Since the dawn of television, network executives have been in desperate need of new content to fill their broadcast schedules. Comic books have certainly helped in this regard, providing inspiration for several popular TV shows over the past 60 years.
From the classic Adventures of Superman series in the 1950s, through to Marvel Studios’ recent Netflix output, numerous superhero properties have been translated to the small screen. Even comics not centered around costumed adventurers have served as the basis for TV shows, including horror phenomenon The Walking Dead.
That’s just the live-action side of things – when animated outings are taken into account, the number of comic book-based TV programmes skyrockets. Not only have these shows proven a hit with audiences over the years, but many are also held in high regard by critics, with shows like Batman: The Animated Series considered a high watermark for the medium.
Not every comic book TV show gets the green-light from networks. Indeed, a surprising number of comics-inspired series were abandoned very late in the day – often after substantial pre-production work had been undertaken or a full-blown pilot produced!
With this in mind, here are 20 Comic Book TV Shows That Almost Happened.
It takes years of planning to make a typical Hollywood film – and this can even stretch to decades, particularly where big budget blockbusters are concerned. As you’d expect, an incredible amount of decision-making is involved along the way, all to ensure that the best possible story ultimately finds its way into cinemas.
Amazingly, though, it’s often the last-minute changes made by filmmakers that determine whether a movie is a massive success or a bitter disappointment. Sometimes, these edits are made after the director has a “Eureka!” moment, realizing just in time what elements need to be amended for the final cut to truly soar.
In other cases, the circumstances are motivated less by artistic considerations and more by the commercial bottom line. Here, the studio financing the production will mandate alterations intended to maximize box office revenue – often based on feedback from test screenings.
Regardless of the rationale behind these edits, what makes them remarkable is just how late they’re implemented. Seriously: we were only weeks away from seeing very different versions of some of the most popular films of all time!
With this in mind, here are 10 Last-Minute Changes That Saved Movies (And 6 That Ruined Them).
The prevailing wisdom among movie fans is that a big-screen blockbuster lives or dies based off the quality of its main villain. It’s not hard to see why – after all, if the baddie in question isn’t a memorable or credible threat, watching our heroes triumph over them isn’t particularly satisfying.
There are exceptions to this rule, of course. With the exception of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, the rogues gallery of the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe have largely proven a disappointing bunch. But even so, the marketing machines behind virtually every blockbuster film – including those released by Marvel Studios – put a significant amount of effort into generating pre-release excitement around the supposed awesomeness of their villains.
Sometimes, these big bads really do live up to the promotional buzz. Brilliantly twisted creations like Heath Ledger’s Joker have since gone on to become iconic examples of what a cinematic antagonist should be, far exceeding audience expectations along the way. But more often than not, the hoopla surrounding these nefarious characters turns out to be grossly exaggerated.
Check out our list of 15Major Movie Villains That Didn’t Live Up To The Hype.
The history of cinema is filled to the brim with examples of memorable villains. Indeed, more often than not, the success of a film relies as much (if not more) on the quality of its bad guy as it does on the hero! Thanks to the high bar set by these iconic wrongdoers – including legendary figures like Hannibal Lecter, the Joker, and Darth Vader – filmmakers have to try harder than ever to craft a truly impressive villain.
That might explain the increasing trend towards baddies created entirely through CGI, with directors convinced that we’ve now reached the limits of what can be achieved using flesh-and-blood actors covered in prosthetics. To be fair, when these digital delinquents are done well, the results are truly impressive, delivering the kind of malevolent on-screen threat that could only be imagined previously.
However, when an artificial antagonist falls flat, the impact on a movie can be devastating. We’re not overstating things when we say that several films released in the last few decades have been totally wrecked – or at the very least, severely hampered – by an unconvincing computer-generated monstrosity.
Here are 15 Terrible CGI Villains That Ruined Movies.
As a superhero, you could be forgiven for thinking that when you join an elite super-team like the Justice League, the last thing you need to worry about is disloyalty. After all, you’re banding together with a bunch of equally-heroic, like-minded individuals dedicated to fighting a common enemy. And yet a startling number of betrayals have taken place across the many incarnations of the League that have formed since its inception way back in 1960!
Of course, sometimes the reason for this treachery is that the Justice League member in question was suffering from the effects of mind control, brainwashing, or some other kind of mental hoodoo. But other times, their motivations are a lot more calculated – if not necessarily always badly intentioned – and are therefore a lot harder to forgive.
Indeed, one League member betraying the trust of the rest of team is always taken very seriously, and this otherwise compassionate fraternity of heroes has even resorted to expelling guilty parties from their ranks (at least temporarily). Regardless of the reason, nothing hurts worse for a crimefighter than when one of their costumed peers stabs them in the back – which is why we pulled together this list of 15 Justice League Members Who BETRAYED The Team!
You’d be hard pressed to find a comics or cinema fan not aware of the highly anticipated Justice League film due this November. What many of these fans might not know is that this is actually the second attempt at adapting DC Comics premiere super team – with the feature-length pilot for a CBS Justice League of America TV series pre-dating it by a whole decade!
The reason why most people are oblivious when it comes to the Justice League pilot is simple: it never aired in the United States (although it did see the light of day on some international networks). The rationale behind the CBS executives’ decision to bury the pilot is even simpler: it’s… uh, not very good (like, at all).
Granted, superhero fans today are spoiled when it comes to big budget adaptations of their favorite characters on the big and small screens, but even so – the Justice League pilot is an especially lackluster affair, even by ‘90s network TV standards.
From costume shop-quality costumes through to its bizarre, quasi-mockumentary format (seriously!), it’s almost as if the creative team involved were trying to tick every box on the “awful comic book TV show” checklist.
Whilst the storytelling and technical faux paus on display in this 86 minute atrocity border on limitless, we’ve rounded up the most egregious missteps here in this list of the 15 Things The Justice League TV Pilot Got Wrong.
Today sees the launch of a new recurring feature here at The Pop Culture Studio, Here’s Looking At You – articles which focus on pop culture creators well-known and obscure, beloved and (in some cases) reviled.
In this first instalment (and in honour of Black History Month in the US), we’re going to take a look at the late, great Dwayne McDuffie, who was a trailblazer not only as an African American comic book and TV scribe, but also as someone who increased the visibility of minority characters across both mediums as well.