Back in 2008, WB was moving forward with the Justice League Mortal movie directed by George Miller featuring Armie Hammer as Batman, DJ Catrona as Superman, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, Common as Green Lantern John Stewart, Adam Brody as The Flash, Santiago Cabrera as Aquaman, Hugh Keays-Byrne as Martian Manhunter, Zoe Kazan as Iris Allen, Teresa Palmer as Talia Al Ghul and Jay Baruchel as Maxwell Lord.
Justice League Mortal was set to film in Sydney Australia, but WB ended up shelving the project due to a writers strike, the budget and other issues.
While the Justice League Mortal script has been released online offering the full details of the movie, MTV's Josh Horowitz catches up with Jay Baruchel who offers an inside look at the movie while appearing on the Happy Sad Podcast.
Here is the text:
That's a heart-breaker, buddy. Yeah. It was called Justice League Mortal, and it was written by a writing team. It was kind of a riff on the Infinite Crisis [comic book] line of stories. I went in. I met with Miller after sending my tape in. I went in for the meeting, and they were like, "They want you in Sydney next week for the rehearsal." So that was cool, and to be in a superhero movie, and I was going to get to be the bad guy. I was Maxwell Lord. It was going to be me and Teresa Palmer as Talua Al Ghul.
What I loved about it was how f'm specific it was and shamelessly... They just had a vision. So I get down to Australia, and we do this read through. Nico [Lathouris], the guy that co-wrote Fury Road with Miller, was there as his dramaturge. He said, "Nico is here, and what we are going to do..." He picked up the script and said, "This is just paper. This is just a document. We don't care about the documents. We want to remove you from the documents." So first table read. "Any time you have a line of dialogue to say, don't say your line, say your character's name, the word 'says' and then your line." So everyone is "Batman says," "Superman says," "Maxwell Lord says." We did this really deep Stella Adler acting class type sh-t, but it was only for four hours a day. The rest of the time we were in Sydney. It was just like working with one of the great... at Kennedy Miller, at their headquarters.
At that point they had build so much of the movie They had all the costume design. They had all the previs. They had all of the sort of production design figured out. They would take us and walk us through this command center where they had everything--all of the art up. The asethetic choices that they were making, and the story and character choices they were making are so ballsy, and we won't ever see it.
How would it have felt--imagine Miller doing Snyder. That's the way I could describe it because it was very Tablo. It was very, very... they were paintings. What the characters were doing had such teeth to it. There is a scene where Maxwell Lord brainwashes Clark, and all of a sudden this guy has Superman as a weapon. The process for me, because I could always control people's minds (and my nose bleeds a little), for me to get into a Kryptonian mind, my pitch was it's not just a nose bleed, I start bleeding out of every f'n orifice of my head because it takes that much to get into the Kryptonian brain. Then I do, and I turn him into full red-eye Superman, and then there is this big ass fight between him and Wonder Woman where he breaks her f'n wrists and sh-t. Then I die half-way through the movie, and my consciousness is uploaded into a f'n mainframe, and I'm an evil computer.
The first time you see Wonder Woman, the opening scene on Themyscira, it was just her on top of a steed, and she stood a half a kilometer away from a Minotaur, Minotaur has a battle axe in his hand, and she just rushes him, all the Amazons were there cheering her on, and she just beheads him, gets off her steed, holds up the head and doesn't say a g-d damn, thing. I was like,"That's the Wonder Woman I want to see."
It would have been special, and for me selfishly personally... So while we're there they start booking houses for all the Justice League, and they are not asking me. I said, "So, are you guys going to find me.." [They were like], "We think you are only in twelve scenes. We think you are going to go back and forth." I'm like, "A. That's a lot of travel. B. That's a bummer. I'm having fun." So I said to George," How long do you want me here because I'm only in twelve scenes. Because if you want me to come and go that's actually fine because I'm happy to be here?" And he's like, "Oh, no. No. No." He goes, "I want you here for the full time for two reasons. I want you here 1: because I don't want you to break up our team. I want to keep the posse together. Number 2 (and this is the heart-breaker): I know you have an interest in cinema, and I want you to be here every day and shadow me like I did with Mel on Thunderdome." He literally offered me an apprenticeship.
Then I went home on December 23rd. [We were supposed to go] back to Sydney on January 7th. January 6th I got the call it's not happening. DJ Catrona, my buddy who is going to play Superman, who is on the From Dusk Till Dawn TV show, he had it far worse. He didn't get the call the day before. He was standing with his luggage in front of his place in LA. The Towne car was pulling up as he got the phone call:"You're not going." Then the driver said, "I'm here to take you to the airport." He said, "No. I'm not." The driver said, 'I'm pretty sure I am." [Catrona said], "Buddy, I just got the call. Please. My heart is broken. I'm going back inside." Literally had his bag packed. I was only in Sydney for two weeks. Him and Armie Hammer had been there for two or three months at that point in training to be Batman and Superman.
The crazy anecdotes and why we referred to ourselves as the hobo league of Australia. We had a good time.
Jay Baruchel talks Justice League Mortal around the 42:00 mark: