The guy who was almost Batman reveals what killed that Justice League pic

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Dec 16, 2012, 12:07 PM EST

As you might remember, there was a brief window back in 2007 when Warner Bros. was gung ho to make a standalone Justice League film, separate from the recently launched Batman Begins and Superman Returns franchises. But the movie soon fell apart, and details about the film have been pretty few and far between—until now.

Armie Hammer, who is starring in the new Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp, was originally signed on to play a young version of Batman in the epically doomed DC team-up, and says the experience was a real Hollywood "reality check."

Hammer was among a few lesser-known actors tapped to headline, and the film got as far as the rehearsal stage for an Australian shoot before it went off the rails. Experts have cited everything from the writer's strike to concerns about creating confusion by having different versions of Batman and Superman as the main reasons for the film's demise. But, according to Hammer, there was also an attitude of excess surrounding the production that likely would have doomed it regardless of all those other factors floating around.

"It was amazing as a young actor to even get to experience that kind of a budget. I think that they were talking about—I mean, this could be hearsay, who knows—but I think the budget was close to $300 million," he told Comic Book Movie. "I don't know the specifics, but it was huge, huge to the point where I remember being down in Australia and they were just throwing money around. Just like, 'Wherever the whole cast wants to go to dinner every night? Sure. Pay with this wad of cash.' It was extravagant, and then to have it all fall apart was a really good reality check. It's like, 'Hey, nothing in this business is real. Don't forget that.' It's like, 'Oh, yeah, right, right.'"

What do you think: Was killing the Justice League flick the right move, or could a separate DC super-series have worked in parallel to Christopher Nolan's hit Dark Knight franchise?

(via Comic Book Movie)