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. The news came around the same time that Joss Whedon's long-developed Wonder Woman film had been canceled, as well as The Flash, written and directed by David S. Goyer. Titled Justice League: Mortal, Michele and Kiernan Mulroney submitted their script to Warner Bros. in June 2007, receiving positive feedback, 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. 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, nor was Christian Bale from Batman Begins. 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. Shortly after filming finished with The Dark Knight, 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 The Dark Knight Rises.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.George Miller signed to direct in September 2007, with Barrie Osbourne producing on a projected $220 million budget.
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, but development was fast tracked once more in February 2008 when the strike ended. Warner Bros. and Miller wanted to start filming immediately, but production was pushed back three months. Originally, the majority of Justice League: Mortal would be shot at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney, with other locations scouted nearby at local colleges, and Sydney Heads doubling for Happy Harbor. 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. 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." 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.
With production delays continuing, and the success of The Dark Knight in 2008, 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." Actor Adam Brody joked "They [Warner Brothers] just didn’t want to cross their streams with a whole bunch of Batmans in the universe." Warner Bros. relaunched development for the solo Green Lantern film, released in 2011 as a critical and financial disappointment. Meanwhile, film adaptations for the 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.
In April 2014, Zack Snyder was announced as director for Goyer's Justice League script. Warner Bros. was reportedly courting Chris Terrio to rewrite Justice League the following July, after having been impressed with his rewrite of Batman v Superman. In October 2014, Warner Bros. announced there would be two films as the fifth and tenth installments of the DC Extended Universe, with one releasing in 2017, and the other in 2019. Snyder will direct both films. It is expected that Fisher will reprise his role as Cyborg; while Jason Momoa will appear as Aquaman and Ezra Miller will appear as The Flash. In July 2015, it was revealed that Terrio had completed the draft of the script of the first film. In January 2016, Variety reported that Amber Heard was in talks for the role of Mera in both films and Aquaman. The film will be shot in the U.K. On January 19, 2016, concept art was released for the film confirming Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash as the official lineup, though Geoff Johns hints that a Green Lantern and the Green Lantern Corps will eventually join the roster and appear in the movie. In February 2016, Entertainment Weekly reported that filming for Justice League will commence on April 11 at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in southeast England, as well as various locations around London and in Iceland. In March 2016, it was announced that J. K. Simmons will play James Gordon in both upcoming films. That same month, Amber Heard was confirmed to Entertainment Tonight that she will be portraying Mera. The film would reportedly have a lighter tone than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
DC released another animated film on July 30, 2013, entitled Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. The film is centered on the Flash, who inadvertently changes the time stream by travelling back in time to save his mother. In the new world created, Flash finds himself speedless in a world without a Justice League and suffering from a devastating war between the Atlanteans and Amazonians. Relying on the help of Batman, in this world a vengeful, alcoholic Thomas Wayne, the Flash must find the prime suspect, Professor Zoom, and find a way to fix the time stream.
Another animated feature, Lego Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite, was released in early February 2013 and features members of the Justice League, particularly Batman and Superman, fighting Lex Luthor and The Joker in Lego form.
In DC Showcase: Green Arrow, Green Arrow and Black Canary are members of the Justice League and their logo was seen in Oliver's phone.
The first animated appearance of the Justice League was in the 1967 television series The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure. The team appeared in only three segments of the run of the show. The members seen are Superman, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Flash, and the Atom.
The longest-running version of the Justice League was the loosely adapted series called the Super Friends, which ran in various incarnations from 1973 to 1986.
The Justice League make their first appearance in the DC animated universe in "The Call", a two-part episode of Batman Beyond. It portrayed a futuristic version of the team, referred to as "Justice League Unlimited", or "JLU" for short. The lineup consisted of an aging Superman, a brand new Green Lantern, Big Barda, plus new characters: Aquagirl (Aquaman's daughter), Micron (similar to Atom), and Warhawk (who is later revealed to be the son of Green Lantern and Hawkgirl). Though he does not appear in Batman Beyond, Static and his ally Gear are also revealed to be members of the future Justice League in the Static Shock episode "Future Shock".
