The meeting of Batman and Superman on the big screen is a year and a half away, but imagining two enormous heroes sharing the screen seems almost like too nerdy of a fantasy to be true.
But this isn’t the first time that such a meeting has been attempted. Most recently, “Mad Max” director George Miller nearly mounted a “Justice League” movie in 2007 that would have starred Armie Hammer as Batman, D.J. Cotrona as Superman, Common as Green Lantern, and Adam Brody as the Flash, among others.
The film never got off the ground, but a screenplay by Kieran and Michele Mulroney recently leaked online, giving us a glimpse at the “Justice League” movie that almost was. Though uneven and lacking true emotional hooks, the script featured a number of scenes and visuals we would have loved to see.
Martian Manhunter As A Ball Of Fire
Things start slow for the Justice League after an initial flash forward to what we’re supposed to believe is Batman’s funeral. The story speeds up rather quickly, however, when Martian Manhunter turns up on the scene. That’s when the story ignites like a ball of inextinguishable fire, because that’s what a suspicious sea creature turns the shapeshifter into. No matter what his future teammates do, including submerging him in a bathtub, they can’t put him out.
Aquaman Being Aquaman
The ignition of Martian Manhunter sends Superman to the watery depths of the Earth to see if Aquaman knows anything about what could cause that. After a short discussion in Aquaman’s underwater kingdom, Superman convinces him to meet with Wonder Woman to discuss the issue further, and the maritime hero leaves the ocean “riding the backs of a PAIR OF BOTTLENOSED DOLPHINS — harnessed like race horses.” THIS is exactly why we need to see Aquaman on the big screen at some point.
Flash is the audience’s in to the world of superheroes since in many ways, he’s the most relatable of the team. He’s got a wife that he loves, a healthy appetite for fast food (more on that later), and an appetite of another kind. Before Flash leaves for another trip to save the world, he and his wife share an intimate moment during which he vibrates so quickly that his molecules intertwine with his lady’s and they share the same physical space for a moment, leaving her “glowing.” It’s a moment that reads very silly but could have made for a sweet and arresting image.
Everyone Losing Their Mind
Unfortunately, Martian Manhunter’s little problem with fire is just the start of things going south for the team. The villain of the film, Maxwell Lord, has hacked into Batman’s spy satellite, which the Caped Crusader had been using to keep tabs on the world’s super-powered individuals. The system also happens to have the weaknesses of each member kept on file, so Lord uses that information to exact his somewhat arbitrary mission of revenge. He sends a mosquito robot to inject Aquaman with a fear toxin the makes him hydrophobic. The Flash’s cellphone implants a nanobot in his spine that causes him vibrate fast enough to past through the earth, and Green Lantern loses his vision. All of this chaos culminates in Martian Manhunter using mind control on Green Lantern to perform spinal surgery on The Flash using his ring powers. All of these things actually happen in the script.
Wonder Woman Vs. Superman
After the issues with the nanobots, hydrophobia, and spontaneous combustion are sorted out, the Justice League bands together for the first time to take down Maxwell Lord. Too bad that the villain has brainwashed Superman into believing that Wonder Woman killed Lois Lane. The resulting fight between the two heroes is a brutal fist fight that works in crazy imagery like Superman swinging Wonder Woman around by her lasso. For as underwritten as the character is (severely), it’s still refreshing to read what could have been a fully realized version of one of DC’s most iconic, yet unfilmed heroes.
Superman Vs. Green Superman
The still-brainwashed Superman eventually shifts his target to the rest of the Justice League, in particular a Superman-shaped projection from Green Lantern’s ring. John Stewart recreates the last son of Krypton with his will power, and as it fights with the real deal, it grows until it’s “big enough to grab SUPERMAN in its fist. The squeeze.” It’s this kind of imagery that makes the “Justice League” script truly worth a read. The story is short on resonant character moments, but no one can claim that it lacks imaginative visuals.
An Evil Plan That Involves Fast Food
To say that the plot involves burgers isn’t an exaggeration at all. Fast food is actually integral to what Maxwell Lord plans to do, which is turn the world’s population into robots. You see, Lord owns a chain of superhero-themed restaurants called “Planet Krypton,” a favorite hangout of The. Unbeknownst to the Justice League or anyone else, Lord spiked his special sauce with OMAC, a formula that can turn a human into robot with pincers for hands. You might think that such an insane plan would never work, but it does, and a good portion of the world’s population makes the turn.
Batman Kisses Robo Talia
So Batman kills Maxwell. He snaps his neck right as things start to look dire. That’s right. Batman “Man of Steel”ed him before Superman “Man of Steel”ed General Zod. This sets off a chain reaction that ends with Lord and Talia al Ghul, the same character from “Dark Knight Rises,” becoming fused in an OMAC body. While the rest of the team goes to deal with the oncoming OMAC army, Batman tears through the Talia machine to find the person buried inside. Talia’s body has been fused with the machine, and Batman decides to put her out of her misery. But before he does, he kisses her metal lips.
Remember all of those burgers that the Flash was eating? Well, they turned him into the leader of the robot army, and appropriately, it’s a big red robot. The Justice League is able to get through to the Flash while he’s buried inside, and he tells them that he has a plan. As the Ultra OMAC, he starts to run as fast as he can, until the world melts away from his vision and he hits the very limit of speed. Again, it’s a visual that could have paid off marvelously on the big screen, but now all we have are the words.