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.
Trying to make sense of the licensing and distribution rights surrounding Marvel Comics’ stable of characters can quickly become confusing. This is because – prior to the establishment of Marvel Studios – the publisher sold off the film rights to its most popular characters.
Once Marvel was in a position to produce and release movies on its own, reacquiring these rights became a problem – with rights-holders unwilling to relinquish what were now highly lucrative properties.
Fortunately for Marvel Cinematic Universe fans, many of these character rights have since reverted to the studio, allowing for additional heroes and villains to be integrated into its ever-expanding franchise.
Even icons like Spider-Man and the X-Men are now back in the fold, thanks to a licensing deal between Marvel and Sony, and Disney’s upcoming acquisition of Fox, respectively.
Nevertheless, Marvel stilldoesn’t have exclusive rights to feature all the characters it publishes in the MCU. Looking wider afield, there are also other comic book properties it does or did publish that it doesn’t have permission to adapt for the big screen – foregoing millions at the box office as a result!
For clarity’s sake, here are 15 Superheroes And Villains Marvel Still Can’t Use In The MCU.
Given the seemingly endless stream of comic book movies released in recent years, it’s hard to imagine that any film projects like these ever get canceled. Yet plenty are, with spinoffs the most commonly scrapped.
There are several reasons why these cinematic offshoots wind up on the chopping block so often. The most common motivation for a studio axing a spin-off is that the film which spawned it has underperformed financially.
Then there is the disappointing scenario where a character who was expected to be a break-out hit with audiences fails to impress, with their ability to carry their own solo outing appearing a lot less feasible.
And finally, there are those instances where the overall plans for a superhero film franchise change. Suddenly, a spinoff that once made perfect sense fails to align with the broader slate of scheduled films, and is either re-worked into another movie, or dropped entirely.
Whatever the reason, this means that we sometimes miss out on some potentially amazing superhero side projects – even as we dodge a few that look pretty awful! With this in mind, here are 8 Canceled Comic Book Spinoffs That Would’ve Been Bad (And 7 That Would’ve Been Great).
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.
Movie history is filled with examples of high-profile projects that never made it to the big screen – including unmade sequels to your some of your favorite films. Unfortunately, while getting a sequel off the ground for a critically acclaimed outing or blockbuster hit seems like it would be a no-brainer, thanks to the many logistical and political forces at play in Hollywood, that’s not true.
Although this has cost audiences the opportunity to enjoy promising follow-up entries to a number of popular franchises, it’s also spared them from pretty severe disappointment, too. For every brilliantly conceived sequel that fails to materialize, an even greater number are pitched that are at best ill-advised and at worst flat-out unnecessary. Indeed, several of these dubious continuations wouldn’t have merely been destined to fall flat at the box office – they risked damaging the legacy of the beloved movies that came before them.
Still, there’s something inherently fascinating about these unseen films – whether they looked set to be a masterpiece or a trainwreck – that comes from wondering what might have been. With this in mind, we’ve taken stock of the biggest unmade sequels out there, pulling together this list of 9 Canceled Sequels That Would’ve Been Terrible (And 6 That Would’ve Been Great).
When it comes to costume design in movies, it used to be the case that filmmakers were limited by what could be achieved using real-world fabrics and prosthetics. Basically, if a design couldn’t be made using existing materials – and even if it could be made, if it was too unwieldy to actually wear – it was back to the drawing board!
Following the advent of computer generated imagery, however, all of that changed. Now, whatever costume designers can dream up can theoretically be made a reality, thanks to the magic of visual effects. Indeed, in a post-CGI world, actors regularly find themselves attired in the most otherworldly clothing imaginable, especially those starring in fantasy and sci-fi outings.
However, while the current trend towards CGI costumes has yielded some truly breathtaking results – bringing to life characters we never expected to see in a live-action film – more than a few have fallen flat.
Typically, this is because either the digital “tailoring” and “make-up” involved failed to convincingly portray whatever it was intended to mimic, or it’s because the end product wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. Either way, this usually suggests that the filmmakers might have been better off going down a more traditional route!
Here are 6 Terrible CGI Costumes That Ruined Movies (And 9 That Are Amazing).
Everybody loves a movie tough guy or gal – powerful characters with a reputation for being able to win virtually any fight. Yet a surprising number of these iconic fighters have actually lost almost as many battles as they’ve won (at least based on what we see on screen).
Of course, a large part of this is down to the way that films work. In order for a story to be compelling, our heroes need to struggle – and even occasionally lose! – despite their incredible martial prowess. Similarly, in most instances, villains need to be defeated before the credits roll – which means that they are predestined to be second best, no matter how many times they’ve beaten the hero throughout the story.
That’s why most movie powerhouses earn their street cred by mowing down unfortunate redshirts, only to end up on the wrong end of a brutal beatdown when faced by an opponent at least as skilled as they are: because they’re really only as good at fighting as the story needs them to be at any given moment.
But even taking into account the mechanics of storytelling, you’d be amazed by just how patchy the win-loss record for some of cinema’s most well-known heavy hitters really is.
Don’t believe us? Then check out this list of 15 ‘Tough’ Movie Characters Who Always Get Defeated – we promise you: you won’t believe who made the cut!