ByTom Perkins, writer at
If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed.
Tom Perkins

Since the start of the 21st Century all kinds of comic book movies have been released on the big screen and for the most part, they have been great and better than your average film. Yes, there have been a few exceptions like X-Men: The Last Stand and Daredevil, but on the whole, comic book movies in the last 15 years have been pretty damn decent.

There have been so many comic book films and there are so many more on the way, so I was interested to know if any films that did have a foreseeable future, were cancelled? Superheroes have been exceptionally popular, but even some of the most entertaining franchises have had cancelled films, today I will dive into the very details of those films that never made it to the silver screen.


1. Spider-Man 4

This film was a planned sequel to the Sam Raimi Trilogy and was expected to release May 6th, 2011 with all returning cast to reprise their roles:

  • Tobey Maguire as Spiderman,
  • Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson
  • Rosemary Harris as May Parker
  • J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson
  • Dylan Baker as Curt Connors/The Lizard.

And with new additions to the cast,

  • John Malkovich as Adrian Toomes/The Vulture
  • Anne Hathaway as Felicia Hardy/The Vulturess
  • Director Sam Raimi stated in a interview with MTV he would like to have The Sinister Six built up in the coming Spider-Man movies.
  • Producer Grant Curtis, director Sam Raimi and actor Dylan Baker expressed interest in making the film's main antagonist the Lizard. The Lizard's alter-ego, Dr. Curt Connors (played by Dylan Baker), had featured extensively in the previous films; in fact in Spider-Man 3 (2007) the character was seen carrying out research on animals, which would have led to his mutation in the film.
  • Disagreements on the movie took place in December when Sony was pushing Vulture as the new editor of the Daily Bugle. Along with re-creating Felicia Hardy into "Vultress," unlike the comic book where she is Black Cat, they also wanted her to be the daughter of the Vulture.
  • After much disagreements between both Sam Raimi and Sony, Sam and Toby Maguire dropped out of Spider-Man 4. Marvel and Sony have decided to reboot Spider-Man for a 2017 release.

2. Fantastic Four 3

Flame on!
Flame on!

The main cast of Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards, Jessica Alba as Sue Storm, Chris Evans as Johnny Storm, and Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm.

  • Michael Chiklis was told his character's relationship with Alicia Masters would have a much bigger focus in the third film.
  • Jessica Alba showed interest in introducing Franklin Richards, the son of Sue Storm and Reed Richards.
  • The director of the first two films expressed interest in directing a third and fourth film with Djimon Hounsou as the Black Panther.

It's never been clearly stated why there was no sequel, but it was probably due to the failure at the box office and disappointing critic reviews, Fantastic Four since then has been rebooted and will return to the big screen in 2015.

3. X-Men Origins: Magneto

  • The film was meant to be a prequel to the original X-Men film in 2000.
  • Producer Lauren Shuler Donner said in an interview not long before the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009 that the film was uncertain and its production would all depend on how well received the Wolverine origins film would be.
  • Shuler Donner went on to a year later in 2010 to announce that the film didn't have the odds in its favor, mainly because most of the film's script was incorporated into the X-Men: First Class (2011) script.

4. The Punisher 2

This film would have been a sequel to Thomas Jane's Punisher movie in 2004, but was later cancelled. It was originally going to feature Thomas Jane going to New York and going up against the Mob boss 'Jigsaw.'

  • Jonathan Hensleigh and Thomas Jane were planning to begin filming of the sequel, but the project ended up in development for over 3 years due to the lack of a good script.

Thomas Jane did reprise his role as the Punisher in a short non canonical film called Dirty Laundry in 2012.

5. Punisher: War Zone 2

A sequel to the rebooted Punisher franchise in 2008.

  • Ray Stevenson (The Punisher) was attached to the project.

The project was eventually cancelled and the rights to the Punisher were then incorporated back to Marvel with it's future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier also hinted on his small cameo in the film by saying

When Nick Fury is being attacked in the streets, he gets the moment needs to escape when a yellow Penske truck slams into his attackers. Later, when Agent Sitwell is thrown into traffic, guess what hits him? Not just a Penske truck, but the very same Penske truck.
"The man who drives that truck is very highly trained. He thinks on his own terms. He's got a plan and a very specific skill set."

6. Hulk 2

The sequel to the 2003 film Hulk was set to release in May of 2005.

  • Writer James Schamus had begun work on the script before the release of the first Hulk film in 2003 and early drafts featured the 'Gray Hulk.' He was also thinking about 'The Leader' and 'The Abomination.'
  • Marvel wanted an antagonist that could pose an actual physical threat, a threat that General Ross (played by Sam Elliott) could inflict on the Hulk.
  • Marvel took over production in 2006 when Universal did not meet its deadline for principal production, but in the end a reboot was called off instead.

The characters 'The Leader' and the 'Abomination' were later featured in the new rebooted, The Incredible Hulk (2008), and the Gray Hulk is also rumored to appear in the upcoming Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015) due to several shots of the Hulk with a more greyish/paler look.

7. The Silver Surfer

The Silver Surfer character debuted in the second Fantastic Four film, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer in 2007.

  • This film was a planned spin off prequel film to the series but no cast or official release date had been confirmed.
Damn, that's actually awesome.
Damn, that's actually awesome.

8. Daredevil 2

Was originally a sequel to original Daredevil film starring Ben Affleck.

  • Michael Clarke Duncan showed interest in returning in his role as the Kingpin but did not want to put on weight for the role.
  • Mr. Fear may have appeared in the film

Daredevil has since been rebooted and now has its own TV show set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe set to debut in April on Netflix.

9. The Amazing Spider-Man 3

The sequel to the The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) had an original release date in 2016, but was later pushed back to 2018 to make room for a Sinister Six movie that was set to release in 2016.

Andrew Garfield was set to reprise his role as Spider-Man, Paul Giamatti as the Rhino, and Dane DeHaan as the The Green Goblin.

  • On March 15, 2014, director Marc Webb confirmed that this would be his last film in the series. Although, Webb claims that he will still be a producer on any future sequels.
  • Emma Stone commented on Gwen's return in this film after being killed in the previous movie, she told Screen Rant: "I dunno, there's this whole plot-line, so it could happen, we could bring her back."
  • This would have been the first Spider-Man movie where a villain returns from a previous movie. Paul Giamatti confirmed that the Rhino would return in the third film, but it is unknown if he would have had a major role in the sequel.

The film was later cancelled after the bad responses from audiences, Sony suffering from several hacking incidents, and financial issues.

Earlier this year it was announced that Spider-Man would re-join Marvel with a special deal made with Sony Pictures, it is rumored that he would make his first debut in the MCU in Captain America: Civil War (2016) and later have his solo film in 2017 which was also rumored to star Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark.

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Which film would you have liked to have seen make it to the big screen?


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