Friday, August 06, 2010

The Lost LEAGUE

Way, way, way back in September of '07 I posted about director George Miller signing on to direct a big screen adaptation of DC Comics' Justice League of America that would have put the company's marquee heroes (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc.) in one big honkin' adventure, but which would also have stood completely separate from the studio's still-ongoing Batman and Superman movie franchises (remember, they were still planning to sequelize Superman Returns back then).  For awhile, things appeared to be full steam ahead for a summer '09 release with news steadily trickling out about the cast of unknowns Miller had assembled, then the whole enterprise was abruptly shut down in January of '08.

The reasoning offered at the time centered on the massive budget for such an undertaking, plus the impending writer's strike, making it simply too big a risk. Another factor I'm sure the WB braintrust actively considered was the readily apparent displeasure of Christian Bale (and, implicitly, Chris Nolan) both of whom would understandably be perturbed at having to compete with another big screen Batman while their series was still ongoing.  Anyway, long and short of it, the movie didn't end up happening, which, even though I'm about as big a George Miller fan as it's possible to be, was probably for the best.  Too much money coupled with too much script and actor uncertainty was pretty much a recipe for a studiofail on a Cleopatra scale.

Still, while we may never get a complete look at what spectacles the Mad Max creator would have unleashed for his big screen League, a recent interview with actor Jay Baruchel, currently making the promo rounds for Disney's DOA The Sorcerer's Apprentice, who'd been cast as a villain in Justice League, does offer a peek into Miller's plans, which he describes as, "dark and fairly brutal and quite gory and just f**king epic."  I'll give you "f**king epic," but "dark" and "gory" probably aren't things that Warners was looking for with their $300 mil investment, so they probably made the right call on this one.  As of yesterday, the studio is supposedly giving the League another go -- this time without Superman or Batman in the roster -- and I can virtually guarantee that they're looking at the Marvel game plan for Avengers and very closely taking notes.

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