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The Dan Cave

A Brief History of Marvel Movies That Almost Got Made

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On the road to pop cultural dominance, the House of Ideas left plenty of abandoned scripts, half-baked ideas, and close-but-no-cigar sequels along the way. Two weeks ago, I made like Orpheus and journeyed into DC Comics’ development hell to uncover the various Eurydices held hostage there. Today on The Dan Cave, we’re talking all about the Marvel Comics movies that never came to pass, as well as some…let’s just say inspired casting choices.

Some highlights contained within:

  • A Silver Surfer musical
  • Glenn Danzig’s Wolverine
  • Charlie Sheen as Spider-Man
  • Peyton Reed’s Fantastic Four
  • …and much more!

Sorry, I really wanted to make that seem like an infomercial for a 3-CD set. Listen, guys, there were some truly bizarre movies in Marvel’s past. For example — and we had to cut this one from the episode for time — George Clooney was once after the role of Nick Fury, which would have made a nice bridge between David Hasselhoff and Samuel L. Jackson. However, after he read Garth Ennis’ 2002 mini-series Fury, he was so put off that he abandoned the project entirely. (Sources close to the production indicate that Mr. Clooney may have also departed due to the complete and total lack of kevlar nipples.)

Want another oddity? Oliver Stone wanted to adapt Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz’s Elektra: Assassin for the big screen, a project to which the JFK director had been attached as early as 1992. In fact, it’s listed as one of his upcoming projects in the press notes for 1994’s Natural Born Killers. The project was going to star professional volleyball player/model Gabrielle Reece, and would have tweaked the source material to show Elektra being chased down by the ninja clan, The Hand, rather than by S.H.I.E.L.D.. The film eventually died when the rights to Elektra were packaged and sold to Twentieth Century Fox along with Daredevil and Bullseye…and we all know how that turned out.

Intriguing stuff, right? I thought so too. So join me on a journey into the heart of development darkness as we discuss the Marvel movies that never were and likely never will be.

Which one would you want to see the most? Let me know in the comments below!

Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist. You can find him on Twitter (@Osteoferocious), and pick up his new book, 100 Things Avengers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die.

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