These days, it seems that any Tom, Dick, or Harry Osborn can get their own movie from Disney in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
However, back when the House of Mouse was spread out across the likes of Fox and Sony, there were various obstacles that could stop a potential franchise moving forward.
From canned X-Men origin stories to a superhero/Nightmare on Elm Street hybrid, here are eight Marvel movies that you’ll never get to see.
1. Wes Craven’s Doctor Strange
Marvel had plans for Doctor Strange long before Benedict Cumberbatch was stroking his goatee. A maestro of horror taking on the worldly wizard may sound like an odd concept, but it’s one that nearly happened with Wes Craven’s Doctor Strange.
After Back to the Future‘s Bob Gale failed to get a Strange standalone off the ground in the mid-’80s, Craven signed on in 1992. In conjunction with creature-feature studio Savoy Pictures – two years before it went bump – a pre-Scream Craven would’ve undoubtedly focussed on the darkest sides of the Sorcerer Supreme.
Craven showed his imaginative flair for dream sequences over the course of his A Nightmare on Elm Street entries, so picture a movie of murder meets magic.
2. Fant4stic 2
Someone may eventually get the Fantastic Four right, but until then, let’s continue trying to forget Josh Trank’s Fant4stic from 2015.
From an implausible casting of Jamie Bell to Kate Mara’s dodgy wig, there was little to love about the superhero suck-fest. Even though Michael B Jordan managed to escape to better things in Black Panther, there was a time that Fox wanted to continue the torment with Fant4stic 2.
Amidst hopes of blockbuster success for Fant4stic, a sequel was set for May 2017 and promptly dropped from the studio’s slate when the first movie hit cinemas. Despite Fant4sticbombing hard, Fox was still touting a sequel in February 2017 and planned to use the same cast.
Thankfully, the quartet of heroes is heading to the MCU with the upcoming Fox-Disney merger. Wiping the sweat off our brows, Fant4stic 2 can go back to being a bad dream alongside the likes of Joel Schumacher’s planned Batman & Robin sequel.
3. X-Men Origins: Magneto
Although Bryan Singer’s X-Men was a forefather of the comic book movie boom, the rest of the franchise focussing on Charles Xavier’s gifted youngsters has had some serious highs and lows.
As one of the most infamous X-Men characters out there, the success of the main series was due to lead into X-Men Origins: Magneto and see Sir Ian McKellen reprise his role as Erik Lehnsherr for some nostalgic storytelling and Benjamin Button CGI.
After the critical panning of Gavin Hood’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Fox had the foresight to cancel plans for any future Origins films before they managed to bankrupt the studio. Although Magneto failed to ‘attract’ Fox bosses, an origin story of sorts was told in Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class and gave fans the current iteration of the character under Michael Fassbender.
4. Daredevil 2