In the two-part fourth season finale of The Batman, titled "The Joining", Batman allied with Martian Manhunter against aliens known as "the Joining". At the end of the second episode, J'onn contacts Batman and asks him to join his group, prompting Batman to remark that J'onn has formed "quite a league". The members of the "League" featured in this sequence were Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Hawkman, and the Flash. In "The Batman/Superman Story, Part Two", Superman joins up with the Justice League. Much of the fifth season revolves around team-ups with League members and Batman. Other elements that were put forth included Batman recruiting Superman, and a headquarters combining elements of the Hall of Justice from Super Friends and the Watchtower from Justice League.
In a sketch for Mad, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are convinced to change the name from the Super Friends to the Justice League after a musical appeal by fellow heroes.
The Justice League is re-imagined as animals in the DC Nation Shorts Farm League with Superman as Supermanatee, Batman as a mouse, Wonder Woman as Wonder Wombat, Flash as the Flish, Green Lantern as a boar, Aquaman as Aquamandrill, Captain Marvel as Shazham!, Robin as Robin's Egg, and Cyborg as Cybug.
Smallville featured a version of the Justice League in its sixth season episode "Justice". The members of the team were drawn from versions of DC Comics heroes that had previously appeared in the show: "Impulse" from the season four episode "Run"; "Aquaman" (A.C.) from the season five episode "Aqua"; "Cyborg" (Victor Stone) from the season five episode of the same name, and "Green Arrow" who had been appearing as a regular character through season Six. The episode had the team temporarily recruiting main characters Clark Kent, who Green Arrow dubs "Boy Scout", and Chloe Sullivan, who acts as the team's advisor through a computer network under the codename "Watchtower". Later, in the Season Seven episode "Siren", Dinah Lance joined Oliver's team as the "Black Canary". She returns in the Season Eight premiere with Aquaman and Green Arrow to find Clark. However, after A.C. and Dinah have their identities exposed, Oliver makes the call for the team to temporarily disband. Later in the season, when Oliver reconnects with his heroic side in "Identity", the team reunites. In the episode "Bulletproof", it is mentioned that Detective John Jones (Martian Manhunter) has helped Oliver's team and got Oliver out of trouble with the police and is considered a member of the team. Clark and Chloe become more involved with the League as well, with Clark joining Bart on a mission in Keystone during "Hex", whilst in the same episode Chloe becomes a full-time 'Watchtower' for the team. Dr. Emil is a staff physician at Metropolis General Hospital and Metropolis University, who is also on Oliver Queen's payroll. Season Eight concludes with Flash, Black Canary, Green Arrow, and Clark working together to stop Doomsday. In the closing scenes Chloe reveals that Bart, Dinah, and Oliver have gone missing. In season 9 episode "Absolute Justice" members Green Arrow, Clark, John Jones, and Chloe aid members of the Justice Society of America. In the episode Doctor Fate restores John Jones's powers.
The Justice League are the main characters of the mobile video game for iOSJustice League: Earth's Final Defense, developed by Mobicle and published by Netmarble, the companies in South Korea. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and the Flash are playable characters, with Aquaman and Cyborg as non-playable Justice League members. This version of the Justice League is based on the one seen in The New 52.
In the South Park episode "Super Best Friends", the boys join a cult led by magician David Blaine. They return to their faith in traditional religions by enlisting the help of Jesus. After a confrontation where Blaine defeats Jesus, Jesus realizes he needs the help of his "Super Best Friends." The team consists of key religious figures from other religions to include Vishnu, Muhammad, Buddha, Joseph Smith and Moses (who is depicted as a supercomputer), plus "Seaman", a parody of Aquaman whose name is pronounced in derision by the other characters as "semen".
The webcomic JL8 presents the members of the Justice League as 8-year old children.