George Miller‘s Mad Max: Fury Road has been a nice moderate hit, accumulating 95 million over the past 11 days, with word of mouth continuing to be strong and rightfully so.
One of the big social discussion points I’ve seen floating around since its release are articles with titles like: “We could have had a George Miller Justice League!”, and it’s true, the auteur behind the Mad Max series was indeed in place to direct the big DC team-up, entitled Justice League: Mortal, that would have seen release just a year after Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight.
Even a few of his cast members from that film appear in Fury Road such as Megan Gale who was signed up for Wonder Woman, and Hugh Keays-Byrne who was intended to play Martian Manhunter. The rest of the cast, which included Armie Hammer (Batman), Common (Green Lantern), Adam Brody (The Flash), DJ Cotrona (Superman), Jay Baruchel (Max Lord), and Santiago Cabrera (Aquaman) contained varying levels of inspiration and exasperation. A number of factors have been cited for why the film wasn’t able to beat Marvel’s The Avengers to the box office, including Nolan not wanting competing, unconnected Dark Knights on the big screen at the same time, a rising budget, and the writer’s strike of 2007-2008.
The biggest problem though? The script just wasn’t very good. At least not the draft I read, which was presumably the final one before production was scrapped. It was basically The OMAC Project combined with Tower of Babel combined with Crisis on Infinite Earths #8, along with an ill-advised fast food plot and some strikingly bad dialogue. This thing would have likely killed your Justice League dreams quicker than you could say “Ryan Reynolds‘ Green Lantern“.
But, much like the documentary feature that will cover the disastrous production cycle that marked Tim Burton‘s Superman Lives, another team is looking to do the same for Justice League: Mortal.
Australian director Ryan Unicomb, along with producers Aaron Cater and Steven Caldwell, are aiming to cover what might have been with a documentary entitled, appropriately enough, Miller’s Justice League: Mortal. According to Unicomb, they have investors in place already and may turn to crowdfunding as well.
The filmmaker briefly spoke with Inside Film about the project:
We wanted to get the story out there to help us to gauge interest. I have always been fascinated with project, which would be in the same vein as 2013’s Jodorowsky’s Dune and this year’s The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?
There’s no current timetable for release, and they’ve yet to approach Miller about the project. Hopefully they’ll be able to secure his participation, as I’m sure the story behind this initial Justice League attempt would prove fascinating.
Warner Bros, for their part, will be finally releasing a Justice League film in 2017, directed by Zack Snyder.
Entertainment Editor for The Beat covering film, television and the occasional comic book. His work can also be found at GeekRex.com and can be heard on the GeekRex podcast. Also, your go-to Grant Morrison/Love & Rockets/Hellboy/Legion of Super-Heroes expert.