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.
Jay Baruchel as Max Lord?!? Maybe I just don’t have the imagination but I cannot conceive of a way that would have ever worked.
I’m waiting for the documentary about why Terry Gilliam’s WATCHMEN never happened. Or one about why James Cameron’s SPIDER-MAN didn’t get made.
As for that Justice League movie, all the proposed actors skewed really young. They seemed to be casting a Teen Titans movie.
We don’t need this documentary and I don’t think it will get made.
The MIller JLA film didn’t happen for a sipmle reason. the script was awful. Awful. impossibly unbelievably bad. You don’t need a 2 hour documentary to realize that.
read teh script yourself.
@AwesomeDude: I know it’s right there in the headline, but I don’t see a documentary about an aborted film as being limited to the “Why didn’t this get made?” question. There are plenty of other questions — what would it have looked like, how far did it get? — that could make for a fascinating subject even if the movie itself was spectacularly wrongheaded. Which is the entire idea behind the Superman Lives documentary — yes, the movie looks like it would have been a mess, but messes can still be really interesting to watch.
“The MIller JLA film didn’t happen for a sipmle reason. the script was awful.”
Lots of movies with awful scripts get made and become box-office hits. The Transformers movies, for instance.
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