List of unproduced Marvel Comics projects

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This is a list of unmade and unreleased projects by Marvel Comics. Some of these productions were, or still are, in development limbo. Projects that have not provided significant production announcements within at least a year, would be considered to be in development limbo until further announcements are released. The following would include unmade films and television shows, whether as a live-action or animated productions.


Live action films[edit]

The Fantastic Four[edit]

In 1983, German producer Bernd Eichinger met with Marvel Comics' Stan Lee at Lee's Los Angeles home to explore obtaining an option for a movie based on the Fantastic Four.[1] The option was not available until three years later, when Eichinger's Neue Constantin film company obtained it for a price the producer called "not enormous" and which has been estimated to be $250,000.[2] Despite some interest from Warner Bros. and Columbia Pictures, budget concerns precluded any production, and with the option scheduled to expire on December 31, 1992, Neue Constantin asked Marvel for an extension. With none forthcoming, Eichinger planned to retain his option by producing a low-budget Fantastic Four film, reasoning, he said in 2005, "They didn't say I had to make a big movie."[2] In September 1992, he teamed with B-movie specialist Roger Corman, who agreed to produce the film on a $1 million budget.[2]

Production began on December 28, 1992 under music video director Oley Sassone. Storyboards were drawn by artist Pete Von Sholly.[3] The 21-day[4] or 25-day[5] production was shot on the Concorde Pictures sound stage in Venice, California, as well as in Agoura, California for a spacecraft-crash scene, the Loyola Marymount University campus for a lab-explosion scene, and the former Pacific Stock Exchange building in downtown Los Angeles for team-meeting scenes.[4]

Costume designer Réve Richards recalled in 1993 going to Golden Apple Comics on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles to buy Fantastic Four comic books for research, and, upon explaining his task, "[T]hese people in the store just swarmed me and said, 'You are going to be faithful to it?' And I told them, 'This is why I am buying these books.'"[6] Paul Ahern was hired as weapons consultant,[6] and Scott Billups for computer visual effects.[7] The special-effects makeup was by John Vulich and Everett Burrell of Optic Nerve.[8] Stuntman Carl Ciarfalio, who wore a rubber suit to portray the monstrous superhero Thing, worked with actor Michael Bailey Smith, who played the Thing's human self, Ben Grimm, so that their mannerisms would match.[8] During the months of post-production, music composers David and Eric Wurst personally contributed $6,000 to finance a 48-piece orchestra for the soundtrack.[4]

A 1993 magazine article gave a tentative release date of Labor Day weekend 1993.[9] During that summer, trailers ran in theaters and on the video release of Corman's Carnosaur. The cast members hired a publicist, at their own expense, to help promote the film at a clips-screening at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and at the San Diego Comic-Con International. By this time, the world premiere was announced to take place at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on January 19, 1994, with proceeds from the event earmarked for the charities Ronald McDonald House and Children's Miracle Network.[10] However, the premiere was halted, the actors received a cease and desist order on all promotion from the producers and the studio confiscated the negatives.[11]

Eichinger then informed Sassone that the film would not be released. Speculation arose that the film had never been intended for release, but had gone into production solely as a way for Eichinger to retain rights to the characters; Stan Lee said in 2005 that this was indeed the case, insisting, "The movie was never supposed to be shown to anybody," and adding that the cast and crew had been left unaware.[12] Corman and Eichinger dismissed Lee's claims, with the former stating in the same article, "We had a contract to release it, and I had to be bought out of that contract" by Eichinger.[10] Eichinger, also in that article, calls Lee's version of events "definitely not true. It was not our [original] intention to make a B movie, that's for sure, but when the movie was there, we wanted to release it."[10] He said future Marvel film impresario Avi Arad, at this point, in 1993, a Marvel executive, "...calls me up and says, 'Listen, I think what you did was great, it shows your enthusiasm for the movie and the property, and ... I understand that you have invested so-and-much, and Roger has invested so-and-much. Let's do a deal.' Because he really didn't like the idea that a small movie was coming out and maybe ruining the franchise.... So he says to me that he wants to give me back the money that we spent on the movie and that we should not release it.[10]

Arad recalled in 2002 that while on a trip to Puerto Rico in 1993, a fan noticing Arad's Fantastic Four shirt expressed excitement over the film's upcoming premiere, of which Arad said he was unaware. Concerned how the low-budget film might cheapen the brand, he said he purchased the film "for a couple of million dollars in cash" and, not having seen it, ordered all prints destroyed, in order to prevent its release.[13]

Eichinger continued negotiations to produce a big-budget adaptation, speaking with directors including Chris Columbus, Peyton Reed, and Peter Segal. After pre-production briefly went underway in 1996, Eichinger and his company, by that time called Constantin Film, began production in 2004 of Fantastic Four with an estimated $90 million budget.[13] Following that film's 2005 release, Eichinger and Constantin produced a $130 million[14] sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007). A reboot for the film series was released in 2015.[15]

Although never officially released to the general public, but exhibited once on May 31, 1994, The Fantastic Four has been subject to bootleg recordings.[16] The film is available to watch on YouTube and Dailymotion.


In the mid 1980s, screenwriter Gary Goddard was commissioned to write a script for a film based on Dazzler to star Bo Derek. The project was ultimately abandoned when temperamental director John Derek was brought onboard, leading to investors backing out.[17]

Silver Surfer[edit]

In 1989, Erik Fleming, then a film student from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and Robert Letterman approached Marvel Studios and Constantin Film's producer Bernd Eichinger to ask permission to make a short film featuring the Silver Surfer, as a proof of concept for the use of CGI in creating a realistic silver coloured human figure.[18] Supervised by Steven Robiner, this 5-minute short film, completed in 1991, premiered at First Look USC Film Festival on September 21, 1993,[19] led to significant interest from major studios in a feature length Silver Surfer project. Andrew Kevin Walker wrote a script for 20th Century Fox in 2000, but nothing ever came of it.[20]


After the two television projects for She-Hulk failed to materialize, a live-action motion picture was planned in the early 1990s, with Larry Cohen as writer and director. Ten months later, Brigitte Nielsen was announced as set to play the role in Cohen's film.[21] She posed for photos dressed both as She-Hulk and her alter ego Jennifer Walters, but the movie was never completed.

Namor the Sub-Mariner[edit]

Filmmaker Philip Kaufman had been in discussions with Marvel Studios to develop Namor: Sub-Mariner in 1997,[22] and courted Sam Hamm to write the script in 1999, but the outing never materialized.[23] Saban Entertainment became involved as a producing partner with Marvel, with a script written by Randall Frakes.[24] By 2001 Namor was set up at Universal Pictures,[25] who hired David Self to write a new script the following year.

