With the first big screen incarnation of Justice League finally unleashed to the critics (and the film ready for its public debut on November 17), it's interesting to look back at the long years of development it took for DC's ultimate superhero team-up to get to the big screen.
Of particular interest is George Miller's attempt to bring the team to life in 2008, which is about as close as Bats and company ever got. A fresh faced Armie Hammer was set to play Batman in that film before it was ultimately abandoned, and in a new interview with Vulture promoting the movie Call Me By Your Name, he talks about the film that almost was.
When the project fell apart, Hammer was understandably not thrilled: “For a long time, I was like, ‘How great that could have been!" However, he goes on to remind everyone that he was 19 at the time, and that maybe the missed opportunity was a blessing, saying, “As a 31-year-old who’s been through a lot since I was 19, I wouldn’t want to watch a 19-year-old Batman. I’d be like, ‘Who’s this spoiled rich kid who wants to play dress-up?'"
The entire idea of the 2008 film was certainly a bold one. In a time before the DCEU was even a glint in WB's eye (and the MCU itself just a wee baby), George Miller was set to toss the entire League up on the screen without any setup movies or anything. The film's abandonment not only led Miller down a path where he would eventually travel a certain Fury Road, but the mere casting of Hammer in the role of Bruce Wayne opened up many doors for the young actor.
As he says, “I used to be upset we didn’t get to do it, but everything happens exactly as it’s supposed to. I still have a lot of learning to do about this, and it’s a constant pursuit for me. If I had been that successful right out of the gate, I would have thought I already understood it all. I know that I wouldn’t have turned in a great performance, or even a good performance — it would have just been whatever. So I’m glad.”
While Hammer did not get to wear the cape and cowl, his career prospered anyway (The Social Network, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), and he certainly seems content with things the way they are. Had the 2008 movie happened, his career (and the careers of so many others) would have gone quite differently.