George Miller’s Aborted JUSTICE LEAGUE Movie to Get Documentary

David Reddish
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Image source: Logan Zawacki, Flickr.

Call it the fallout from Mad Max: Fury Road.  The success of that film has led to interest in one more ill-fated: the aborted Justice League movie, slated to be directed by Miller for release in 2009.  The project came after the success of Batman Begins and amid the plans for the Marvel Cinematic universe fueled interest by Warner Bros. in developing a crossover film universe, with Justice League set to open a whole DC set of movies.

But problems arose.  Christian Bale, just having completed filming on The Dark Knight, expressed his disinterest and perplexity when Warner Bros. announced that Justice League would exist in a separate universe, thus creating two concurrent Batman-characters in movies at the same time.  Moreover, Bryan Singer had still expressed interest in a Superman Returns sequel, and the studio had yet to declare the project dead.  Worse, the 2008 Writers Strike halted production, though Miller had already cast the film, which would have included D. J. Cotrona as Superman, along with Armie Hammer as Batman, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman,  Common as Green Lantern, Adam Brody as The Flash and Jay Baruchel and Theresa Palmer as the villains, Maxwell Lord and Talia Al Ghul, respectively.  As the strike dragged on, Miller had to reschedule shooting, even as the contracts for the cast expired.  The wild success of The Dark Knight forced Warner Bros. to rethink their strategy, opting to wait until after director Christopher Nolan finished that series before embarking on more DC Films.  Taking a cue from the well-regarded Iron Man, the studio opted to take a more gradual approach, beginning with solo-films for their characters.  Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds, would have kicked off the new DC universe, with co-star Angela Bassett playing Amanda Waller, a character which would have tied the movies together, much like Samuel L. Jackson/Nick Fury in the Marvel Films.

Then Green Lantern bombed, and Warners had to rethink their strategy yet again.  By that time, Miller had quit the film, but not after a finished script, production design, costumes, and locations had been selected.  The new documentary will detail the production delays and offer an intimate look at the film Miller had planned, including interviews with cast & crew.  Tentatively titled Justice League: Mortal, director Ryan Unicomb has secured funding for the film which is set to begin production immediately.

Justice League: Mortal follows the very successful The Death of Superman Lives, a similar documentary which featured interviews with cast and crew in an attempt to reconstruct Tim Burton’s aborted Superman film from the 1990s. That doc is noteworthy not only for the candid interviews with the likes of Tim Burton and Kevin Smith, but for utilizing Kickstarter as a means for funding.