They hoped for filming to begin in 2003 for a mid-2004 release,[26] but development stalled for two years until Chris Columbus entered talks to direct in July 2004[27] and the release date was subsequently moved to 2007.[28] Columbus departed in 2005,[29] and Universal replaced him with Jonathan Mostow in September 2006.[30] In 2012, Marvel CCO Joe Quesada thought Namor's film rights had reverted to Marvel, but in August 2013 it was revealed by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige that this was not the case, and the rights remained at Universal Pictures.[31]

On June 3, 2014, Borys Kit confirmed that Marvel, not Universal Pictures now has the Namor film rights.[32] On July 18, 2014, Kevin Feige told IGN in an interview that the Namor film rights are not with Universal and Legendary Pictures, but he explained there are a number of contracts and deals that need to be sorted out.[33] On June 2, 2016, Marvel Chief Creative Office Joe Quesada told Kevin Smith on his Podcast that the Namor rights are now back with Marvel.[34]

On February 16, 2017, Production Weekly listed The Sub-Mariner as a project going into production.[35] In April 2018, Feige stated in an interview with IGN that Namor's movie rights are "complicated" and in a similar situation to solo film rights for The Hulk with Universal holding distribution rights. [36]


In 2000, Marvel Entertainment entered into a joint venture agreement with Artisan Entertainment to turn at least 15 Marvel superhero franchises into live-action films, television series, direct-to-video films and internet projects. These franchises included an adaptation of Longshot.[37]

Mort the Dead Teenager[edit]

In 2000, Marvel Entertainment entered into a joint venture agreement with Artisan Entertainment to turn at least 15 Marvel superhero franchises into live-action films, television series, direct-to-video films and internet projects. These franchises included an adaptation of Mort the Dead Teenager.[37]

Power Pack[edit]

In 2000, Marvel Entertainment entered into a joint venture agreement with Artisan Entertainment to turn at least 15 Marvel superhero franchises into live-action films, television series, direct-to-video films and internet projects. These franchises included an adaptation of Power Pack.[37]

However, in 2010, Marvel Studios started taking meetings with writers and directors to work on small scale movies based on some of their third tier characters including Power Pack.[38]

On September 18, 2017, various media outlets reported that Marvel is revisiting Power Pack as a film with Jonathan Schwartz overseeing the film as a "Spy Kids-like" story.[39]

On June 25, 2018, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige hasn’t completely lost all hope in bringing the family to life on the big screen, confirming his interest in adapting the property "someday."[40]

Iron Fist[edit]

In May 2000, Marvel Studios brought Artisan Entertainment to co-finance an Iron Fist film,[41] hiring Ray Park to star and John Turman to write the script in January 2001.[42] Park read extensively the comics Iron Fist had appeared in.[43] Kirk Wong signed to direct in July 2001, with filming set for late 2001/early 2002.[44] Iron Fist nearly went into pre-production in March 2002.[45] Wong left the project in April 2002.[46] By August 2002, pre-production had started.[47] Filming was pushed back to late 2002,[48] and then to late 2003.[49] In March 2003, Marvel announced a 2004 release date.[50] In April 2003, Steve Carr entered negotiations to direct.[51] In November 2003, the release date was moved to 2006.[52] In March 2007, Carr placed Iron Fist on hold due to scheduling conflicts.[53] In 2009, Marvel announced they have begun hiring a group of writers to help come up with creative ways to launch its lesser-known properties, such as Iron Fist, along with others such as Black Panther, Cable, Doctor Strange, Nighthawk, and Vision.[54] In August 2010, Marvel Studios hired Rich Wilkes to write the screenplay.[vague][55] Marvel has a future Iron Fist film project planned.[56] In November 2013, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that they "probably were never going to make feature films about" characters featured in Marvel's Netflix TV series such as Iron Fist but that if the Netflix series became popular, "[it was] quite possible that they could become feature films."[57]

The Hands of Shang-Chi[edit]

In 2001, Stephen Norrington announced that he had agreed to direct a film called The Hands of Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu, a film adaptation based on the Marvel character Shang-Chi. Norrington described the film as "a real honest-to-goodness martial arts film, rather than a film that simply has martial arts in it". In 2004, it was announced that Ang Lee had been brought on as producer. In 2005, it was announced that Stan Lee had agreed to executive produce the film for DreamWorks, with Yuen Woo-ping directing from a Bruce McKenna screenplay.[58] In 2005, Avi Arad stated that he thought that a PG-13 adaptation was possible.[59] In 2006, Ang Lee confirmed his and Yuen's continued involvement with the project.[58] However, no further developments have been announced to date.


On October 8, 2002, Marvel Studios announced a movie deal for Prime with Universal Studios, after securing the rights to The Hulk.[60] In 2003, Marvel released an earnings report listing a Prime film as "to be determined".[61]

Luke Cage[edit]

A film adaptation of Luke Cage had been in development since 2003 by Columbia Pictures, with a screenplay penned by Ben Ramsey, Avi Arad serving as producer[62] and John Singleton directing. Jamie Foxx[63] and Tyrese Gibson were considered for the lead role,[64] while Dwayne Johnson,[65] Isaiah Mustafa[66] and Idris Elba[67][68] expressed interest in playing Luke Cage. In May 2013, it was announced that the film rights for Power Man had reverted to Marvel Studios.[69]

Daredevil 2[edit]

Feige had stated on potential future Daredevil films, "there are many more stories to be told with old Hornhead and we'd love to tell them someday." Avi Arad has also said that a sequel will begin development once the rights go from 20th Century Fox to Marvel Studios.[70] Director Mark Steven Johnson showed interest in returning to direct with the Born Again storyline, as well as suggesting Mr. Fear as a possible villain.[71] During 2004, Ben Affleck shot a cameo role for the spin-off film, Elektra, at the request of Daredevil co-star Jennifer Garner.[72] In October 2004, Affleck stated he would only return in the lead role if Fox would renegotiate to tell the darker stories of Daredevil, and showed interest in a Kevin Smith graphic novel which included Mysterio, as well as the Born Again storyline.[73] However, in November 2006, Affleck stated that he would never reprise the role, having felt "by playing a superhero in Daredevil, I have inoculated myself from ever playing another superhero... Wearing a costume was a source of humiliation for me and something I wouldn't want to do again soon."[74]

Despite this, Affleck would later sign on to portray the DC superhero, Bruce Wayne / Batman, in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.[75] In July 2006, Michael Clarke Duncan showed interest in returning for the role of the Kingpin, but stated that he would not be willing to gain weight as he felt "comfortable" being down to 270 pounds. However, he jokingly showed willingness to change his mind if he was offered $20 million. Duncan suggested that the character is portrayed to have been training a lot in jail in order to become faster in combat against Daredevil, also working as a way to fit his weight loss into the story.[76] Duncan would later go on to reprise his role as the Kingpin in an episode of the animated series: Spider-Man: The New Animated Series.

