Well over a decade ago, just before the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicked off with IRON MAN, Warner Bros. was developing a JUSTICE LEAGUE film which would have been directed by George Miller (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD). The main cast consisted of D.J. Cotrona as Superman, Armie Hammer as Batman, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, Common as Green Lantern, and Adam Brody as The Flash, but then the Writers Strike took place and the entire project was put on hold. Although attempts were made to jump back in, frequent production delays eventually led to the studio shelving the project.
While speaking with THR regarding the recently released READY OR NOT, Adam Brody was asked about JUSTICE LEAGUE: MORTAL and what it was like to witness the project fall apart.
It was much more of a fadeout. We were there for a couple weeks; I think D.J. and Armie [Hammer] were there longer, but most of us were just there for two weeks before Christmas. The idea was, even before we went, we were gonna go for two weeks before Christmas; we’ll all go back for Christmas break and then we’ll come out two or three weeks later. So, we did, but you could tell the writers’ strike was happening, you could tell that they lost the Australian tax credit, even though creatively, it felt really good. You could tell business-wise that something was up. We were all gonna go home for Christmas and then come back in two to three weeks… very soonish… and then it just didn’t happen. But, yeah, it wasn’t like we got a pink slip.
While Adam Brody said that losing out on JUSTICE LEAGUE: MORTAL doesn’t hurt, he does realize how fantastic the film could have been. “I’ve said this before, but the script was very good,” Brody said. “The draft I read was very good. Game-changing? No. Just very solid and very fulfilling. It had the perfect tone, I thought. It captured exactly what you want out of this movie, and everyone was cast fantastically for their roles.” However, when the Writers Strike happened, the studio apparently asked for a “kitchen sink” draft as they knew that no one was going to be able to do rewrites for the foreseeable future. “So, they’re just like, ‘Look, write every idea you have in this script. That’s the one we’ll go off, and then we’ll pare it back.’ So, we got there, and the script was thirty to forty pages longer — and all for the worse,” Brody explained. “You pulled on too many threads, and it was a fair amount messier. I’m sure we would’ve pared it back, and they would’ve figured it out because, again, it was already really good and done, I thought. So, we were working with a little bit more of an unwieldy script. Still, it was a very solid script, particularly to begin with, and the cast was aces.” After watching MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, Brody was all the more disappointed that he didn’t get to work with George Miller when he had the chance.
I was very excited to work with George Miller, because he’s a legend, but who knew? I didn’t know that he hadn’t even reached his peak. So, seeing Fury Road and seeing what a forward-thinking visionary he still is — it was just beautiful. It’s a beautiful marriage of old-fashioned, streamlined storytelling with modern visuals and world building. Anyway, I still wouldn’t say it hurt; it just made me realize, “Oh, that Justice League movie actually would’ve been fucking epic.” It didn’t really even hurt much at the time to be perfectly honest with you; I wasn’t crushed. I very much took it in stride. I also got the part fairly smoothly. So, it didn’t feel like I got this big lottery ticket. I waltzed into it, and I waltzed out of it.
You can check out Adam Brody in READY OR NOT, which is playing in theaters right now.