Long before Ben Affleck suited up to play the Dark Knight, Armie Hammer reveals that he stole a script from George Miller’s cancelled Justice League: Mortal.
Tipped to be the first big comic book movie team up, Mortal was due to include actors like Hammer as Batman, D.J. Cortona as Superman, model Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, and The OC‘s Adam Brody as the Flash. The movie was due to air alongside Zack Snyder’s Watchmen, however, it became a short-lived affair in 2008 and was canned before any footage was actually shot.
Speaking to IMDb at Sundance 2018, Hammer revealed that although none of the movie remains, he did manage to get away with a copy of Kieran and Michele Mulroney’s script from the movie:
“It was amazing we were down in Australia for like a month or two months doing shoots, doing rehearsals in the suits, all the characters in their suits, and then we get a call one day from the producers saying we need everyone to come in and bring all of your materials, bring your scripts, bring your notes, bring everything, and we were like ‘ok, ok’ and we show up. They had big bins and they were like ‘Put it all in here’ and I was like ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, sure, sure.’ I quickly snuck a CD out of my computer put it in my back pocket turned it all in and I managed to basically steal a script but other than that I had nothing to show for it. I’m sure there’s pictures floating around somewhere with all of us in our costumes but yeah you know the tax budget all kinda went away in Australia and then the government had a huge reform and they sent us home.”
Although some amazing concept art does exist out there on the internet, little else of Justice League: Mortal still survives to this day. While Hammer hasn’t appeared to do anything with the script, we’re sure it would make an interesting read if he ever took it off his mantlepiece. Parts of the screenplay leaked online a few years ago, but taking a full copy is quite a souvenir to snatch off the set. Most of all, Hammer’s words reiterate how excited he was to play the Caped Crusader before Affleck put on the famous cowl. Tipped to be the most expensive movie ever made and leaning heavily on DC’s comic book world, fans have longed for an alternate reality where Justice League: Mortal came into existence.
The plot was rumored to follow villains Maxwell Lord and Talia al Ghul as they pitted the League against each other by exposing their weaknesses – thanks to Hammer’s Bruce Wayne. While the 31-year-old doesn’t go into further detail about how it should’ve ended, Mortal was rumored to climax with the death of the Flash in a spectacular fashion while taking down Lord. With Miller’s work on acclaimed movies like Babe and the Mad Max franchise, Mortal would undoubtedly have been an artistic piece of cinema to behold, but it never came to be.
These days, the might of DC’s heroes have only just shared the screen in Snyder’s controversial Justice League, but it is amazing to think that Warner Bros. wanted to “Unite the Seven” all those years ago. It certainly sounded like an ambitious project, with Hammer amping up a $300 million budget, however, the comic book movie gods weren’t smiling on the ill-fated production. Sadly, Justice League: Mortal will never see the light of day and still remains one of the biggest “What if?” movies ever not made. For now, we’ll have to make do with the DCEU and its ever-expanding slate of movies. Who knows, maybe there is still room for Hammer in there somewhere?
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