The Hulk 2[edit]

At the time of the release of Ang Lee's Hulk, screenwriter James Schamus was planning a sequel, featuring the Grey Hulk. He was also considering the Leader and the Abomination as villains.[77] Marvel wanted the Abomination because he would be an actual threat to the Hulk, unlike General Ross. During the filming of Hulk, producer Avi Arad had a target May 2005 theatrical release date.[78] On January 18, 2006 Arad confirmed Marvel Studios would be providing the money for The Incredible Hulk's production budget, with Universal distributing,[79] because Universal did not meet the deadline for filming a sequel.[80] Marvel felt it would be better to deviate from Ang Lee's style to continue the franchise, arguing his film was like a parallel universe one-shot comic book, and their next film needed to be, in Kevin Feige's words, "really starting the Marvel Hulk franchise". Producer Gale Anne Hurd also felt the film had to meet what "everyone expects to see from having read the comics and seen the TV series". After the mixed reception of Hulk, Marvel Studios reacquired the film rights to the character, and writer Zak Penn began work on a sequel titled The Incredible Hulk. However, Edward Norton rewrote Penn's script after he signed on to star, retelling the origin story in flashbacks and revelations, to help in establishing the film as a reboot; director Louis Leterrier agreed with this approach.[81] Leterrier acknowledged that the only remaining similarity between the two films was Bruce hiding in South America.[82]

The Punisher 2[edit]

Lions Gate Entertainment planned to produce a direct sequel to The Punisher titled The Punisher 2, with Avi Arad, chairman and CEO of Marvel Studios, stating that the second film would "become the fifth Marvel property to become a sequel."[83] Jonathan Hensleigh said that he was interested in working with Thomas Jane again for The Punisher 2.[84] Jane said that the villain for The Punisher 2 would be Jigsaw.[85] The project, however, lingered in development for over three years. Jonathan Hensleigh completed a first draft of the script before pulling out around 2006. John Dahl was in talks to direct the film but pulled out due to script quality issues and the studio not wanting to spend a lot of money on the project.[86][87] In a statement on May 15, 2007[88] and in two audio interviews Thomas Jane said that he pulled out of the project due to creative differences and the budget of the film being cut, in addition to director Walter Hill being turned down as director by Lionsgate.[89][90] After reading the new script by Kurt Sutter, Jane stated: What I won't do is spend months of my life sweating over a movie that I just don't believe in. I've always loved the Marvel guys, and wish them well. Meanwhile, I'll continue to search for a film that one day might stand with all those films that the fans have asked me to watch.[91][92]

Werewolf by Night[edit]

A film version of Werewolf by Night, written by Robert Nelson Jacobs, was announced in 2005. The film was due to begin filming in 2005, but no further developments took place.[93]

Edgar Wright's Ant-Man[edit]

Edgar Wright was developing a live-action film based on the Marvel Comics superhero Ant-Man with Joe Cornish since 2006.[94] However, on 23 May 2014, Wright and Marvel Studios issued a joint statement announcing that Wright would exit the movie due to creative differences.[95] According to Wright, he had been hired as writer-director but became unhappy when Marvel wanted to write a new script. In 2017, he said: "The most diplomatic answer is I wanted to make a Marvel movie but I don’t think they really wanted to make an Edgar Wright movie ... having written all my other movies, that’s a tough thing to move forward. Suddenly becoming a director for hire on it, you’re sort of less emotionally invested and you start to wonder why you’re there, really.”[96] He was replaced by Peyton Reed as director, with Adam McKay and star Paul Rudd rewriting the screenplay. He and Cornish received both screenplay and story credits, with Wright also credited as executive producer.[97]

Nick Fury[edit]

Andrew W. Marlowe was hired to write the script in 2006. The script he wrote was loosely based on Jim Steranko's Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. series and involved the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. The script was not written for the version of the character appearing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it was constructed before Samuel L. Jackson was cast but Marlowe said that the script could be "tweaked" for Jackson's portrayal.[98]

Spider-Man 4[edit]

In 2007, Spider-Man 4 entered development, with Raimi attached to direct and Maguire, Dunst and other cast members set to reprise their roles. Both a fourth and a fifth film were planned and at one time the idea of shooting the two sequels concurrently was under consideration. However, Raimi stated in March 2009 that only the fourth film was in development at that time and that if there were fifth and sixth films, those two films would actually be a continuation of each other.[99][100][101][102] James Vanderbilt was hired in October 2007 to pen the screenplay after initial reports in January 2007 that Sony Pictures was in contact with David Koepp, who wrote the first Spider-Man film.[103][104] The script was subsequently rewritten by Pulitzer-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire in November 2008 and rewritten again by Gary Ross in October 2009.[105] Sony also engaged Vanderbilt to write scripts for Spider-Man 5 and Spider-Man 6.[104] In 2007, Raimi expressed interest in portraying the transformation of Dr. Curt Connors into his villainous alter-ego, the Lizard, a villain which had been teased since Spider-Man 2; the character's actor Dylan Baker and producer Grant Curtis were also enthusiastic about the idea.[106][107][108] By December 2009, John Malkovich was in negotiations to play Vulture and Anne Hathaway would play Felicia Hardy, though she would not have transformed into the Black Cat as in the comics but a new superpowered figure, the Vulturess.[109]

According to sources online, an early draft of the film would have had the Vulture buying out the Daily Bugle, forcing Spider-Man to kill him. Felicia Hardy, Vulture's daughter in this version of the script, would have had an affair with Peter Parker in order to shatter his engagement with Mary Jane. These rumors were never confirmed. Raimi stated years later during an interview in 2013, however, that Hathaway was going to be Black Cat if Spider-Man 4 had been made.[109] Sony Pictures announced in January 2010 that plans for Spider-Man 4 had been cancelled due to Raimi's withdrawal from the project. Raimi reportedly ended his participation due to his doubt that he could meet the planned May 6, 2011 release date while at the same time upholding the film creatively. Raimi purportedly went through four iterations of the script with different screenwriters and still "hated it".[110]

Topher Grace's Venom spinoff[edit]

The Marvel Comics character Eddie Brock, an antagonist of Spider-Man, was first introduced in cinema in the 2007 film Spider-Man 3, with Topher Grace in the role.[111] The character was initially intended to play only a minor role that did not explore his alter-ego Venom,[112] but this was eventually changed to a major villain role for the latter because producer Avi Arad felt the series had relied too much on director Sam Raimi's personal favorite Spider-Man villains and not characters that modern fans were more interested in.[113] Raimi had been hesitant to explore the character due to his "lack of humanity".[114] Arad revealed plans for a spinoff film focused on Venom in July 2007.[115] By July 2008, Sony Pictures was actively developing Venom alongside direct sequels to Spider-Man 3, hoping the character could "add longevity" to the franchise in a similar fashion to Wolverine in 20th Century Fox's X-Men films. Jacob Estes had written a script for the film, but the studio was considering taking it in a different direction from that draft and was seeking new writers. Sony was also not yet convinced that Grace could "carry" the film.[116]

That September, Sony hired Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese to write a new script, while industry insiders suggested that Grace should return for the spinoff "because the likeable actor could be a sympathetic evildoer", in response to Venom co-creator Todd McFarlane suggesting that a Venom film could not do well with a villain as the central character.[117][118] Wernick and Reese had pitched an original story idea for the film to Sony, which Reese described as "realistic, grounded, a little more dark take on the character".[119] The pair then worked on an outline with Sony and Marvel, who "had specific rules about the villain and the backstory and stuff like that". They had completed a draft by April 2009,[120] which included a role written specifically for Stan Lee,[121] and featured a sequence where the Venom symbiote jumps "from body to body [through a city], and each person that it inhabits ends up becoming really violent and striking someone else and then it jumps to [them]." Wernick and Reese had turned in a second draft by September 2009, and Reese said that Sony was "pushing forward in whatever ways they push forward".[122][123]

