The Pitch: "Man's struggle against himself made flesh."
The Explanation: Artificially created to be the perfect human, Adam Warlock struggles against his own evil side... literally; his nemesis, the Magus, is a future version of himself gone bad, and attempting to speed along the transformation. Is the only way to defeat him to kill himself? Let someone like Duncan Jones take on Jim Starlin's 1970s cosmic storyline and you've greenlit a future classic.
Must Read: Marvel Masterworks: Warlock volume 1.
The Pitch: "Learn the true history of humanity!"
The Explanation: Forget Neil Gaiman's recent attempt to restart this franchise and go back to Jack Kirby's original, which said that humanity was just one of three races created by giant, godlike robots called the Celestials, who have come back to Earth to judge us. Oh, and those two other races? They're the idealized Eternals and the evil Deviants, and they're at war over humanity's survival. Imagine a story this epic (and, admittedly, dumb) being given to JJ Abrams and prepare for box office success.
Must Read: The Eternals by Jack Kirby volumes 1 and 2.
The Pitch: "Man has discovered the ultimate weapon. Watch out, Pittsburgh."
The Explanation: Marvel's 1980s attempt at "realism", the New Universe, contained one particular classic, the story of a man who gains the universe's ultimate weapon - a brand that gives its owner unlimited power - and, well, loses his mind in the process, accidentally destroying his home town of Pittsburgh and launching the world into a nuclear winter as a result. We want to see what Charlie Kaufman could do with this, to be honest.
Must Read: Star Brand Classic volume 1 starts the story, but things get more interesting - and more weird - in the not-yet-reprinted later issues.
The Pitch: "What does it mean to be human, when you're not?"
The Explanation: Jack Kirby - yes, him again - created this character, an android just trying to make it in a world of fleshy humans, as part of his continuation of 2001: A Space Odyssey, so you could almost say that he's fated to be a movie star. Downplay the character's various attempts to be a superhero and cut to the core of the character: Kirby's lonely, melancholic outsider wondering what the human condition actually is. Add Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers, and let rise, slowly.
Must Read: Currently out of print, you'd be best served by looking for Kirby's short-lived run on the original, 1970s, version of the Machine Man series.