Click to viewWith The Dark Knight set to follow Hancock, Wanted, The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man into the theaters and hearts of cinemagoers worldwide, it seems that this really is the summer of movie superheroes. But what about Will Smith's earlier attempt to be a superhero and all the other superhero also-rans that didn't quite make it onto film? Under the jump, we look at five superhero movies that we're relieved didn't make it to a first day of shooting.
The Mark: Rob Liefeld's near-mythical movie for Will Smith (First announced in 1997) possibly disappeared due to worries over its similarity to Marvel's Star Brand series (which is, itself, a rip-off of DC's Green Lantern): Smith was to play an average joe who would end up with ultimate power that he didn't want, thanks to a mysterious brand that is magically "transferred" to his body from the corpse of a Confederate soldier. The pitch meeting probably went like this: "Picture this, Will. You have this mark on your hand, right? And you're looking at it, wondering what it is, and then it has this laser blast that comes out of it and blasts through a wall in your apartment." "Can I look at the hole in the wall and say 'Awww hell naw'?" "Sure." "I'll do it!"
Warcop: In 1993, Madonna wanted to star in another movie, and thought that she'd make a good superhero. She asked Spawn creator Todd McFarlane to come up with an idea for her, and Todd - wanting nothing to do with it - gave the idea to Grant Morrison, who came up with a pitch involving a Judge Dredd-esque futuristic space cop who traveled in time back to the present day to catch a particular perp. In one of her last good career moves, Madonna decided against the project, but Grant apparently didn't; the title, at least, is about to be used for one of his new comic books.
Iron Fist: Is this adaptation of Marvel Comics' kung-fu fighter anything more than a hopeful dream for The Phantom Menace's Darth Maul, Ray Park? The stuntman-turned-actor has been talking about the perpetually-upcoming movie version of Danny Rand for more than half a decade now, and the movie has had multiple co-stars, directors and screenwriters attached at various points in its history but seems to be getting no closer to actually being made. This can only be a good thing, because it just increases the likelihood of teaming the character up with (the similarly movie-cursed) Luke Cage to give us the Power Man And Iron Fist movie the world needs to see.
Green Lantern: One of the greatest near-misses in cinema history is the fact that fan outcry halting pre-production of Jack Black's comedy movie version of DC's space cop superhero a few years ago. Hearing Jack talk about what we could've seen in an alternate world is enough reason to be grateful:
I was going to be making all kinds of stuff... I was going to be capturing bad guys with green, giant prophylactics. Some funny stuff.
To everyone who complained loudly enough to stop this movie being made: Thank you.
Spider-Man: I know, I know; you're all thinking "Wait, didn't they make Spider-Man? I'm pretty sure I've seen a Spider-Man movie." But I'm not talking about the Sam Raimi version; I'm talking about Jim Cameron's mooted early '90s version that would had a villain that kissed his girlfriends to death, a personality-less Sandman as afterthought thug, and Peter revealing his secret identity at the end of the movie to a surprisingly unimpressed Mary Jane. There's no doubt that it would've made a cool-looking special-effects bonanza, but it had none of the heart or quirkiness of Raimi's version.