A month later, Gary Ross, who was rewriting the script for Spider-Man 4 at the time, was hired to also rewrite the Venom script, as well as direct, and produce alongside Arad. Grace was "not considered likely" to return to the role then, with the film starting "from the drawing board" and looking to make the villain "an antihero who becomes a defender of the innocent."[124] In January 2010, Sony announced that the Spider-Man franchise would be rebooted after Raimi decided to no longer pursue direct sequels to Spider-Man 3.[125]

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer sequel[edit]

The main four cast of the other two films originally signed a three-movie deal,[126] with Fox Studios and Julian McMahon also signed for a third film.[127] Michael Chiklis was told Ben Grimm's relationship with Alicia Masters would have had a greater focus in a third film[128] and Jessica Alba expressed interest in introducing Franklin Richards,[129] while Beau Garrett wished to return as Nova.[130] Tim Story said he was interested in directing a third and fourth film[131] and writer Don Payne stated while he had not discussed a sequel with the studio, he was interested in working with more Fantastic Four characters saying "I’ve always loved the Inhumans, the Skrulls, the Puppet Master, and Annihilus and the Negative Zone".[132] As Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer performed less at the box office than the first film, 20th Century Fox was unsure of the series' future, and no script was in development.[133] In March 2008, Chris Evans revealed, "I'm pretty sure we won’t do another one. I’m assuming that one is a closed book."[134]

Edward Norton's The Incredible Hulk sequel[edit]

On a potential sequel, Edward Norton said, "The whole thing was to envision it in multiple parts. We left a lot out on purpose. The Incredible Hulk is definitely intended as chapter one." Leterrier made the film's final shot of Banner ambiguous; the thought being if there is a sequel, it would mean Banner finally masters control over his anger; if there is not a sequel, the shot indicates instead that he becomes a menace in The Avengers. Leterrier had also intended for a scene in the credits showing Blonsky, human once more, imprisoned and chained in a box. The character of Samuel Sterns, played by Tim Blake Nelson, was introduced to set him up as a villain in a possible future film, where he would become the Leader.[135] Aaron Sims, the lead designer on The Incredible Hulk, also took time to work on concepts for the Leader. Nelson is "signed on" to reprise the role.[136] Ty Burrell wants to portray the superpowered Doc Samson faithfully to the comics. Leterrier and Roth were originally contracted to return. Leterrier also stated Norton was not signed on,[137] but in October 2008, Hurd stated that Norton was contracted to reprise the role.[138] The film had outgrossed its predecessor and Universal indicated interest in a sequel,[139] though Leterrier believed a sequel would not be made because of the film's box office return.[140] Feige said the film met Marvel's expectations and that Hulk would return, but after the crossover. Hurd was not concerned that a sequel may not be produced until at least 2012, citing the positive reception to the film and having produced the Terminator series, the second and third film of which had a 12-year gap. Tim Roth confirmed that Marvel had signed him for three more films.[141] Leterrier, after having previously said he did not want to direct a sequel,[142] said in late 2009 he had changed his mind and was now amenable.[143]

Daredevil reboot[edit]

In July 2008, Jason Statham expressed interest in appearing as Daredevil in the future. Statham requested "just give me the chance, I would love to be Daredevil." Frank Miller commented in agreement "I think he should be Daredevil too."[144] In October 2008, 20th Century Fox executive Tom Rothman said "a Daredevil reboot is something we are thinking very seriously about." Rothman added that "what it really needs is, it needs a visionary at the level that Chris Nolan was. It needs someone, it needs a director, honestly, who has a genuine vision."[145] By February 2010, 20th Century Fox and New Regency were looking to develop the reboot with News Corp., with Peter Chernin producing and David Scarpa writing the script.[146] On March 15, 2011, it was announced that filmmaker David Slade would be directing the reboot,[147] but he later had to drop out due to other obligations. Fringe writer and producer Brad Caleb Kane was hired to pen the Slade-directed film.[148]

On September 3, 2012, Duncan died, precluding him from reprising his role as Kingpin.[149][150] Later, it was announced that should a sequel or reboot not start filming by October 10, 2012, the rights to the Daredevil franchise would revert from Fox back to Marvel. In early August 2012, Fox scrambled to find a replacement for David Slade, who dropped out of the director's chair due to scheduling conflicts. The studio briefly met with Joe Carnahan, for the job—however, Carnahan said on Twitter that his pitch, described as a hard-boiled '70s thriller, had gone up in smoke. Several sources commented that Fox had given up on the reboot, and were prepared to let the rights revert to Marvel and their parent company, The Walt Disney Company.[151] On April 23, 2013, Kevin Feige confirmed that the rights for Daredevil returned to Marvel Studios and Disney, opening the possibility of including the character into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.[152] That speculation was confirmed with the announcement of an original Netflix Daredevil television series, which premiered on the streaming service in April 2015, with English actor Charlie Cox in the title role.[153]

Runaways film[edit]

A film based on the Runaways went through a number of iterations. Brian K. Vaughan was originally hired to write a screenplay based on the property in May 2008.[154] In April 2010, Marvel hired Peter Sollett to direct the film,[155] and Drew Pearce was hired to write a script in May.[156] The following October, development on the film was put on hold,[157] with Pearce revealing in September 2013 that the Runaways film had been shelved in favor of The Avengers, with the earliest it could release being Phase Three.[158]


Joe Carnahan signed on to direct an adaptation of Taskmaster in 2008. Carnahan said that the film would "literally build this character's origin" and that it would "commence with the events following Taskmaster's severe beat down at the hands of Moon Knight.[159]

X-Men Origins: Magneto[edit]

X-Men Origins: Wolverine was set to be the first of a series of X-Men Origins prequels, with the other being focused on Magneto.[160] However, X-Men Origins: Magneto entered development hell and was eventually canceled. X-Men: First Class, released in 2011, was another prequel to the series. Set in 1962, the film features a young Professor X and Magneto and the foundation of the X-Men.[161]

Alien Legion[edit]

In 2009, Carl Potts' Alien Legion screenplay was optioned by producer Jerry Bruckheimer and The Walt Disney Company.[162] In 2010, Bruckheimer exercised the option, buying the screenplay and assigning Game of Thrones show runner David Benioff to do a rewrite. There have been no announcements since, ending up in development hell.


