George Miller, the mastermind behind the Mad Max franchise, had a Justice League movie ready to go long before Whedon or Snyder came along. With Armie Hammer set to play Batman and DJ Cotrona ready to don Superman's spandex, the film would've sported a very different look than Warner Bros.' current take on the Justice League. The script, which had already been completed, was receiving internal praise from studio execs for being a fun, breezy read, and if it had made its 2009 release date, it would have beaten Marvel's Avengers to theaters by several years, potentially leveling the MCU-dominated playing field.
Unfortunately, things were neither fun nor breezy for the project in real life. Titled Justice League Mortal, the film was beset by a slew of problems at the worst moments—first, a writer's strike prevented rewrites on the script, forcing a delay, and then budget woes caused an argument over where production would be located, with Miller eager to film in Australia but the studio unwilling to stay after the loss of a hefty tax credit. Ultimately, Warners pulled the plug and went back to the drawing board, opting to launch their DC cinematic universe with 2013's Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill as Superman.