George Miller’s Justice League Mortal is one of the great “What Ifs?” of modern Hollywood. The film was pretty much ready to go in 2007 for a 2009 release, but the writers strike pretty much stopped it in its tracks. Details, photos, and more have leaked out over the years, and Jay Baruchel, who was tapped to play the villain, Maxwell Lord, has recently revealed some new plot points on the film while promoting his directorial debut, Goon: Last of the Enforcers.
Speaking to Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Baruchel revealed that the movie would have had an epic brawl between Superman and Wonder Woman:
“There’s a scene where Maxwell Lord brainwashes Clark and all of a sudden this guy’s got Superman as a weapon. But the process for me to do it, and my pitch was and Miller loved, I start bleeding out of every fucking orifice because it takes that much effort to get me into a Kryptonian brain. And then I turn him into Red-Eye Superman, and there’s this big-ass fight between him and Wonder Woman where he breaks her fucking wrists and shit. And then I die halfway through the movie and my consciousness is uploaded to a fucking mainframe and I’m a evil computer.
Baruchel also revealed that the script was a “riff on the Infinite Crisis storyline.” The movie was also pretty deep into pre-production. “They had all the costumes. They had all the pre-viz,” says Baruchel. “They had all of the production design figured out, so they would walk us through command center where they had everything. They had all of the art up. The aesthetic choices they were making and the story and character choices they were making were so ballsy, and we won’t ever see it.” The best way he could describe the look was, “Imagine Miller doing Snyder…It was very tableau and there were paintings. What the characters were doing had such teeth to it.”
He also described the introduction to Wonder Woman, which was very different than what we saw earlier this summer:
“The opening scene on Themiscyria, it’s her on top of a steed, and she stood about half a kilometer away from a minotaur, minotaur’s got a battle axe in its hand, and she just rushes him—all the Amazons are there cheering her on—she just beheads him, gets off her steed, and holds up its head, doesn’t say a goddamn thing, and I’m like, ‘That’s the Wonder Woman I want to see!’”
The experience was particularly heartbreaking for Baruchel, who was only going to be in twelve scenes, but Miller wanted him there throughout filming not only because he was part of the cast, but also because he knew Baruchel had an interest in film making and wanted him to have a kind of apprenticeship on the picture.
A documentary on the making of the film is currently in the works, so hopefully we’ll learn more as time goes on.