Former art director reveals details of aborted early-2000s Justice League flick

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May 23, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT

George Miller’s early-2000s Justice League flick has become the stuff of legend these days, after flaming out spectacularly deep into preproduction just weeks before shooting was scheduled to begin. Now the film’s former art director has revealed some intriguing details about what could’ve been.

While we lament the confusingly strange title attached to Zack Snyder’s upcoming pre-Justice League film, it’s a good time to look back at Miller’s (Mad Max) aborted effort Justice League: Mortal, which would’ve beaten Snyder to the punch by more than a decade.

Comic-book artist Steve Skroce was part of the movie’s art department, which gave him a bird’s-eye view of the development and basic story details that were being considered. While reminiscing on the Word Ballon Podcast with John Siuntres, Skroce teased some of the plot points and how he thought it would've been received by the fans.

Here’s an excerpt via Comic Book Movie:

“Jay Baruchel was playing it (villain Maxwell Lord) nerdy, had an empire of Kingdom Come restaurants that were featured as a plot to infect the world with some sort of virus and that he was obsessed with the superheroes … It was very faithful to the comics at the time, very DCU.  Ultimately I think its good that it didn’t come out as there were some parts that were cool that they got right and there were some things that people were going to hate. Some of it was very aimed at kids.”

Along with those somewhat bizarre story bits, Skroce also provided some insight into the costume designs that were deep into development. According to him, Batman and Superman were in line with what DC introduced in the New 52 comic run, while Wonder Woman “was pretty standard with more detail instead of flat gold, and had the Alex Ross skirt.”

We’ve got to be honest — this whole thing sounds really, really strange. If you’re unfamiliar, the film would’ve starred Armie Hammer as Batman, D.J. Cotrona as Superman, Adam Brody as the Flash, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, Common as Green Lantern, Santiago Cabrera as Aquaman, Teresa Palmer as Talia al Ghul, Zoe Kasan as Iris Allen and Hugh Keays-Byrne as Martian Manhunter.

Judging by Skroce’s report, it definitely sounds like we might’ve dodged a bullet with this one, but we’ll reserve final judgment until we get a look at Batman v Superman. What's your take?

(Via Comic Book Movie)