By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist October 8, 2013 at 9:01AM
Marvel may have edged out DC cinematically with their adaptation miracle of “The Avengers” and the goodwill that it afforded them, but if a series of calamitous episodes never befell director George Miller back in 2007, the record might have been a little different. Borne from the development of “Batman Begins” and decent reception for “Superman Returns,” the “Mad Max” director was tapped to direct a “Justice League” film for WB, but as the budget surpassed $200 million, tax incentives changed for the worse in their planned shooting location of Australia, and the writers' strike hit, the project quickly fell apart. Well, now the blueprints for the catastrophe have been revealed for any interested parties.
Based on three comic book story arcs—“JLA: Tower of Babel,” “Superman: Sacrifice” and “Crisis on Infinite Earth” #8—the script for the film written by Kieran and Michele Mulroney has been leaked and offers a glimpse into exactly the situation that Miller was entering. Even though Christopher Nolan was developing “The Dark Knight” with Christian Bale during pre-production on “Justice League,” there was never any intent for the actor to play Batman in Miller's film; rather, Armie Hammer was set to play the role, while D.J. Cotrona ("G.I. Joe: Retaliation") was locked in as Superman. It also planned for Adam Brody as The Flash and Megan Gale as Wonder Woman.
The script focuses on the seven superheroes' relationship to an all-powerful satellite system that Batman rigged to spy on them, and jumps off from that into some social commentary mixed with your usual high-stakes action setpieces. It also poses an curious bizarro universe of the present superhero flick landscape—one in which Miller attempted the gargantuan task of a much-rushed, ensemble superhero experiment, and very likely could have temporarily killed adaptations in the same way that “Batman and Robin” did in 1997.
You can read the full script over at Superhero Movie News, but while Miller's “Justice League” script failed to get a version of Wonder Woman back then, WB is actively looking for a way to get her on somewhere now. WB CEO Kevin Tsujihara participated in a keynote at USC recently (via Coming Soon), and during his talk exclaimed that “We need to get Wonder Woman on the big screen or TV," and also that his company has “huge plans for a number of other DC properties" on the small screen. As we already know, "Gotham"—a series set around a young Commissioner Gordon—is brewing over at Fox, so perhaps it's just the first in what could be a slew of new projects.