Warner Brothers has officially pulled the plug on Justice League of America, according to Variety -- or, to be more precise, put it on hold. Erik Davis alerted us to the possibility earlier this week: the studio had until Tuesday to decide whether to officially green light the project so production could begin this spring for release in Summer 2009. Variety says that the contract options were allowed to lapse for the young cast chosen by director George Miller, which rules out an early start. Now it looks like late summer or fall before the project can get underway.

Oddly enough, the cast members were reportedly informed Tuesday night that, while their options had lapsed, the studio still wanted them to play the roles for which they had been cast. Officially, the reasons for the delay are that Warners didn't get an official response on tax breaks they wanted for filming in Australia and that the script by Kieran and Michele Mulroney needed more work, which isn't possible right now because of the writers' strike.

The cast members included Adam Brody as The Flash, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman and Armie Hammer Jr. as Batman. The project as a whole has not incited gale forces of enthusiasm so far, so maybe this delay will give everyone a chance to step back and reconsider whether this is really the superhero tent-pole that Warner Brothers wants to make.