Director George Miller’s Justice League Mortal is one of the great lost films of our times, and it would included a brutal fight between two of DC’s greatest heroes (no, not Batman and Superman), according to one of its stars.
Jay Baruchel was set to play the villain Maxwell Lord in the film, and he shared new details about the project in an episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast, hosted by MTV’s Josh Horowitz.
“They had all the costume design. They had all of the pre-vis. They had all of the sort of production design figured out, and so they would take us and walk us through this command center where they had everything,” the actor said of checking things out down in Australia. “The aesthetic choices that they were making and the story and character choices they were making are so ballsy, and we won’t ever see it.”
Justice League Mortal had a cast in place and was deep into preproduction, with stars including Armie Hammer (as Batman), DJ Cotrona (as Superman), Megan Gale (as Wonder Woman) and Adam Brody (as The Flash). Warner Bros. had announced the movie in 2007 for a 2009 release date, but the project was pulled due to a number of factors, including the 2007-08 writers’ strike.
Asked to describe what it would have felt like, Baruchel offered this: “Imagine Miller doing [Zack] Snyder … it was very tableau … they were paintings. And what the characters were doing had such teeth to it.”
As an example, he described in detail a scene in which his character Maxwell Lord brainwashed Clark Kent.
“All of a sudden this guy’s got Superman as a weapon,” said the actor.
In the script, Lord would get a nosebleed whenever he took over someone’s mind, but Baruchel pitched to Miller that taking over Superman’s powerful Kryptonian brain would cause Lord to bleed out of every orifice in his head.
“I turn him into full red eye Superman, and then there’s this big ass fight between him and Wonder Woman, where he breaks her fucking wrists and shit,” he continued. “The first time you see Wonder Woman, the opening scene on Themyscira, it was just her. It’s her on top of a steed … and she stood about half a kilometer away from a Minotaur. The Minotaur has a battle-ax in his hand and she just rushes him. All the Amazons are there cheering her on, and she just beheads him. Gets off her steed … holds up the Minotaur thing and doesn’t say a goddamned thing. It’s like, ‘That’s the Wonder Woman I want to see!’ It would have been special.”
In 2014, stuntman Greg Van Borssum posted a photo with Miller and most of the cast together in 2007:
A year later, a group of filmmakers announced they were making a documentary on the project, though there have been no recent updates on its progress. A decade after the pic was abandoned, Snyder’s Justice League is set to hit theaters Nov. 17.
Listen to Baruchel’s full comments over at MTV, starting around the 42-minute mark.