Long before Zack Snyder and the current version of the DCEU, director George Miller (Mad Max Fury Road) was in charge of a movie titled Justice League Mortal. A cast was assembled and on the verge of filming in Australia when a combination of factors — including a writers’ strike and funding issues — brought the whole production to a halt.
Armie Hammer was to have played Batman/Bruce Wayne in this version of the JL. Now, appearing on the Maltin on Movies podcast to promote his new film On the Basis of Sex, he revealed what would have been his take on the Dark Knight:
“I wanted this Batman character to be so dark. I was like look, no one – and this was George’s idea as well, this was really in the script – but no one ever really shows how truly psychotic this man has to be. Like this is a guy who chooses to put on a costume, in all black, and sneak around at night and beat the s— out of people.
“Bruce Wayne was the mask that you never really see. I’m probably not supposed to be talking about this, but they took the job away so whatever! So even in times when he would be sitting around, like let’s say he had his batsuit off and all that, he would be sitting down with the thing, looking at the thing with the cowl on, because that’s where he felt the most comfortable in his own weird, twisted way.
“He was a neurotic, like borderline schizophrenic dude who didn’t trust a single person, including anyone in the Justice League, and had all the dirt on every single one of them, and was ready to take all of them down at the snap of a finger.”
This version of Batman, among a Justice League guided by George Miller, will have to remain one of the great what-ifs of superhero cinema.