While it may seem like there are enough superhero movies to feast our eyes with, there are many canceled superhero movies we still regret that never made it to the big screens.
These canceled superhero movies tell the tale of a bygone era, the story of superheroes from a time before it all began.
Superman Lives is such a fan favorite movie project that many still want it to happen, even after a decade or so of it being shelved.
Tim Burton, known for his goth undertones, created this new take on the Man of Steel. Superman would have been played by Nicholas Cage.
The story was centered on the Death of Superman comic book arc. It featured villains like Brainiac, Lex Luthor, and Doomsday.
The plot involved Superman wearing a sentient suit named K that would resurrect him.
Lex Luthor and Brainiac would join forces to become Lexiac and Lois Lane would be impregnated by Superman’s Ghost.
It was a topsy-turvy tale. There is even a documentary around the failed movie named The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened.
Superman Lives was replaced with Superman: Flyby, which was also canceled a while later.
In the year 2011, rumors of Warner Brothers looking for a director to head a potential Hawkeye project surfaced online.
The news quickly gained traction. The script for the movie was leaked and one of the log lines read: “part INDIANA JONES/The DA VINCI CODE, part GHOST”.
Hawkman would have explored the origin story of Carter Hall who later becomes renowned Justice League member Hawkman.
The movie failed to take off. Hawkman’s only live-action appearances remain in The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.
Warner Brothers is said to still be contemplating on a future movie on Hawkman.
Also Read: 10 Amazing Superman Cosplays
Warner Brothers wanted a Plastic Man movie since the 1990s.
They even hired the Wachowski Brothers from The Matrix Trilogy to do their magic with the DC Superhero.
Major changes were done to the superhero’s origin tale. The name and the way he got his powers were changed.
Plastic Man was now a result of a science experiment gone wrong.
Many original characters were created to be played by a supporting cast in the movie. Keanu Reeves was rumored to play the titular role.
By 2008, the Wachowski’s were sure that the rampant use of CGI would make the superhero comedy a huge hit.
Reeves departed and David Tennant was roped in. The project was ultimately dropped.
Hellboy III was originally on track. Guillermo del Toro was slated to return as Director. But the Studio meddled.
The Hellboy franchise was dark, gritty and had R-Rated action. Superhero movies were not considered as ‘successful’ back then.
The Hellboy movies developed a cult-like fan-base but the Studio was not ready to fund the third one because the first two movies barely made any buck for them.
Guillermo del Toro then switched to other projects like Pacific Rim and The Hobbit (before Peter Jackson replaced him of course).
Hellboy III also had terribly bad luck. It was canceled right on the cusp of the dawn of the superhero movies in 2008.
X-Men Origins: Magneto
X-Men Origins: Magneto was developed along with X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
The two projects would compete for the resources of Fox, with the victor getting the prize of being turned into a movie. X-Men Origins: Magneto lost the battle because Wolverine was a more profitable superhero.
There was also the fact that Sir Ian McKellen was supposed to reprise his role.
Anti-Aging CGI would have to be used on his face throughout the movie. That was expensive.
Moreover, there was also the 2008’s Writer’s Guild strike. Expenses kept piling up and the Magneto origin story movie was finally dropped.
The ideas and concepts were later used in making the script for X-Men: First Class.
Batman Forever had really tarnished the image of the Batman in the big screens. DC needed a way to regain their footing in Gotham City.
Paul Dini, the mastermind behind the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series had the idea of rebooting the franchise by making a Batman Beyond movie.
This would have allowed a younger version of the Batman to assume the role of the Dark Knight while Bruce Wayne would be put in the background.
The project lost its director Boaz Yakin early on. Warner Brothers dropped Dini’s Batman Beyond idea and opted for Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.
Maybe the new Flash movie could use some of the unused story elements from the doomed project.
Justice League Mortal
Justice League Mortal had a very unique celebrity line-up. DJ Cotrona played Superman.
Megan Gale and Anton Yelchin played Wonder Woman and the Flash. Armie Hammer as Batman. Common was cast as Green Lantern and Hugh-Keys Brune played the Martian Manhunter.
The movie had villains like Maxwell Lord, Talia al Ghul, and a host of other secondary antagonists.
The reason the movie was shelved was because of the 2008 Writers Guild strike coupled with the studio taking unanimous decisions that irked Director George Miller.
The shooting location for the movie was abruptly changed from Australia to Canada against Miller’s demands. So he was forced to depart.
Gambit seemed to be right on track within the Fox Verse.
They had roped in the right actor. Channing Tatum was set to play the role of the mutant Cajun thief.
The story was ready and the plot was on the verge of being completed. And then tragedy struck.
The Disney-Fox merger sealed many potential movie projects of Fox Studios. The ventures that were in the pipeline were moth-balled.
Gambit received a similar treatment. There were multiple times the movie had a Change in Direction.
Everyone from Doug Liman to Rupert Wyatt and Gore Verbinski gave it a shot.
Later Tatum took matters into his own hands in the hopes of directing the 20th Century Fox movie. Gambit was scrambled because of obvious reasons.
Green Arrow: Escape From Super Max
The story had a very basic premise. But it was edible enough based on an age-old recipe.
And that is what made it great. Green Arrow: Escape From Super Max involved Oliver Queen being framed for a crime he did not commit.
He would be then sent to a maximum-security prison designed to contain super villains.
Green Arrow now must fight the supervillains he him-self captured and put there.
After escaping, he would then be tasked with proving his innocence as the authorities will be hot on his heels.
Justin Marks and David Goyer wrote the story for the movie.
But Goyer’s bad luck with superhero movies runs deep. The project was halted by the studio, which diverted resources to other high-value projects.
The movie has ever since been in development hell.