on the overall Australian film industry.

Writer Maria Lewis has been enlisted to develop the documentary.  The plan is to interview the cast and crew of Justice League: Mortal, and also show completed development work — costumes, set designs, artwork, etc.  Justice League: Mortal director George Miller and producer Doug Mitchell have not yet been approached.  Director Ryan Unicomb currently has private investors interested in funding the documentary, and he may also supplement those finances via crowd-funding.

Though George Miller never got to complete Justice League: Mortal, he did eventually come out on top.  Miller’s latest installment to his Mad Max franchise — Mad Max: Fury Road — has been tearing up the box-office and has reached critical acclaim.

Would you be interested in seeing this documentary?  Would it be something you’d fund with your own money through crowd-funding?  Let us know in the comments.

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