Many people forget that current effort are the second time Warner Bros. has tried to make a unified, DC universe on film. In 2007, before even the Marvel Cinematic Universe began with Iron Man, a Justice League movie was in the works. George Miller (Mad Max, Happy Feet) was set to direct the film, written by Kieran and Michele Mulroney (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows). Armie Hammer was cast as Batman, D.J. Cotrona was Superman, Adam Brody was The Flash, and Megan Gale was Wonder Woman. However, as the budget continued to balloon, the film was shelved. Then Christopher Nolan released The Dark Knight, Marvel released Iron Man, and this film became a distant memory.
Now, DC is back at it again with Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman, and possibly The Flash and Wonder Woman leading to another Justice League movie. David Goyer is a good bet to be writing a new Justice League, but for an idea of the movie we almost saw, the script for the 2007 Justice League has now come online.
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 set pieces. It also poses a 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.
So it sounds like shelving this movie was probably a good thing. But looking back at the what-ifs of Hollywood history, especially the modern superhero boom, is always fun. A few short months later, Nolan’s Dark Knight and Jon Favreau’s Iron Man exhibited the kind of mature thinking the superhero genre truly needed for an overdue renaissance. This script sounds like it’s from another era. Are you going to read this script?