What Could Have Been #8 | The Justice League Of America

What Could Have Been #8 | The Justice League Of America

As a fan of film, I love exploring behind the scenes. Reading about the production process, the special effects and the stories of what could have been.

Justice League (2008)

Before the release of “The Dark Knight” and probably nothing to do with the fact Marvel had announced plans for “The Avengers”, Warner Bros. decided to make plans for a Justice League movie.

In early 2007 Warner Bros. hired script writers to create the story and upon positive feedback, George Miller (Mad Max trilogy, Happy Feet 1 & 2) signed on to direct. Filming was planned to start in Australia in 2008.

In November 2007 Marit Allen the hired costume designer passed away and Weta Workshop took over. Weta are most famous for their work on the films of Peter Jackson including The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong. Then in January 2008 Warner Bros. changed their minds about the filming location and switched it to Canada despite Miller’s wishes to keep it in Australia, his native country.

While a cast for the film was never officially released, various news brokers were able to confirm Miller’s casting choices. Younger actors were chosen by Miller because he hoped they would grow into their roles over the course of a trilogy of films. The main cast read as follows,

Adam Brody – The Flash
D.J. Cotrona as Superman
Common as Green Lantern
Megan Gale as Wonder Woman
Armie Hammer as Batman
Santiago Cabrera as Aquaman
Hugh Keays as The Martian Manhunter

In August 2010 Digital Spy interviewed Jay Baruchelas part of promotion for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, they asked him about the aborted Justice League film where he was cast as one of the villains. The quotes speak for themselves.

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“…if we had been able to make the movie that we had gone down [to Australia] to rehearse, if you had seen the production art I’d seen… it would’ve been the coolest thing ever. It would have been the neatest vision of Batman and the coolest vision of Superman you’ve ever seen. It would have been dark and fairly brutal and quite gory and just f**king epic.”

“The problem was that, had it gone to production, it would have been the single most expensive movie in the history of movies. Sometimes people are reticent to spend upwards of $300 million. It was a fun two weeks in Sydney and I got to hang out with one of my idols, George Miller.”

“…My friends, who were training to be Batman and Superman, they were down there for three months training and going to Weta in New Zealand to get their costumes. Weta, which is arguably the greatest special effects house on Earth, they had to cancel everything else. They were doing nothing but our movie. It was going to be f**king dope!”

“…They had everything there; maquettes, pre-visualisation, absolutely everything and we had assembled this neat cast. The rehearsal process was so strange and so unconventional and, I know it sounds hard to believe, but I assure you it would have been something f**king awesome!”

The following October Armie Hammer was interviewed by Ain’t It Cool, they also asked about his experiences on Justice League,

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“I wore the full functioning Bat Suit. The batarangs were all titanium spring-loaded, they all worked…”

“…It was nutty. If we had any part of our costume on they’d have four people walk around us with big sheets so no paparazzi could get pictures of us in the costumes. It was insane.”

Allegedly this film was to be set in the same universe as “Batman Begins” with Christian Bale playing Batman along with Brandon Routh as Superman and other big names in an ensemble cast. But director Christopher Nolan was unhappy as it would belittle his second Batman film “The Dark Knight” already in production at that time. Apparently this is why the much younger cast of relatively unknowns were chosen and the story would stand separate from Nolan’s films. Miller took it upon himself to rewrite the script but Warner Bros pulled the plug on the on the film just two weeks before filming with sets, costumes and props all built and ready to go.

Usually there are pictures or videos to accompany these articles but there’s been no leak of any costumes, concept art or sets and it’s been four years now. Just think,there’s a whole set of superhero costumes we’ll never get to see currently sitting in a cupboard down in New Zealand.

What Could Have Been… is a series first created by John (@UKFilmNerd) on the original version of theunheardnerd.com. We will be re-running the series in a weekly format, but if you can’t wait for the next instalment you can check it out now. [What Could Have Been… #1-12]

John Abbitt

About the author | John Abbitt

@UKFilmNerd | John loves film, and he used to write for his own website, The Tydirium Hangar Bay, in the late 1990s. Whilst that website became lost in the passages of time, John's love of film did not. He's back, writing for The Unheard Nerd.

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