Jay Baruchel On How Far Along Justice League Mortal’s Production Was Before Plug Was Pulled
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.
Now, this was more than just your usual situation involving a canned screenplay. Much like Tim Burton’s Superman Lives, JLM was dangerously close to filming before the ax came down. Actually, in the time since, small bits of trivia have hit the web, including photos of Megan Gale’s Wonder Woman costume, as well as details regarding a fight her character would’ve had with a corrupted Superman.
In fact, according to actor Jay Baruchel, who would’ve been featured alongside Teresa Palmer in the villainous roles of Maxwell Lord and Talia al Ghul, respectively, they were well into production before the project got cancelled:
“They had all the costume design. They had all of the pre-vis. They had all of the sort of production design figure doubt, and they would take us and walk us through this command center where they had everything.
“The aesthetic choices that they were making and the story and character choices they were making are so ballsy, and we won’t ever see it.”
Having heard that, I think the term “ballsy” would be appropriate, especially with Baruchel saying Lord would’ve died partway through the film, with his consciousness then being uploaded into a computer. Factoring in how he said Infinite Crisis was a big influence on the flick and already knowing that the OMACs were set to be featured, one would assume that he was supposed to become Brother Eye in what would’ve been an explosive third act.
After taking this in, all we can do is lament Justice League Mortal not ever seeing the light of day. Then again, if it had, we may’ve never gotten The Dark Knight Rises, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman or Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. So perhaps it was for the best that it got canned?