With the documentary The Death Of Superman Lives: What Happened? finally telling the story of one of the biggest comic book messes to ever tear through Hollywood, we're taking a trip down memory lane. We're listing some of the comic book movies that never saw the light of day. Some of the superhero movies on this list had the potential to be genuinely cool, but most of them sound like the cinematic equivalent of dry heaves and we're glad they never happened. Join us, dear reader, as we travel back and look at the comic book movies that thankfully never were.
As wild as some of the films on this list are, a common denominator among the possible trainwrecks is that the filmmakers tended to take massive liberties with the source material. There are two theoretical Spider-Man films on this list, for example, and in them Peter Parker’s either a creepy pervert or mutated, shape-shifting spider-man with extra limbs. And if you haven’t already guessed from peeping Nicolas Cage’s mug in a plastic super suit, then you already know Superman Lives almost certainly would've been a '90s misfire of epic proportions.Forget what you know about your beloved heroes and step through the What If machine to read about these comic book movies that almost happened. Which comic book movies that never were do you think are better off unmade and which do you wish had ended up at a theater near you? Vote up the superhero movies the world is better off without and fire off a comment about the ones you wish had made it to a theater near you!
In the late '70s, Marvel was actually trying to make a movie featuring the then-brand-new character Dazzler - a disco diva who turns sound into light while fighting crime in roller-boots - with none other than Bo Derek attached to star. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Derek’s insistence that her husband direct the project prevented the movie from ever happening. The whole story is here along with the 12 page rundown, which involves KISS fighting the Village People in a dystopian New York. Can we still get this made?
Superman Lives was kicking around Hollywood for years before Tim Burton and Nic Cage started taking photos of the man who would soon steal the Declaration of Independence wearing a plastic suit. The movie would'vefound Supes dying, coming back to life, and wrasslin' a giant spider. Recently, Kevin Smith and Tim Burton have both lost some of their moviemaking mojo, but in the late '90s they were both firing at their relative peak - maybe this insane-o Superman movie could have been highly entertaining, if not actually good.
In the '80s, the film rights to Marvel characters were traded around like pogs in a school yard, or a more updated reference. Eventually they found themselves in the hands of Cannon Films for the bargain price of $225,000. Run by cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, the duo responsible for films like American Ninja, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, and John Cassavetes's Love Streams."Golan and Globus didn't really know what Spider-Man was," Joseph Zito, the second director brought onto the project, told the LA Times in 2002, "They thought it was like the Wolfman." The script written by The Outer Limits creator Leslie Stevens saw Peter Parker turn into an eight-armed tarantula monster who did battle against mutants from a government laboratory. If anyone knows how to get a hold of this script, we would LOVE to give it a read.
Jack Black as Green Lantern
For a moment, try to forget about the disastrous Ryan Reynolds movie and think back to 2004. That's when Robert Smigel (a veteran SNL writer and creator of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog) was tapped to write a Green Lantern movie starring Jack Black. An out-and-out comedy, Smigel said his idea was that "the wrong guy gets the ring." The finale would've involved Green Lantern turning back time in a direct reference to Superman. As much as this film sounds like a clusterf***, it might've made for one heck of a midnight movie.