10 Unproduced Marvel Animated Shows That Would’ve Given DCAU Some Serious Competition

The DC Animated Universe always steals the show with its myriad of shows and movies. But Marvel did have some real good animated projects in the pipeline. Why did they abandon them?

Ant-Man & The Wasp

Ant-Man & The Wasp

Many don’t know this but Ant-Man has had terrible luck making it into the Marvel Universe. He was supposedly the first solo movie planned by Marvel Studios before they settled for RDJ and Iron Man. In the Eighties, an Ant-Man & The Wasp animated show was also in the cards. But Marvel later shifted focus to making shows on other teams like the Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Spider-Man. Ant-Man & The Wasp was sadly shelved where it later suffered a slow, silent death.

Iron Man (1980)

Animated Iron Man Series (1980)

Iron Man already had an animated solo series back in 1966. It was fairly successful, making Marvel think they could replicate that success again in 1980. Another Iron Man animated show was planned, which was going to be made on the Super Friends format. They even made a pilot episode that got good reviews. But the prospect of a full-fledged series on the hero remained elusive in the Eighties. No network agreed to bankroll the project.

X-Men: Pryde Of The X-Men

Pryde Of The X-Men

Like the name suggests, X-Men: Pryde of The X-Men was going to focus on Kitty Pryde aka Shadowcat. An underrated mutant hero, the series would have focused on her adventures during the Uncanny X-Men run. The pilot episode was made on a shoestring budget by Toei Animation after the developer studio siphoned money from RoboCop: The Animated Series’. Only one episode was ever made since Marvel Entertainment Group ran into a host of issues post making the pilot. After the MEG group was acquired by New World Pictures, the project died.

Solarman

Solarman

Creator David Oliphant, also produced the show by putting in 400,000 dollars of his own money. Marvel acted as a licensee while Oliphant held ownership rights. The 22 minute episode was a cross platform promotional tie in with Marvel publishing the first issue. Apparently a studio offered around 15 million dollars to Oliphant and Marvel so that they make a 64 episode series. The studio later cancelled the order thinking that Saturday morning superhero shows would soon die out.

Thor

Ruby-Spears Thor

Does the name Ruby Spears Production ring any bells? It was a Burbank, California based animation studio founded in 1977. Veteran writers Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, the people who gave us the iconic Scooby-Doo, Where are You animated series, were the shot-callers. And they once pitched the idea for a Thor animated series back in the Eighties. Sadly Marvel denied them the opportunity.

Captain America

Unmade Captain America Cartoon

In the 1990’s, Marvel was well into taking calculated risks. They agreed to some really experimental gambles that gave us shows like 1994’s Spider-Man: The Animated Series. In 1990, Saban Entertainment pitched a Captain America animated series idea. The show would have given the First Avenger a new identity – Tommy Tompkins. The Red Skull would be the main villain. Even a one minute pitch film was produced. But Marvel soon declared bankruptcy and the project never took off. The show was supposed to air on Fox Kids.

Thor (2000)

2000’s Thor Series

Thor remains one of the most popular Marvel characters of all time. And there have been multiple plans to bring his animated avatar to the small screens. Fox once tried to make a Thor animated series in 2000, inspired by the success of Batman: The Animated Series. There were no reports of further developments on the Thor series. Looks like it was abandoned pretty quickly.

Untitled Deadpool Show

Deadpool FXX Series

It was 2017 when FXX placed a series order for an untitled Deadpool animated series being planned. The show would have been co-produced by Marvel Television, ABC Signature Studios, and FX Productions. Donald Glover was going to write for the series along with his brother Stephen Glover. The sibling duo would also have been show-runners and executive producers. The project was cancelled because of creative differences. Glover later admitted FXX wanted the show to incorporate an episode just revolving around Taylor Swift.

The Offenders

The Offenders

Hulu had plans for making an adult themed animated series based on Hit-Monkey, Tigra & Dazzler, Howard The Duck, and MODOK. There was supposed to be a crossover special titled The Offenders. Each would get a separate solo series and then a subsequent crossover team-up series. In January 2020, Hulu announced only Hit-Monkey and MODOK were going as planned with the rest of the projects discontinued.

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