In 2010, Marvel Studios started taking meetings with writers and directors to work on small scale movies based on some of their third tier characters including Ka-Zar.[38]

Ghost Rider 3[edit]

In February 2012, directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor discussed producing a potential Ghost Rider 3, and having someone else direct it.[163] Neveldine told The Playlist that Cage had expressed interest in appearing in another Ghost Rider film, hinting that the film could move forward provided that Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance was a success, saying, "I know Nic wants to do it, he's very pumped about it.... We'll just have to see how well [this] does."[164] In March 2013, when Cage was asked about a possible third installment, he said, "It's possible, but it won't be with me... Anything's possible. But I doubt, highly, that I would be in the third installment of that."[165] Cage said in 2013 he believes another Ghost Rider film might happen "down the road", saying, "It would be interesting if they did it with a female Ghost Rider." He added, "Personally, I'm done. I've done what I had to do with that part. You never say never, but right now, today, I would say that I'm done."[166]

Men in Black 4[edit]

Both Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones have said that they would "consider" appearing in a Men in Black 4.[167] Jones said it would be "easy to pick up where we left off. We know what we are doing, we know how to do it. It's just a hell of a lot of fun."[168] In July 2012, Columbia chief executive Doug Belgrad said: We're very pleased with the financial performance of Men in Black 3, and we believe it is an ongoing franchise. We're going to do [another one], but we don't have clarity yet on how it should be done.[169] Barry Sonnenfeld said: Will's kind of really smart, but as I said, kind of really annoying, too much energy. When he would get too rambunctious, I would tell him save that for Men in Black 4, Will is out and [his son] Jaden Smith is in … if we continue on this path, it won't be released until 2032 but it will be damn good. Will Smith said that: Jaden is already 13 years old, so he's at that mythological boys age, you know–it's time for his bro-mitzvah. So he's right at that place ... He's ready to test me so he can't come anywhere near my movies right now![170] In early 2013, Oren Uziel was writing a Men in Black 4 screenplay for Sony Pictures.[171] On September 24, 2015, series producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald stated the series would be rebooted as a trilogy, most likely without the involvement of Will Smith.[172]

Venom Carnage[edit]

By March 2012, Sony was still interested in a Venom film, now looking to capitalize on the release of the first reboot film, The Amazing Spider-Man. The studio was in negotiations with Josh Trank to direct after Ross left the project to direct The Hunger Games (2012).[173] That June, Arad and fellow producer Matt Tolmach discussed Venom connecting to The Amazing Spider-Man, after comparisons to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films crossing over in The Avengers (2012). Arad called it "an Eddie Brock story" only, but Tolmach added, "Hopefully all these worlds will live together in peace someday."[174] In December 2013, Sony revealed plans to use The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) to establish their own expanded universe based on the Marvel properties the studio had the film rights to, including Venom. Arad and Tolmach would produce the films as part of a franchise brain trust with Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Ed Solomon set to write the screenplay for Venom, which Kurtzman would direct.[175]

In April 2014, Arad and Tolmach said Venom would be released after The Amazing Spider-Man 3—which was set for release on May 27, 2016—but before The Amazing Spider-Man 4.[176] However, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 underperformed, and, with Sony "under tremendous pressure to perform [that had them taking] a hard look at their most important franchise", the direction of the shared universe was rethought. The Amazing Spider-Man 3 was pushed back to 2018, and the Venom film, now known as Venom Carnage, was moved up to 2017. Kurtzman was still attached to direct, and write alongside Solomon.[177] In February 2015, Sony and Marvel Studios announced a new partnership that would see Marvel produce the next Spider-Man film for Sony, and integrate the character into their MCU.[178] Sony still planned to produce the spinoff films without Marvel's involvement,[179] but by November they were believed to have been canceled so Sony could focus on its new reboot with Marvel.[180]

Kick-Ass 3[edit]

In April 2012, while Kick-Ass 2 was still in pre-production Mark Millar stated that a third film was also planned.[181] In June 2013, however, he revealed that it was not confirmed and would be dependent on how successful the second film was.[182] Later the same month he further elaborated that if it went ahead, the third film would be the final installment: "Kick-Ass 3 is going to be the last one... I told Universal this and they asked me, ‘What does that mean?’ I said, ‘It means that this is where it all ends.’ They said, ‘Do they all die at the end?’ I said, ‘Maybe’ – because this is a realistic superhero story... if someone doesn't have a bullet proof vest like Superman, and doesn't have Batman’s millions, then eventually he is going to turn around the wrong corner and get his head kicked in or get shot in the face. So Kick-Ass needs to reflect that. There has to be something dramatic at the end; he cannot do this for the rest of his life."[183] Moretz has shown interest in returning for a third installment and would also be interested in exploring Hit-Girl's dark side: "I want to see something we haven't seen yet. Now we've seen who Mindy is, now we've seen who Hit-Girl is, I think we need to meld the characters together and have Mindy become Hit-Girl and Hit-Girl become Mindy. Maybe her natural hair has a streak of purple in it, maybe she really does go kind of crazy and go a bit darker since she lost her father." She also added, "I would only do the third one if it was logical. It needs to be a good script and a director, probably Matthew (Vaughn). The third film needs to fully wrap up the series and has to be a good note to end on."[184]

On August 30, 2013, Millar stated that the film is "in the pipeline".[185] In May 2014, while at a press junket for Godzilla, Taylor-Johnson stated he is still up for a third film but he is not contracted for it and there are no plans for one currently.[186] In the same month, Christopher Mintz-Plasse revealed he had not heard anything but expressed doubt that a third film would happen due to the second installment's disappointing box office performance.[187] In June 2014, Chloë Grace Moretz echoed her co-stars' sentiments when asked about Kick-Ass 3, stating that "I hope, I wish. That'd be fun. That'd be great. I doubt it but I would love it". She also cited the second film's lower box office gross as the key obstacle to the third chapter being produced and suggested file sharing was a factor: "The hard thing is if fans want a third movie, they’ve got to go buy the ticket to go see the movie. It was like the second most pirated movie of the year, so if you want a movie to be made into a second, a third, a fourth and a fifth, go buy a ticket. Don't pirate it."[188] In June 2018, Matthew Vaughn announced his intention to set up Marv Studios, under which banner he will produce a reboot of the Kick-Ass series.[189]

Inhumans film[edit]

In April 2013, Feige mentioned the Inhumans as a property out of which he was "confident" a film would be made.[190] Inhumans as a concept would first be introduced to the MCU in 2014 through the second season of the television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.[191] By August 2014, the studio was ready to move forward in development with the film, with a screenplay written by Joe Robert Cole.[192] In October 2014, the film was announced for Phase Three and scheduled for release July 2019. By October 2015, Cole was no longer involved with the film and any potential drafts that he may have written would not be used.[193] In April 2016, Inhumans was removed from the release schedule,[194] and would no longer be a part of Phase Three.[195] In July 2016, Feige said Inhumans would "certainly" be a part of the discussion regarding the film ideas for 2020 and 2021, adding the following November that he was still optimistic the film could be released in Phase Four.[196]

The Amazing Spider-Man 3[edit]

Sony had originally intended the film to launch an expansive film universe around Spider-Man to compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In June 2013, Sony announced a third Amazing Spider-Man film with a release date of June 10, 2016, which Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Jeff Pinkner would return to write, and a fourth film with a release date of May 4, 2018.[197][198] Additionally, the series was to include spin-off films featuring the Sinister Six and Venom, with Drew Goddard writing and directing Sinister Six and Kurtzman directing a Venom script co-written by himself, Orci, and Ed Solomon.[199][200][201] Sinister Six had been planned for a November 11, 2016 release.[202]

Additionally, by August 2014, Sony had hired Lisa Joy Nolan to write the script for a 2017 film starring Felicia Hardy / Black Cat. In addition, Sony revealed plans for a spin-off based on Spider-Man 2099 to be released in late 2017.[203] However, between December 2013 and the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in May 2014, Garfield and Webb revealed that while they would both return for the third film, neither was certain of their involvement in the fourth, with Webb adding he would certainly not be directing.[204][205][206] Following the mixed critical reviews and franchise-low box office performance of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the future of the franchise was unclear. By July 2014, Orci had left the third film to work on Star Trek Beyond,[207] The Amazing Spider-Man 3, which would have included Chris Cooper returning as Norman Osborn[208][209] and focused on Peter recovering from Gwen's death,[210] was delayed to an unspecified date in 2018, and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 was moved to a later, unknown date,[211] before they were ultimately canceled.

