It’s not often that you can remember what you were doing a decade ago, but in this case, I can. Ten years ago at this time, I was vehemently following the production of Justice League Mortal, looking for any news I could find online pertaining to it. After all, this was set to be the first live action meet up of DC’s premier superheroes on the big screen.
Set to have been directed by George Miller with a cast of up-and-coming actors featuring the likes of Armie Hammer as Batman, DJ Cotrona as Superman, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, Common as Green Lantern and Adam Brody as The Flash, it certainly seemed like we were off to the races and the dream was about to be made a reality.
But, unfortunately, that was not the case as the plug was pulled on the blockbuster for a variety of reasons. Granted, the entirety of said heartbreak warrants a report of its own, but, in short, JLM was a casualty of the writers strike. Well, that and there being word on the street that Christopher Nolan was none too pleased about another cinematic Batman competing with his.
Still, it’s hard not to ponder what Hammer’s Batman would’ve been like – even if he was cast at the age of nineteen. Truth be told, the fact that the cast was so young when this thing was getting off the ground was a bit difficult to overlook, but I can at least understand why Miller and company made such a bold decision. In short, they wanted the cast to be able to grow over the course of what was hoped to be an ongoing franchise.
In retrospect, Hammer himself finds such a thing to be odd, which he discussed in a recent interview with Vulture:
“For a long time, I was like, ‘How great that could have been!’ As a 31-year-old who’s been through a lot since I was 19, I wouldn’t want to watch a 19-year-old Batman. I’d be like, ‘Who’s this spoiled rich kid who wants to play dress-up?’ I used to be upset we didn’t get to do it, but everything happens exactly as it’s supposed to. I still have a lot of learning to do about this, and it’s a constant pursuit for me. If I had been that successful right out of the gate, I would have thought I already understood it all. I know that I wouldn’t have turned in a great performance, or even a good performance — it would have just been whatever. So I’m glad.”
So, even though we’re all gearing up to see our favorite heroes finally coming together this weekend, Justice League Mortal will forever remain in the back of my mind – even if Batman normally doesn’t don cape and cowl until he’s 25 in comic book canon.