Before George Miller re-established his supremacy as action filmmaking’s most insatiably inventive madman with this spring’s Fury Road, he had planned a comeback of a different sort. In the late 2000s, Miller was slated to helm an unprecedentedly ambitious undertaking for DC, an adaptation of the Justice League comics that’d bring together all of the company’s most popular heroes for one grand adventure. He had secured a promising cast — Armie Hammer as Batman, Common as the Green Lantern, Adam Brody as the Flash — for the tentatively titled Justice League Mortal, but relocations in production and the 2008 actors’ strike effectively derailed production on this lost gem.

An upcoming documentary, also to be titled Justice League Mortal, will chronicle the doomed development of the project. The filmmakers responsible for that doc have already unearthed some rare production images that Australian photographer Mark Rogers had taken and shelved when the film was set aside. The photographs show Megan Gale in costume as Wonder Woman, appropriately poised in her role as the warrior princess. The costume that Miller and design house Weta Workshop agreed on emphasizes the comic-book origins of the project, sticking with the bright-blue star-emblazoned skirt that cemented Wonder Woman as a symbol of Truth, Freedom, and the American Way.

This stands in sharp contrast with the darker, muted colors and armored look of Gal Godot’s getup as Wonder Woman in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice promotional materials. Zack Snyder’s film promises a grittier, more realistic take on the DC superstars, but Miller proved beyond a doubt with Fury Road that there are more interesting approaches to action cinema than hard realism or dour grit. Megan Gale’s Wonder Woman hints at a livelier take, where the fun of comic books can peacefully coexist with the maturity that moviegoers have come to expect from their superhero films.


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