Sinister Six[edit]

In December 2013, Sony announced two spin-offs of The Amazing Spider-Man franchise, The Sinister Six and Venom, with Drew Goddard attached to write and direct The Sinister Six. At the end of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a line-up/set-up of the team was foreshadowed throughout the film and during the end credits: Rhino, Vulture, Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, and Kraven the Hunter were all teased as the members, with the Green Goblin serving as the leader (however, the line-up is left in debate as Goddard stated he wanted to adapt a more classic adaptation of the group which would have included Sandman and Doc Ock as the leader). The film was said to be a redemption story for the characters, and would probably not feature Spider-Man. As the Sinister Six's original goal, however, was to kill him, there would seem to be a chance that he would appear.[212][213][214][215] The film was originally scheduled for release on November 11, 2016. However, after the announcement in February 2015 of a new Spider-Man franchise with Marvel Studios, the spin-offs were postponed and eventually cancelled.[216][217][218][219]

Hit-Girl prequel[edit]

In August 2014, Chloë Grace Moretz reiterated her previous statements and said "sadly, I think I'm done with Hit-Girl".[220] In January 2015, Millar revealed to IGN that there was a planned Hit-Girl film with Gareth Evans directing but it was cancelled.[221] In February 2015, Matthew Vaughn, who directed the first film, spoke optimistically about a "Hit-Girl" prequel. He stated "If that happens, I’m pretty sure I can persuade Aaron and Chloe to come back and finish the story of Kick-Ass."[222][223] On June 17, 2015, Vaughn stated in an answer to Yahoo that he is working on a prequel on how Hit-Girl and Big Daddy became superheroes and plans to make Kick-Ass 3 after.[224][225] Since then, talks of any prequel have ceased.

MIB 23[edit]

On December 10, 2014, it was revealed that Sony was planning a crossover between Men in Black and Jump Street. The news was leaked after Sony's system was hacked[226] and then confirmed by the directors of the films, Chris Miller and Phil Lord during an interview about it.[227][228] James Bobin was announced as director in 2016.[229] On April 13, 2016, the movie was announced and revealed to be titled, MIB 23.[230] However, development has since appeared to cease.[231] In July 2018, a spinoff of Men in Black 3 titled MIB, starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, confirmed Emma Thompson will return as Agent O.[232][233]

Fantastic Four (2015) sequel[edit]

Before Fantastic Four began filming, 20th Century Fox announced plans for a sequel with a scheduled release date of July 14, 2017.[234] Fox then rescheduled the release for June 2, 2017, with War for the Planet of the Apes taking its place on the July 14, 2017, slot.[235] It changed the release date again to June 9, 2017, to be two weeks after Star Wars: The Last Jedi's initial scheduled release date of May 26, 2017.[236] Due to Fantastic Four's poor box office performance and negative reviews, Pamela McClintock of The Hollywood Reporter said that it "throws into question whether Fox will move ahead with a sequel". Phil Hoad of The Guardian said it would "be interesting" to see if Fox proceeds with a sequel and if it keeps the "gritty-on-paper" tone, noting that if Fox did not produce a sequel or a reboot until 2022, the film rights would revert to Marvel Studios.[237][238][239][240] Despite the performance, it was reported in September 2015 that Fox still planned to produce a sequel, with Simon Kinberg working on the project.[241] Drew McWeeny of HitFix said that while a sequel may not be produced in time for the 2017 release date, Fox would likely attempt to salvage the franchise, working with Trank's defined vision and adding adjustments to it.[242] While Kinberg affirmed his intent to make a sequel, Kate Mara said that a sequel looked unlikely, despite expressing interest in reprising her role as Sue Storm.[243] In September 2015, Tommy Wiseau expressed enthusiasm in directing a sequel, having personal admiration for the film.[244] In November 2015, the sequel was removed from Fox's release schedule.[245] In May 2016, Kinberg reaffirmed his intent to make another Fantastic Four film with the same cast.[246] Later that month, Toby Kebbell stated he had no interest in reprising his role as Dr. Doom if a sequel were to happen.[247] Both Miles Teller and Kate Mara said that they were open to returning for a sequel.[248][249]

On February 24, 2017, when asked by Collider whether they would make another Fantastic Four film, Kinberg stated "I have no idea. I think the truth is we would not do another Fantastic Four movie until it was ready to be made. One of the lessons we learned on that movie is we want to make sure to get it 100% right, because we will not get another chance with the fans".[250] Toby Kebbell stated he would only be interested in returning to the role of Doctor Doom if he joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kebbell added "Truth is, Doom is an incredible bad guy. They just keep trying to force him into the Fantastic Four...Doom is a monster, but you know my Doom was not, so there's that".[251] Stan Lee (co-creator of the Fantastic Four) also expressed interest in the Fantastic Four, as well as the X-Men, returning to Marvel Studios stating, "We should have all of our characters under Marvel. Remind me on my way home to do something about that. We'll do our best."[252] However, Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige stated in June 2017 that there were no plans of adding the Fantastic Four to the Marvel Cinematic Universe at that time.[253] Matthew Vaughn has expressed interest in directing a new version of Fantastic Four himself as an apology saying, "One of my favorites is the Fantastic Four, so maybe one day I'll try and rectify the mistake."[254] Concept artist Alexander Lozano revealed that Trank's iteration of the Fantastic Four were to make cameo appearances in Tim Miller's take on Deadpool 2, but were cut most likely due to the disappointing reception of the film and to cut back on the self-deprecating humor.[255]

Silver & Black[edit]

In March 2017, it was reported that Sony Pictures was developing a Black Cat and Silver Sable-centered film with writer Christopher Yost. It is intended to be a part of a shared universe called Sony's Marvel Universe, centered on characters from the Spider-Man mythology, beginning with Venom in 2018. The films will be more adult-oriented and though they take place in the "same reality" as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they will not crossover with each other.[256] In May 2017, it was announced that Gina Prince-Bythewood would direct the film, now titled Silver & Black.[257] Production was to begin in March 2018, but has been delayed "indefinitely". Prince-Bythewood revealed that the cause of the delay was due to script issues.[258] While the film was initially scheduled to be released on February 8, 2019, Sony removed the release date from the schedule.[259] Production is now slated to begin in 2019.[260] In August 2018, Sony announced that Silver & Black will be canceled in favor of having both characters having their own feature films. Black Cat will reportedly be a re-worked version of the Silver & Black script, while the studio searches for screenwriters for Silver Sable. Prince-Bythewood will serve as a producer on both projects.[261]

Doctor Doom solo film[edit]

In July 2017, a Doctor Doom solo film was in development with Noah Hawley attached to direct.[262] In an interview with ScreenGeek, Mads Mikkelsen had expressed interest in playing the character, having previously auditioned for Doctor Doom for the 2015 film.[263] Since then, there has been no further announcements, leading to the film probably falling in development limbo.

