Fans of the League (in all its incarnations) have been teased with a big-screen treatment of the DC legends as far back as 2007. When Miller stepped aboard in 2008, the director moved full steam ahead and after enduring what Baruchel called a "...blogosphere [that] was not very kind to us," the project was shelved, and Miller was out. So what happened? According to Baruchel, it all came down to a price tag (upwards of $300 million) that would've made Justice League of America "the single most expensive movie in the history of movies." And that's with a cast full of "who's that again?" I'm sorry, but how do you spend $300 million with Artie Hammer playing Batman and D.J. Cotrona (who?) playing Superman?
Of course, once Miller was gone, there was idle chatter that Christopher Nolan was being approached to direct, though Nolan made it pretty clear that he wanted to keep the Superman and Batman universes separate. But don't despair DC fans, because now that The Green Lantern (a key member of the League) is on his way, there is still hope that Lantern, plus a rebooted Superman and Batman (once Nolan's trilogy is finished), could finally help put DC back on the map -- culminating in an eventual Justice League movie that will rival what Marvel is doing with its Avengers in 2012.
At SDCC last month, Geoff Johns (DC's Chief Creative Officer) avoided any direct answers regarding the possibility of reviving the project, but he did hint that the success of Lantern would determine any future DC franchise flicks, including Justice League.
As a relative novice to the world of JLA, what was always the sticking point for me in creating a live action film was how do you get this many superheroes in one room and make it believable? Apparently, Miller had cracked that nut, and the production was underway in Australia. Everyone involved was busy with costume fittings, creating concept art (I know most fans would happily donate a major organ to get a look at those images) and even making some visits to the Weta Workshop. According to Baruchel, Miller's vision would have finally put to rest any fears that a big-screen Justice League movie was a cheap cash grab that would degenerate into an exercise in camp.
Baruchel explains, "I'll just say this, if we had been able to make the movie that we had gone down [to Australia] to rehearse, if you had seen the production art I'd seen ... it would've been the coolest thing ever. It would have been the neatest vision of Batman and the coolest vision of Superman you've ever seen. It would have been dark and fairly brutal and quite gory and just f**king epic."
Now I'm going to turn it over to the experts out there: Is a 'dark an gritty' Justice League the key to bringing the DC heroes to the big screen, or are you relieved that Miller never got his way? Sound off below ...