Avengers: Endgame is the King of superhero movies. Marvel Studios owned Marvel Cinematic Universe is right now the world’s most profitable movie franchise. After the release of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, they broke their own record and achieved the impossible, set a milestone so high that it looks nigh impossible to reach. Superhero movies are now a dime a dozen and most of them earn at least half a billion dollars. There are still some movies that always stand apart. Those movies have the script and the characters to make past twice or even four times the average superhero earner. Sadly, not every movie is as lucky to make it past (sometimes) even the drawing board and remain concepts all their life. This list is an ode to those insanely popular unsung projects that will always remain a dream. Presenting – 10 Cancelled superhero movies that could have toppled Avengers Endgame in Box Office!!
Justice League Mortal
This movie sounded way too good on paper. And many believed that the project was too ambitious to spread wings and finally take off. After Warner Bros. shot down Batman’s popularity after they gave the reins to the character to Joel Schumacher, the movie prospects of the Dark Knight were bleak. So the Studio did the next best thing – use George Miller as the Director of a new Justice League movie and pit Batman with the rest of the Justice League to put DC back on the map. The movie failed to see the light of day after the Writers’ Guild of America went on strike in 2007 and 2008. The movie followed Maxwell Lord hijacking batman’s Brother Eye and using nanotechnology to turn the world into a mindless zombie horde hellbent on killing all superhumans.
X-Men vs. the Fantastic Four
This would have been truly a dream come true. X-Men vs. the Fantastic Four was something not even Marvel has been able to do – pit one popular standalone superhero team against another. Though Civil War did show us glimpses of how a superhero fight would turn out, this movie would have taken that to another level. Fox planned to include a crossover movie after X-Men: First Class where the Fantastic Four fought the X-Men. Johnny Storm would have caused a huge accident during a mission that would have forced the government to implement the Superhuman Registration Act. The X-Men would have then been called to aid the Government forces against the Fantastic Four and other rogue mutants that sided with them. Daredevil and Deadpool were also supposed to feature in this movie. The movie never happened because the success of First Class convinced Fox to keep the X-Men: Franchise a standalone venture.
Batman vs. Superman
We know what you are thinking. Isn’t there already a Batman vs. Superman movie? The DCEU movie that put Batman on the map in the extended universe is a very polarizing subject. The story was not everyone’s cup of tea and Zack Snyder’s dark and bleak take on the DC superheroes really struck a chord with one section of the audience while the rest couldn’t make heads and tails out of it. But that was nothing compared to the BVS movie that was planned in case the Dark Knight trilogy bombed. The movie would have included Christian Bale as the Batman and Josh Hartnett as Superman. The story was something like this – a resurrected Joker kills a now retired Batman’s wife Elizabeth and Batman blames Superman for her death. They then soon set aside their differences to stop the Joker and Lex Luthor from destroying the world.
Green Arrow: Escape from Supermax
The movie took inspiration from the acclaimed Batman story arc – Batman: Arkham Asylum – A Serious Place on Serious Earth. The movie would have been directed by David S Goyer and was set for a release just after Iron Man, which would mean that DC had a chance to set up a shared superhero universe before Marvel could. It is just that they could not act quick enough to grab this opportunity. The plot was simple and engaging – Green Arrow is framed for a crime he did not commit and is then incarcerated in the most secure prison on the planet, which he had to escape out of. The story also involved villains such as the Riddler, Amanda Waller, the Ventriloquist, and even Lex Luthor.
This is one movie that New Line Cinema wants to stay buried. In conjunction with Marvel Comics, the Blade trilogy starring Wesley Snipes as the iconic vampire slayer was a total hit and is still regarded as a cult classic. The success of the Blade movies prompted New Line Cinema to start talks with Marvel Comics for another Blade movie. The discussions were a total disaster and even though Wesley Snipes seemed interested, the deal was scrapped. The fourth Blade movie would have introduced werewolves into the Blade Universe, and would have effectively helped in some much necessary world-building. Let us hope the rumored Blade reboot can give us something as interesting.
X-Men Origins: Magneto
Probably the most popular mutant supervillain in the Marvel Universe, Magneto was also supposed to get his own origin story turned into a live-action adaptation under the Fox Studios banner. After X-Men: The last Stand tanked terribly, the Studio decided to focus on individual character arcs. The Wolverine origin stories did not pan out as planned. So the Studio gave Bryan Singer an ultimatum – X-Men: First Class will only be given the green-light provided X-Men Origins: Magneto – where Magneto and Professor X team up to stop a supervillain in the year 1962, was a hit. The former movie went on to be greenlit and the Magneto Origin story was put on ice indefinitely although First Class did borrow some elements from the script of the Magneto origin arc.
No, we are not talking about the Halle Berry starrer abomination. The one true Catwoman will always be Michelle Pfeiffer who immortalized Selina Kyle through her performance in Batman Forever (1995). Catwoman was supposed to get her own spinoff movie right after Batman Forever where Selina sees herself coming back to Oasisville and realize her true calling as the ultimate cat burglar. The movie was mothballed after numerous rewrites and Tim Burton’s creative differences with the writers. After Pfeiffer had her child, that was the final nail in the coffin.
Wes Craven, a horror icon, was actually the first guy that Marvel had approached way back in 1994 to make a horror themed Doctor Strange movie. The movie would be directed by Craven with David S Goyer writing the script. It was set for a 1994 release date. A Horror infused Doctor Strange would have surely included Nightmare, King of the Dream Dimension in the movie and that is something Doctor Strange fans would definitely like to see in a movie starring the Sorcerer Supreme. The movie never took off since the rights to the superhero kept jumping from one studio to another.
While you may think Spiderman 3 was a total disaster, the truth is it was a Box Office record setter. It broke and set numerous records that are still tough to break for a majority of the superhero movies today. It was because of this reason that Sony Pictures decided to green light Spiderman 4, a movie that would have seen Tobey Maguire return as the wall-crawler with Bruce Campbell playing Mysterio. There were also plans for a fifth Spiderman movie starring the Lizard, Electro, the Vulture and Black Cat as antagonists. The sixth Spiderman movie would have seen the rise of the Sinister Six. Sam Raimi left the project because the Studio imposed too rigid deadlines that he thought were impossible to meet. The movie had a 2011 release date.
X-Men & the Fantastic Four – Secret Invasion
If the X-Men vs. the Fantastic Four movie would have been a reality, the post-credits would have shown a Skrull invasion about to happen, effectively setting the table for a Secret Invasion movie. The acclaimed storyline does deserve all the attention it could get and the way Marvel mutilated the Skrull element in Captain Marvel and completely destroyed any prospects of a Secret Invasion movie ever happening in the MCU is as good as a criminal offense. At least Fox tried to give the fans what they wanted. Additional superheroes like Daredevil and Deadpool who would have appeared in the X-Men vs. the Fantastic Four would have also made an appearance in this one.
Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just… do things