Nowadays, fans are lucky to live in the age of the Internet. Even though Hollywood provides us with lots of superhero films, there are ones that never made it to the big screen. With various leaks, rumors and reports, we get to find out the plans behind the scenes and just how many, and what kind of comic book films were never released. So, without further ado, let’s begin with unlucky number 13.
In 2016 Zack Snyder brought us, for the first time on the big screen, the clash of the World’s Finest. Many don’t know, that this wasn’t the first time such an idea was pitched to the studio. In 2004 Andrew Kevin Walker wrote a script that Wolfgang Petersen was supposed to direct. It revolved around the idea of the resurrected Joker murdering Bruce Wayne’s wife and Superman trying to prevent the Bat from taking the Clown Prince of Crime’s life in revenge. Even though both heroes knew that it was Lex Luthor who resurrected Bat’s arch nemesis and manipulated them into fighting each other, they still proceeded to carry on with it. One of the dumbest scenes in this film was probably Lex’s prison escape. Luthor killed his lawyer and took his fingernails, which he later used to perform two brain surgeries on two prison guards at once. The fingernails did the job just fine and Lex managed to turn those two unlucky geese into mindless zombies.
It’s not certain how real the script that’s floating around the Internet truly is. It might be fake or just one of the very first drafts.
12. Brigitte Nielsen’s She-Hulk
Even though her much more famous cousin has had many live-action portrayals, all She-Hulk had was merely a promo photoshoot for a movie that never happened. The film was going to be written and directed by Larry Cohen, with Brigitte Nielsen in the title role. Not much is revealed about this 1990s project, but we do know, however, that it was never completed.
11. Justice League: Mortal
As corny as this 2007 Justice League project seemed, we can probably all agree it still would’ve been a better film than the 2017 Justice League, directed by Joss Whedon. It mainly was going to revolve around the Superman: Sacrifice story arc, with Maxwell Lord as the main villain. The movie would’ve been directed by Academy Award winning George Miller, with the Mulroney siblings writing the script.
Unlike the ones above, this movie had its entire cast announced with Armie Hammer as Batman, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, D.J. Cotrona as Superman, Adam Brody as The Flash, Hugh Keays-Byrne as Martian Manhunter, Teresa Palmer as Talia al Ghul, Zoe Kazan as Iris Allen, Santiago Cabrera as Aquaman, Jay Baruchel as Maxwell Lord, Common as John Stewart and Anton Yelchin as Wally West.
10. Kinberg Cut of Dark Phoenix
This is not exactly an abandoned project, like the three above, since we did get to see a version of Dark Phoenix earlier this year. Like a few other movies on this list, this one suffered from extensive reshoots and studio politics.
The original vision of Simon Kinberg was to have a two-part movie, which would serve as a dark and meaningful ending to the X-Men franchise. After the Disney-Fox merger, the new parent company ordered Dark Phoenix to be delayed to have the time for extensive reshoots. One of the main points of them was to change Dark Phoenix’s ending, which according to Disney, was too similar to the one in Captain Marvel. Apart from many deleted scenes, which can be found online, the backstory of the main villain was dumbed down and changed into much cornier and generic one.
That’s why the movie feels rushed and sloppy in the third act. It’s highly unlikely we will ever see this cut, even though many fans started using #ReleaseTheKinbergCut right after the film’s release.
9. Superman: Flyby
Back in the day, Warner Bros. wanted to develop two Superman movies. One of them was the Batman vs. Superman one, that we covered above. The second one was Superman: Flyby with J. J. Abrams writing the script. The film kept switching its directors and its cast. Many famous actors and actresses auditioned and were considered for certain roles. The weirdest one may have been that Ashton Kutcher auditioned for the part of Superman, but eventually backed down because of the Superman curse.
What’s interesting is that the DCEU duo of Henry Cavill and Amy Adams auditioned for the roles they would eventually receive from Zack Snyder. Also, it was confirmed that Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Lex Luthor, which makes one wonder how entertainment today would look like if he hadn’t been chosen for Iron Man, because of his involvement with DC.
8. Spider-Man 4
This is one of the most popular comic book movies that were never released out there. Sam Raimi gave us an iconic Spider-Man trilogy, but the third instalment didn’t really perform as well as the studio wanted it to. In result, the franchise was cancelled.
The fourth Spider-Man movie was going to take a five year jump from the events of the third one, showing us how Peter Parker had left Mary Jane and found himself a new love interest – Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat (Anne Hathaway). The romance was cut short after Spider-Man killed her father, a well-known villain the Vulture (John Malkovich). The movie would have ended on a bitter note, with a depressed Peter Parker, who threw away the suit and left the superhero game for good.
We would’ve also found out the secret behind Bruce Campbell’s cameo appearances throughout the franchise. There were plans to reveal in the fourth instalment that he was in fact Mysterio.
7. Guillermo Del Toro’s Justice League Dark
At the time the DC Extended Universe was about to begin, Guillermo Del Toro was hired to direct a Justice League Dark film. The plot would’ve revolved around John Constantine recruiting the team, which consisted of Swamp Thing, Etrigan, Spectre, Zatanna and Deadman. It was confirmed that this movie would not be an origin story and all those characters would have been well-established within the universe.
In 2013, Del Toro announced that he’s waiting for the “go ahead” from Warner Bros. and the legend has it, that he’s still waiting.