Animated films[edit]

Ultimate War / Thor[edit]

In January 2013, a proposed Ultimate War / Thor dual film DVD, for the Marvel Animated Features series, was passed over for the 2009 released Hulk Versus dual film DVD. Ultimate War would have adapted the Ultimate Marvel comic book of the same name while the Thor movie would have selected a Walt Simonson's classic Thor storyline with the original selection being a Beta Ray Bill story.[264]

Big Hero 6 sequel[edit]

On February 18, 2015, the directors of Big Hero 6, Don Hall and Chris Williams, said a sequel was possible. Hall added, "Having said that, of course, we love these characters, and the thought of working with them again some day definitely has its appeal."[265] In March 2015, Genesis Rodriguez told MTV that a sequel was being considered, saying, "…There's nothing definitive. There's talks of something happening. We just don't know what yet."[266] In April 2015, Stan Lee mentioned a projected sequel as one of several that he understood were in Marvel's plans for upcoming films.[267] A film sequel was scrapped in favor of Big Hero 6: The Series,[268] created and executive produced by Kim Possible's Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley, and co-executive produced by Nick Filippi.[269][270] The majority of the cast from the film returned to voice the characters, except for Wayans Jr. and Miller.[271]

Live action television[edit]

Daredevil and the Black Widow[edit]

In 1975, Angela Bowie secured the TV rights to Daredevil and the Black Widow for a duration of one year and planned a TV series based on the two characters. Bowie had photographer Terry O'Neill take a series of pictures of herself as Black Widow and actor Ben Carruthers as Daredevil (with wardrobe by Natasha Kornilkoff) to shop the project around to producers, but the project never came to fruition.[272] In 1983, ABC planned a live-action Daredevil pilot. Academy Award-winning writer Stirling Silliphant completed the draft of the program, but it was not aired.[273] However, nothing came from this project, either.

Dr. Strange[edit]

Philip DeGuere was given an ample budget for Dr. Strange, which he wrote, directed and produced. The film was shot on Universal sets in Los Angeles, going over-schedule by several days because of the special effects, which included a lot of the era's green screen. Friend and composer Paul Chiraha was encouraged to produce an electronic score. Chirara, interviewed in 2016, said that DeGuere had high hopes for the film, and was crushed when it "tanked".[274]

In January 1985, Stan Lee recounted the largely positive experience of working on Dr. Strange, compared with the other live-action Marvel Comics adaptations under the publisher's development deal with CBS and Universal in the late 1970s, saying, "I probably had the most input into that one. I've become good friends with the writer/producer Phil DeGuere. I was pleased with Dr. Strange and The [Incredible] Hulk. I think that Dr. Strange would have done much better than it did in the ratings except that it aired opposite Roots. Those are the only experiences I've had with live action television. Dr. Strange and The Hulk were fine. Captain America was a bit [of a] disappointment and Spider-Man was a total nightmare."[275] CBS did not pick up Dr. Strange as a series.

The Young Astronauts[edit]

In January 1985, The Young Astronauts, licensed from the Young Astronaut Council and based on a Marvel Comic series;[276] never aired due to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster causing CBS to cancel the show before being produced.[277]


She-Hulk was announced as co-star of a 1989 made-for-TV film headlining the Incredible Hulk, the third reunion/sequel to the live-action Incredible Hulk series with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno reprising their roles. Although no specific title or actress was announced, in early July of that year it was still firmly expected to air that autumn.[278] A third Hulk telefilm did appear in February 1990 without any additional Marvel character adapted. A year later, a proposed She-Hulk series for the ABC network was "dead."[279]

Power Pack[edit]

Following the cancellation of the original comic, Paragon Entertainment Corporation and New World Television developed Power Pack into a live-action show for NBC's Saturday Morning Kids block. While a pilot episode was made, the series was passed on and later picked up by Fox, which chose to broadcast it as a Saturday morning special, on September 28, 1991, rather than ordering an entire series. The 27-minute pilot has subsequently been aired a few times on Fox Kids during the off-season.[280] Minor alterations to the concept were made for the pilot, ranging from the children's parents being aware of their superhuman abilities, Julie's acceleration power being altered to her being able to move at superhuman speed, without the ability to fly, and the "cloud" aspect of Jack's density power being eliminated; he was only able to shrink in size. The children did not wear costumes.

Stealth Warriors[edit]

In November 1993, Rick Ungar was developing Stealth Warriors for Marvel Comics.[281] For unknown reasons, the project was abandoned, with Ungar moving on to other projects.

Generation X[edit]

Generation X is a television pilot directed by Jack Sholder that aired on FOX on February 20, 1996. It is based on the Marvel Comics comic-book series of the same name, a spin-off of the X-Men franchise. It was produced by New World Entertainment and Marvel Entertainment Group.[282][283][284] After talks of a TV series stalled, just before the release, the TV special was testing the waters for a series of TV movies instead, with nothing coming out since.[285]

Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.[edit]

Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a pilot episode from 1998 based on the Marvel Comics character Nick Fury.[286] It was first broadcast on May 26, 1998 on Fox. Directed by Rod Hardy, the film stars David Hasselhoff as Fury, a retired super spy who is approached to return to duty to take down the terrorist organization HYDRA, who threaten to attack Manhattan with a pathogen they have reconstituted known as the Death's Head virus. Lisa Rinna plays Contessa Valentina "Val" Allegra de Fontaine, and Sandra Hess plays Andrea von Strucker / Viper. It was released on DVD on September 30, 2008. The film was met with a mixed to poor reception, resulting in the studio not picking up the series.[287]

Skrull Kill Krew, Alter Ego, and Moon Knight[edit]

In 2006, adaptations of Skrull Kill Krew, Alter Ego, and Moon Knight were in development. At some point in time, Marvel ceased development on all three series for unknown reasons.[288][289]

Carol Danvers / Jessica Jones project[edit]

In July 2011, Carol Danvers was intended to make her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in the series Jessica Jones when it was developed for ABC, but the character changed to Trish Walker when it moved to Netflix, due to the changes in the direction of the MCU storyline, such as the decision for Danvers to appear in her own film.[290][291]

The Hulk series[edit]

Around 2012, Guillermo del Toro was in talks with Marvel Studios to make a TV series titled The Hulk as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The series was intended to be aired on ABC. However, after Mark Ruffalo's acclaimed performance as the Incredible Hulk in The Avengers, the project was put on hold,[292] and entered development hell.

