1. Justice League: Mortal (2009)
Parallel to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, Mad Max’s George Miller was keen to bring the much-anticipated Justice League movie to us, with the hope being that they could beat Marvel Studios to the punch with their plans to assemble The Avengers.
Few story details ever emerged, but the film had gotten as far as the casting process, including Adam Brody as The Flash, D.J. Cotrona as Superman, Common as Green Lantern, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, Armie Hammer as Batman and Teresa Palmer as Talia Al Ghul.
Though Miller hoped that the actors would “grow” into the roles over the subsequent films – suggesting that he intentionally didn’t cast A-listers – it’s just hard to get enthused about this line-up; Teresa Palmer, really!? It’s the sort of news every self-respecting comic book fan wants to be doing cartwheels over, but when you barely even know who these people are, it just invites doubtful thoughts and overwhelming skepticism.
So, what happened? Thankfully, the project died in 2010, and so George Miller can just pawn it off as something he thought up after he ate some bad Chinese takeout or something…
It’s been quite a trip, but yes, that’s your lot for 10 Batman projects that almost happened. While not only a testament to the absurdity of the film industry and just how damn difficult it is to get a project made, it’s largely also a document of how fickle Warner Bros. were creatively throughout the process.
With too many irons in the fire and no clear artistic focus, it’s no surprise it took them a whole 8 years to course-correct one of pop-culture’s quintessential characters.
Sure, it would have been awesome to see Aronofsky’s take, though in retrospect, I have to think that, all things considered, it worked out for the best. Would any of these ideas have been able to compete with Nolan’s sheer majesty of craft? I doubt it. So, in a way, we should almost be thanking Joel Schumacher’s stab at Batman and Robin and, moreover, Warner’s horrid mismanagement of the Batman brand…