Adaptations of the Justice League in other media
Justice League 2017 Movie Logo.svg
Created byGardner Fox
Original sourceComics published by DC Comics
First appearanceThe Brave and the Bold #28
Films and television
Film(s)Justice League of America (1997)
Justice League (2017)
Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021)
Super Friends (1973)
Batman Beyond (2000)
Justice League (2001)
Static Shock (2001)
Justice League Unlimited (2004)
Young Justice (2011)
Justice League Action (2016)
DC's Legends of Tomorrow (2020)
Video game(s)Justice League Task Force (1995)
Justice League Heroes (2006)
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (2008)
DC Universe Online (2011)
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (2012)
Injustice: Gods Among Us (2013)
Injustice 2 (2017)

The Justice League, also called the Justice League of America or JLA, is a fictional superhero team that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. Since their first appearance in The Brave and the Bold #28 (February/March 1960), various incarnations of the team have appeared in film, television, and video game adaptations.



Justice League: Mortal (cancelled)

In February 2007, it was announced that Warner Bros hired husband and wife duo Michele and Kieran Mulroney to write a script for a Justice League film.[1] The news came around the same time that Joss Whedon's long-developed Wonder Woman film had been canceled,[2] as well as The Flash, written and directed by David S. Goyer.[3] Titled Justice League: Mortal,[4] Michele and Kiernan Mulroney submitted their script to Warner Bros. in June 2007, receiving positive feedback,[5] which prompted the studio to immediately fast track production in the hopes of filming to begin before the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike.[6] Warner Bros. was less willing to proceed on development with a sequel to Superman Returns, having been disappointed with the box office return. Brandon Routh was not approached to reprise the role of Superman in Justice League Mortal,[7] nor was Christian Bale from Batman Begins.[8] Warner Bros. intended for Justice League: Mortal to be the start of a new film franchise, and to branch out into separate sequels and spin-offs.[9] Shortly after filming finished with The Dark Knight,[10] Bale stated in an interview that "It’d be better if it doesn't tread on the toes of what our Batman series is doing," though he personally felt it would make more sense for Warner Bros. to release the film after his planned "Batman 3" (later called The Dark Knight Rises).[8] Jason Reitman was the original choice to direct Justice League, but he turned it down, as he considers himself an independent filmmaker and prefers to stay out of big budget superhero films.[11] George Miller signed to direct in September 2007,[6] with Barrie Osbourne producing[12] on a projected $220 million budget.[13]

The following month roughly 40 actors and actresses were auditioning for the ensemble superhero roles, among them were Joseph Cross, Michael Angarano, Max Thieriot, Minka Kelly, Adrianne Palicki and Scott Porter. Miller intended to cast younger actors as he wanted them to "grow" into their roles over the course of several films.[10] D. J. Cotrona was cast as Superman,[9] along with Armie Hammer as Batman.[14] Jessica Biel reportedly declined the Wonder Woman role after being in negotiations.[15] The character was also linked to actresses Teresa Palmer and Shannyn Sossamon, along with Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who confirmed that she had auditioned.[16] Ultimately Megan Gale was cast as Wonder Woman,[17] while Palmer was cast as Talia al Ghul, whom Miller had in mind to act with a Russian accent.[18] The script for Justice League: Mortal would have featured the John Stewart character as the Green Lantern, a role originally offered to Columbus Short.[19] Hip hop recording artist and rapper Common was cast,[20] with Adam Brody as The Flash / Barry Allen,[21] and Jay Baruchel as the lead villain, Maxwell Lord.[22] Longtime Miller collaborator Hugh Keays-Byrne had been cast as Martian Manhunter. Aquaman had yet to be cast.[10][13] Marit Allen was hired as the original costume designer before her untimely death in November 2007,[23] and the responsibilities were assumed by Weta Workshop.[24]