6. The Amazing Spider-Man Universe Films
If Sony hadn’t pulled the plug on The Amazing Spider-Man 3, we would’ve had a fast-growing universe by now.
Sony had many projects planned for their franchise. The third instalment of the Amazing Spider-Man, which would’ve been released in June 2016, would have had the web-slinger face off against Norman Osborn and Black Cat would’ve finally had her long awaited big screen debut. There were also plans for a fourth film, but no details were revealed.
Aside from the main series, Sony also wanted to treat us to a range of spin-offs like Silver & Black, featuring Silver Sable and Black Cat, Sinister Six film, which was teased in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Spider-Man 2099. For all you fans who are waiting for the Venom sequel to see him battle Carnage, you could’ve had those two in a Venom spin-off movie a few years back if it wasn’t cancelled due to the Disney/Sony deal.
Did you like Tim Burton’s take on Batman? If so, then you probably would’ve enjoyed his crazy take on Superman mythos. In this world it’s the long-haired Nicolas Cage who fills the boots of Kal-El. The plot would’ve been similar to the Death of Superman story arc with Brainiac as the main villain and Doomsday killing the Man of Steel. There was lots of weird stuff in it, like polar bears guarding the Fortress of Solitude and Superman facing off with a giant spider in the third act.
For those of you who want to find out more about this film, feel free to check out “The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened?” documentary.
4. Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man
Production of Ant-Man goes back as far as 2005, which was going to be the first independently produced film by Marvel Studios. The project had many difficulties with deciding on the final version of the script. The Marvel executives deemed Edgar Wright’s vision as not family-friendly enough and wanted someone else to rewrite it.
In 2014 Edgar Wright officially left Ant-Man, and stated that he didn’t want to direct a movie he couldn’t write himself. A year later Marvel’s vision of the film was released and it did well enough at the box office to receive a sequel three years later.
We don’t know many details about the original plot, but one thing is certain: we will never get to see Edgar Wright’s vision.
3. Ayer’s Cut of Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad is the next example of studio interference and the first movie to be slain by Warner Bros.’ reshoots. In the original vision, Suicide Squad was going to face off against Enchantress, who was controlled by a Mother Box, and Steppenwolf wouldn’t have been substituted with her brother, Incubus. Additionally, instead of fighting with an army of weird looking soldiers with raison-like heads, Suicide Squad would’ve had to go up against an army of parademons.
One of the biggest complaints the fans had, was the limited screen time that the Joker received. The Clown Prince of Crime appeared for just a few minutes in total, leaving a small mark on the plot and they cut him out of the third act completely. Originally, Joker’s role would’ve been much bigger and he would’ve been present during the final battle with Enchantress. Jared Leto himself stated that they shot so much footage with him, that they could’ve made a standalone Joker movie out of it. The Harley/Joker relationship would’ve been much more abusive, hence more accurate to source material, as well.
2. Batman: Year One
Before Christopher Nolan directed his take on Batman origin story, there were talks at Warner Bros. about a movie loosely based on the Batman: Year One comic.
Even though Darren Aronofsky’s Batman project was written by the original author of the comic book, Frank Miller, it differed ridiculously from the source material. Let’s start with the Batmobile. This version of Batman would’ve cruised around Gotham City in a pitch black Lincoln Continental. Even though it’s not your typical idea of a Batmobile, at least he wouldn’t have any problems if it were to break down. Why, you ask? Because in this universe Alfred is not a butler, but an African-American mechanic who goes by the name “Little Al” and owns an auto repair shop. Oh, and Jim Gordon is suicidal.
1. The Snyder Cut
Zack Snyder’s Justice League has achieved a completely new level of fan commitment. It’s been two years since we got the butchered version of Justice League and the effort people put into getting the original cut has not slowed down and is truly remarkable. It all started with the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut that has been trending on Twitter a few times. Aside from multiple petitions and spamming Warner Bros.’ Twitter accounts with the said hashtag, Snyder fans have taken their campaign to this year’s Comic Con. They managed to raise around $30k, half of which went to suicide prevention, and used the rest to pay for the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut billboard, an airplane banner, bus stop ad and merchandise. Additionally, there’s a Justice League animated fan film and a Black Suit Fan Edition of the film in the works.
Zack Snyder’s original vision was a two-part movie, which was denied by Warner Bros. for being too dark and scary. Eventually, they met half way. Zack Snyder came up with a bit more family friendly version, which still was rather dark and portrayed the characters in a meaningful way. That second version is the aforementioned Snyder Cut. However, when the first cut was complete, Warner Bros. still wanted to push the film into a completely different direction and eventually Zack Snyder said “no” to the extensive reshoots and walked away. In result, Warner Bros. told people that he stepped down because of his daughter’s suicide, which is quite disrespectful, and claimed that it was still a Zack Snyder film, even though Joss Whedon was hired to redo most of it.
In Snyder’s version we would’ve had a complex Cyborg backstory, appearances by Green Lantern Corps, a well-developed Steppenwolf with a much creepier design (even though in Whedon’s version Steppenwolf’s bad CGI is creepy on its own), a Lex Luthor/Deathstroke subplot, Darkseid, Superman without a deformed face and hands, and much, much more.
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Which movies would you like to see released the most? Are there any bullets you think we dodged? Tell us in the comments below and be sure to leave a suggestion for the future articles. If we pick your idea, we’ll give you a shout out at the top of that very article, so don’t miss out!