A closer look at Batman and Superman concept art from the cancelled Justice League Mortal has surfaced online, courtesy of DC Films Hub on Twitter.
Justice League: Mortal, planned to be the first time DC Comics' most famous characters assembled in live-action on the big screen, was to begin filming in February 2008 before Warner Bros. pulled the plug.
George Miller (Mad Max, Mad Max: Fury Road) was to direct a cast that would have starred D.J. Cotrona as Superman, Armie Hammer as Batman, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, Santiago Cabrera as Aquaman, Common as Green Lantern (John Stewart), Hugh Keays-Byrne as Martian Manhunter, Adam Brody as the Flash (Barry Allen) and Anton Yelchin as Wally West.
Teresa Palmer and Jay Baruchel were to play its villains, Talia al Ghul and Maxwell Lord, in a plot that would have involved the OMACs and a mind-controlled Superman attacking the Justice League.
Hammer's "dark" and "deranged" Batman would have worn an exoskeleton Bat-suit while Cotrona's Superman would have sported a more faithful rendition of the superhero's classic costume, but with an "S" insignia attached to an over-the-head cape.
Miller told The Hollywood Reporter Mortal had "a really great script, and [studio Warner Bros.] said, 'Let's do it. Let's do a Justice League.'"
"I really was attracted to it," Miller said. "But there was a writers strike looming. We had to cast it very quickly, which we did with Warner’s casting people. And we cast it really quickly and we mounted it very quickly. And it depended on a start date and it depended on some basic rebate legislation that had just got through a new Australian government."
"But," Miller explained, "it was just too big a decision for them to make in the time. And that fell through and the whole film fell through. We almost got there. And it wasn't to be. But that happens a lot, where films line up and the stars look like they're aligning and they didn't."
Ten years later, Warner Bros.' Justice League concluded its theatrical run as the lowest-grossing movie birthed out of the DC Extended Universe.
Henry Cavill's Superman is rumored to next appear in Shazam! while the world awaits word of a second Superman solo. Spinning out of Justice League, Jason Momoa will return as his aquatic superhero in Aquaman, out December 21, followed by Wonder Woman 2 November 1, 2019.
Matt Reeves is developing The Batman and Warner Bros. has tapped Game Night directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein to helm Flashpoint. Both projects have yet to stake release dates.