This month marked the release of the Justice League movie, but had Warner Bros' DC movie plans gone according to plan a decade ago, we would have received a silver-screen adventure starring the superhero team much sooner. Back in 2007, George Miller was tapped to direct Justice League: Mortal, which would featured the following lineup: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter. Call Me by Your Name's Armie Hammer was hired to play Batman, and according to the actor, moviegoers would have been treated to a Caped Crusader who was extremely dark and mentally unhinged. In Hammer's words:
It was darker. It's funny, it was pre-Christian Bale, but the Christian Bale Batman had a lot more in common with it than any of the previous ones, whether it be the George Clooney, the Michael Keaton, all those, which were almost campy. This was one about a guy who is severely, psychologically, almost deranged. It was dark and it was really intense and this guy had major trust issues, the whole thing. It was a great concept and a really cool idea.
Given that Christian Bale's first Batman performance was in 2005's Batman Begins, presumably Armie Hammer was thinking back to what Bale did with the character in 2008's The Dark Knight and 2012's The Dark Knight Rises. Regardless, Armie Hammer's description from MTV's Happy Sad Confused podcast of what Justice League: Mortal's Batman would have been like lines up with most modern depictions of Bruce Wayne. While there is still the occasional version in comics and other media that harkens back to the character's goofier Silver Age history, for the most part Batman is a dark and intense character nowadays. Having said that, Hammer also paints a picture of a Batman who's way more unstable than we're used to seeing, and thus wouldn't be much of a team player when starting to work with the other Justice Leaguers. Since Hammer was still early into his acting career when Justice League: Mortal fell his way, it sounds like his Batman wasn't closed to maturing into a veteran vigilante.
After the Writers Strike from November 2007 to January 2008 delayed Justice League: Mortal, Warner Bros intended to fast-track production to February 2008 and get the movie out by summer 2009. However, due to financial complications and more delays, the project was eventually cancelled. Justice League: Mortal would have seen the heroes battling Maxwell Lord, and had it been successful, it would have spawned other sequels and spinoffs. Alas, now it rests firmly in the realm of 'what might have been.'
Fast-forward to now, Warner Bros has finally released its DC Extended Universe Justice League movie, which was met with mixed critical reception and has made $500 million worldwide. While Ben Affleck's portrayal of an older, wearier Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice sounds similar to Armie Hammer's Batman due to struggling with all the loss in his life and his distrust towards Superman, by Justice League, Affleck's version had softened and was responsible for bringing the team together. However, if Matt Reeves' The Batman ends up being a prequel, perhaps we'll see an angrier, more deranged Dark Knight back in a theatrical setting soon.
Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for all Batman-related news, and look through our DC movies guide to see what this franchise has coming up.