Untitled John Ridley-developed series[edit]

In 2015, Marvel has been working with screenwriter John Ridley since mid-April 2015 to craft a new television series, "reinventing" an existing Marvel character or property.[293] In January 2016, Ridley confirmed that the project was "still in development". He stated that he was looking to "bring some of the socially conscious nature" of Jessica Jones and his series American Crime to the show, while also creating something that is "straight entertainment".[294] A year later, Channing Dungey revealed that Ridley's project was still progressing, with Ridley working on a rewrite of his script.[295] Ridley added that the rewrite was not because "anything didn't work the first time around", but rather trying to make sure the series does something viewers have not necessarily seen before in a superhero television series, hoping it would occupy "a space that is not currently being filled" by Marvel. He also stated that he hoped to create the series "in the near term."[296] By August 2017, Dungey was "not sure" if Ridley was still working on the project.[297]

Empire of the Dead[edit]

In May 2015, Empire of the Dead was being planned as an adaptation of George A. Romero's comic series.[298] The series was going to be written and executive produced by Romero and Peter Grunwald. Demarest executives Sam Englebardt and William D. Johnson would of also executive produced. In November 2015 AMC acquired the TV rights on the series.[299]

Marvel's Most Wanted[edit]

By April 2015, Marvel was developing Most Wanted, a spinoff series of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The series, which was being developed by Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. executive producer Jeffrey Bell and writer Paul Zbyszewski, would be based on storylines occurring at the end of the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and would receive its own pilot rather than a backdoor pilot.[300] Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood entered into discussions to headline the potential new series as their characters Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter, respectively.[301] By May 7, 2015, when ABC announced their series renewals and cancellations, and new series pickups, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff was passed on.[302] In August 2015, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff series received new life as a reworked series, titled Marvel's Most Wanted, with a pilot order.[303] Bell and Zbyszewski once again developed the series, while also serving as co-writers of the pilot, executive producers, and showrunners, with Jeph Loeb also attached as executive producer.The series would still focus on Morse and Hunter, with Palicki and Blood both attached, and was described as "a new take focusing on the same duo and their continuing adventures. The show was not ordered to series, for a second time, after the pilot was filmed.[304]

Marvel's Damage Control[edit]

In October 2015, ABC ordered a put pilot for a half-hour live-action comedy series Marvel's Damage Control, based on the comics construction company of the same name. The show would have followed the overworked, underpaid, clean up crew of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who specialized in dealing with the aftermath of superhero conflicts, rescheduling events because of the conflicts, and retrieving lost items.[305] The series is being developed by Ben Karlin for ABC Studios and Marvel Television, with Karlin also writing the script for the project and serving as executive producer.[306] The series had previously been implied by then ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee to have begun airing as early as the 2016–17 television season. Since then, there has been no further announcements.


In October 2015, a live action television series titled Hellfire was under development by 20th Century Fox Television and Marvel Television with an early 2017 air date,[307][308][309] but on July 12, 2016, Variety reports that the project is no longer moving forward.[310]

Untitled comedy series[edit]

In January 2016, Stan Lee announced that an untitled comedy series was in the works.[311] As of September 2018, there has been no further details since the original announcement, leading to the project falling into development limbo.


In June 2016, Brian Michael Bendis was developing a TV series based on his comic series Scarlet for Cinemax.[312] There has been no further development news since.

Untitled female-focused series[edit]

In 2017, an untitled female-focused series was in the works at ABC.[313] Since its original announcement, there has been no further details on its production, leading to possibly ending up in development hell.

Animated television[edit]

Daredevil and Lightning the Super-Dog[edit]

In the 1980s, ABC had planned a Daredevil animated television series that would have featured a guide dog named "Lightning the Super-Dog".[314][315] Television writer Mark Evanier said in 2008 that he was the last in a line of writers to have written a pilot and series bible, with his including Lightning as a guide dog without superpowers.[314] Production stills for a proposed Daredevil animated series meant to air on Fox Kids were made.[316]

X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men[edit]

X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men is a pun on the name of Kitty Pryde, the youngest of the X-Men. The series that this episode was intended to launch never materialized; Marvel Productions would have to go back to the drawing board for 1992’s X-Men. Funding for this pilot actually came from the budget for RoboCop: The Animated Series. Instead of making a 13th episode of RoboCop, Marvel Productions decided to use their funding to have Toei Animation produce the animation for this pilot. The pilot itself is most specifically influenced by issues #129[317]-139[318] of Uncanny X-Men. Shortly after this pilot was delivered, Marvel started having financial issues (New World Pictures, who purchased the Marvel Entertainment Group or MEG from Cadence Industries in 1986, sold MEG in January 1989 to the Andrews Group) and stopped work on just about everything but Muppet Babies. This pilot effectively marked the end of the Marvel animated universe created by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises/Marvel Productions, which began with Fantastic Four (1978) and continued with Spider-Woman (1979), Spider-Man (1981), Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1981) and The Incredible Hulk (1982). The X-Men themselves had previously guest starred in several episodes of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, although that particular series isn't necessarily in the same continuity as "Pryde of the X-Men".


In 1988 a 22-minute animated Solarman pilot was also produced, which Oliphant maintained ownership of, since he produced over $400,000 for its production, with Marvel acting as a licensee. It was released on VHS as a cross promotion tie-in with the first issue of Marvel Comics' adaptation. The pilot finally aired on October 24, 1992, as a special on Fox Kids, a week prior to the debut of the X-Men animated series. According to Oliphant, a major studio offered $15 million to create 64 animated episodes of Solarman, but the studio cancelled this offer soon after on the advice of their consultants, who cautioned that Saturday morning superhero cartoons would soon die out in popularity.[319]

Untitled Deadpool animated series[edit]

In May 2017, FXX placed a series order for an animated series based on Deadpool, to be co-produced by Marvel Television, FX Productions and ABC Signature Studios. Donald Glover and his brother Stephen Glover were announced as showrunners, executive producers and writers for the series.[320] In late March 2018, it was announced that FXX would not move forward with the series due to creative differences.[321][322] Stephen Glover later admitted that the "creative difference" in question involved an episode revolving around Taylor Swift which FXX stated was the "last straw" and that they wanted to give Rick and Morty "a run for its money".[323]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ito, Robert (March 2005). "Fantastic Faux!". Los Angeles. p. 109. 
  2. ^ a b c Ito, p. 110
  3. ^ Gore, Christian (October 1993). "What Do You Take Us 4?". Film Threat. 2 (12). p. 30 (sidebar: "Stunning Storyboards"). Retrieved January 1, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Ito, p. 111
  5. ^ Gore, p. 40
  6. ^ a b Gore, p. 31
  7. ^ Gore, p. 33 (sidebar: "FF FX")
  8. ^ a b Gore, p. 33
  9. ^ Gore, p. 41
  10. ^ a b c d Ito, p. 218
  12. ^ Ito, p. 108
  13. ^ a b Ito, p. 219
  14. ^ "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  15. ^ "'Fantastic Four' Reboot Gets A 2015 Release Date". ScreenRant. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  16. ^ "DOOMED! The Untold Story of Roger Corman's THE FANTASTIC FOUR". Newsarama. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  17. ^ Christopher Baggett (September 6, 2017). "15 Game-Changing Superhero Movies That Almost Were (But Never Will Be)". cbr. Retrieved September 16, 2018. 
  18. ^ Beau Yarbrough (15 March 2000). "Saga of the Silver Surfer (Film): Making of "The Silver Surfer". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  19. ^ David Kilmer (2010-05-25). "Shadows on the Wall". AN EMPIRE OF ONE. Retrieved 2018-05-25. 
  20. ^ Michael Fleming (2000-07-12). "Marvel's Daredevil on pic trail". Variety. Retrieved 2014-10-10. 
  21. ^ "Comics Screen". Comics Scene. No. 20. Starlog Communications International, Inc. August 1991. p. 70. 
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