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).
Unlike in the real world, in comics, death is rarely the end. Over the course of nearly a century of superheroics, almost every crimefighter who ever slapped on a mask or pulled on a cape has died (or appeared to die) – only to return from the grave further down the line.
Indeed, we’re at the point now where the very concept of death has lost virtually all meaning within the confines of the genre. After all, why bother getting upset over the death of your favorite do-gooder, when they’re almost certain to be back on their feet again in a year’s time?
And so it is that we find ourselves in the unusual scenario where it’s only when a superhero bites the bullet and doesn’t recover that we consider it remarkable. It’s easy to forget that this does happen from time to time. Sadly, it turns out not every hero gets a do-over. Conversely, there are some heroes that have undertaken the death/rebirth cycle so often that even their allies barely bother organizing a funeral!
With this in mind, here is a round-up of 12 Superheroes Who Died And Stayed Dead (And 8 Who Won’t Stop Coming Back).
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).
In many ways, the role of a superhero (or supervillain) sidekick is a thankless task. You get less recognition from the public – both in the fictional universe you inhabit, as well as in the real world – while your more famous boss hogs all the limelight.
On the face of it, sidekicks playing second fiddle makes a certain amount of sense. After all, not only is it their role to support their more experienced mentors, but sidekicks are also traditionally the less powerful element of their respective crimefighting (or crime-committing) partnership.
But that isn’t always the case. Indeed, many comic book support acts actually boast abilities and skills as impressive as those of the spandex-clad headliners they assist, if not even more so. Time and again, these poor souls struggle to escape the shadows cast by their superhero and villain head honchos – even when they finally break out on their own.
In honor of these unsung heroes (and as a tip of the hat to their villainous counterparts), we’ve pulled together this list of 16 Sidekicks Way Stronger Than Their Superheroes.Let no one ever mistake these talented guys and gals for mere human shields or cringing cronies again!
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).
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!