Well over a decade ago, a then twentysomething Armie Hammer came very close to playing Batman in George Miller’s “Justice League Mortal” film which was in development at Warner Bros. Pictures.
The project would’ve seen the likes of D.J. Cotrona as Superman, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, Common as Green Lantern, Adam Brody as The Flash, Santiago Cabrera as Aquaman, Teresa Palmer as Talia al Ghul, Jay Baruchel as the villain Maxwell Lord, and ‘Fury Road’ villain Hugh Keays-Byrne as Martian Manhunter.
Development and pre-production went well with the project getting as far as full costume fittings. Problems then began to arise including the crippling writer’s strike, changing currency values and the lack of a very necessary tax credit from the Australian government that was key to the project’s plan to film in Australia. Ultimately the film fell apart.
Hammer, speaking with Maltin on Movies this week, revealed that his take on The Dark Knight in that film was set to be one of the more severe put to screen:
“I wanted this Batman character to be so dark. I was like look, no one – and this was George’s idea as well, this was really in the script – but no one ever really shows how truly psychotic this man has to be. Like this is a guy who chooses to put on a costume, in all black, and sneak around at night and beat the s— out of people.
Bruce Wayne was the mask that you never really see. I’m probably not supposed to be talking about this, but they took the job away so whatever! So even in times when he would be sitting around, like let’s say he had his batsuit off and all that, he would be sitting down with the thing, looking at the thing with the cowl on, because that’s where he felt the most comfortable in his own weird, twisted way.
He was a neurotic, like borderline schizophrenic dude who didn’t trust a single person, including anyone in the Justice League, and had all the dirt on every single one of them, and was ready to take all of them down at the snap of a finger.”
Ultimately Ben Affleck’s Batman in Zack Snyder’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” inherited some of those traits that were to be in Hammer’s interpretation. Matt Reeves is developing a new take on Batman for Warners which has yet to cast the role.