However, the Writers Strike began that same month and placed the film on hold. Warner Bros. had to let the options lapse for the cast,[25] but development was fast tracked once more in February 2008 when the strike ended. Warner Bros. and Miller wanted to start filming immediately,[26] but production was pushed back three months.[9] Originally, the majority of Justice League: Mortal would be shot at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney,[13] with other locations scouted nearby at local colleges,[12] and Sydney Heads doubling for Happy Harbor.[4] The Australian Film Commission also had a say with casting choices, giving way for George Miller to cast Gale, Palmer and Keays-Bryne, all Australian natives. The production crew was composed entirely of Australians, but the Australian government denied Warner Bros. a 40 percent tax rebate as they felt they had not hired enough Australian actors.[13][27] Miller was frustrated, stating that "A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Australian film industry is being frittered away because of very lazy thinking. They're throwing away hundreds of millions of dollars of investment that the rest of the world is competing for and, much more significantly, highly skilled creative jobs."[28] Production offices were then moved to Vancouver Film Studios in Canada. Filming was pushed back to July 2008, while Warner Bros was still confident they could release the film for a summer 2009 release.[29][30]

With production delays continuing, and the success of The Dark Knight in 2008,[31] Warner Bros. decided to focus on development of individual films featuring the main heroes, allowing director Christopher Nolan to separately complete his Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises in 2012. Gregory Noveck, senior vice president of creative affairs for DC Entertainment stated "we’re going to make a Justice League movie, whether it’s now or 10 years from now. But we’re not going to do it and Warners is not going to do it until we know it’s right."[32] Actor Adam Brody joked "They [Warner Brothers] just didn’t want to cross their streams with a whole bunch of Batmans in the universe."[33] Warner Bros. relaunched development for the solo Green Lantern film, released in 2011 as a critical and financial disappointment. Meanwhile, film adaptations for The Flash and Wonder Woman continued to languish in development while filming for a Superman reboot was commencing in 2011 with Man of Steel, produced by Nolan and written by David S. Goyer, which would go on to launch the DC Extended Universe.

DC Extended Universe (DCEU)

Main articles: Justice League (film), Zack Snyder's Justice League, and Production of Justice League (film)

The team as depicted in Zack Snyder's Justice League. From left to right: Cyborg (Ray Fisher), Flash (Ezra Miller), Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), and Aquaman (Jason Momoa).

The Justice League are a common narrative plot thread in the DC Extended Universe starting with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman teaming up against Doomsday and in Suicide Squad where Bruce gets the files on Barry Allen and Arthur Curry from Amanda Waller.

The theatrical version of a live action Justice League movie was released in November 2017 and received mixed reviews from critics and earned over $657 million worldwide. The film was directed by Joss Whedon and Zack Snyder although Snyder is the only person to receive a directing credit for the film.[34] Whedon was brought on as a consultant, then given control over the project after Snyder stepped down following his daughter's death, and the film was rewritten by Whedon, with the original script being completed by Chris Terrio.[35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42] The film stars Ben Affleck as Batman,[43][44] Henry Cavill as Superman,[45] Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman,[46][47][48][49] Ezra Miller as The Flash,[50] Jason Momoa as Aquaman[51] and Ray Fisher as Cyborg.[52] The film also stars Amy Adams as Lois Lane,[53] Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent,[54] Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta,[55] Joe Morton as Silas Stone,[56] Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf,[57][58] Amber Heard as Mera[59][60] and J. K. Simmons as James Gordon.[61]

Snyder and Warner Bros released a 4 hour director's cut of Justice League via HBO Max on March 18, 2021.[62] This version presents Snyder's original vision for a Justice League film with a much more grounded and generally darker tone as well as an overall aesethetic more in line with Snyder's previous DCEU films Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice rather than the lighter, more family friendly tone of the 2017 theatrical cut and features a radically overhauled ending.[63] Additional footage seen in this cut is mainly footage that was shot for the theatrical cut but was discarded when Snyder left the project although a handful of new scenes were filmed once the director's cut release was greenlit.[64] Characters who did not appear in the theatrical cut in 2017 such as Martian Manhunter, Iris West, Ryan Choi, Darkseid and Desaad are also included in this version of the film.[63] This new cut also features a completely new score by Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL.[65] Holkenborg was originally signed on to score the theatrical version of Justice League in 2017 but was replaced by Danny Elfman during the film's reshoots in June 2017.[66]


Other appearances


Justice League of America has been adapted for television numerous times.


Live action


Video games




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