List of unproduced Marvel Cinematic Universe projects

unmade Marvel superhero films and television series

Encyclopedia from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is an American media franchise and shared universe focused on superhero films and television series. The production companies behind the franchise, Marvel Studios and the defunct Marvel Television, have had several projects in development that have not been made, are in development hell after no significant production updates within a year, or were redeveloped as other properties or with different directions.

Films

Edgar Wright's Ant-Man

Filmmaker Edgar Wright began developing a film based on the Marvel Comics character Ant-Man in 2003 and wrote it with his writing partner Joe Cornish, using the Scott Lang incarnation of the character as a burglar.[1] The next year, the two sent their pitch to Marvel Studios' head of production Kevin Feige,[2] and in April 2006, the studio hired Wright to direct and co-write the script with Cornish for their beginning roster of superhero films that they would independently produce.[3] Wright said that he wanted the film to be an action-adventure story that had some comedic elements within it and that it would have the Scott Lang and Hank Pym versions of the Ant-Man character.[4] Wright had complete the first draft of the script by March 2008, when he began the second one.[5] Marvel did not place Ant-Man among its blockbuster properties and told Wright to develop "a good script that works" within a specific genre that is standalone,[6] and Wright later said it would release after The Avengers (2012) and tell the character's origin story.[7] Wright and Cornish finished the second and third drafts by mid-2011.[8][9]

By January 2013, the film was set to be part of Marvel's Phase Three slate of films for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU),[10] with Wright noting in May that the script would be adjusted to work within the franchise, but described it as still being standalone from that world to give it time to put the premise into a realistic setting before bringing in other characters from the universe.[11] A year later, Marvel and Wright jointly announced that Wright had left the film over "differences in their vision" for it and that the studio was close to hiring a new director.[12] Wright explained that he "wanted to make a Marvel movie" but that Marvel didn't want "to make an Edgar Wright movie" and that Marvel had once wanted to have a draft without his involvement which made him question his place in the project, with a majority of his crew also leaving.[13] Adam McKay was in talks to direct Ant-Man by the end of the month but left negotiations to not outright replace Wright, who he was friends with,[14][15][16] and in June, Marvel hired Peyton Reed to direct and McKay to rewrite the script with star Paul Rudd.[17][16][18] McKay, Rudd, and Reed retained the story from Wright and Cornish,[18] who received credit for the screenplay and story while Wright was also credited as an executive producer.[19][20]

Runaways

Marvel Studios was originally developing a film based on the Runaways team in May 2008, with Brian K. Vaughan writing the screenplay.[21] Peter Sollett was hired to direct in April 2010,[22] with Drew Pearce hired to write the next month.[23] That October, the film was put on hold in favor of The Avengers and had the potential to release in Marvel's Phase Three slate of films.[24][25] When Kevin Feige announced the Phase Three slate in October 2014, he said the studio retained the script and that Runaways was discussed for upcoming films and television projects, but noted that they could not make all of them.[26] In August 2016, Marvel Television announced that they were moving forward with the series Marvel's Runaways for the streaming service Hulu,[27] receiving a full-series order in May 2017 and premiered that November.[28][29] The series ended with its third season in December 2019.[30]

Untitled The Incredible Hulk sequel

Ahead of the release of The Incredible Hulk (2008), that film's star Edward Norton revealed multiple Hulk films were planned,[31] with director Louis Leterrier intending the final scene with Bruce Banner to be ambiguous, to either set up Banner controlling his anger in a potential sequel, or teasing him becoming "a menace" in The Avengers without a sequel.[32] By June 2008, Leterrier was expected to return as director for a sequel,[33][34] which he expressed interest in a year later,[35] along with actors Tim Roth and Tim Blake Nelson as their characters Emil Blonsky / Abomination and Samuel Sterns;[33][36][37] Roth was signed for three more films,[38] while Nelson was intended to play his character's comic book version of the Leader.[36][37][39] Producer Gale Anne Hurd revealed Norton was signed on for a sequel by that October.[40] Marvel Studios planned for the Hulk to return after The Avengers,[41] and Feige chose not to have Norton reprise his role, instead casting Mark Ruffalo for the crossover film.[42]

By April 2012, Ruffalo was willing to play the Hulk in a sequel, though Kevin Feige revealed Marvel did not plan to film another Hulk film,[43] saying the next month that discussions had occurred for another Hulk film following the positive audience response to Ruffalo's performance in The Avengers.[44] That September, Feige said Marvel would discuss potential storylines, including "Planet Hulk" and "World War Hulk", for a Hulk film after the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and believed a standalone Hulk film could be done.[45] Ruffalo believed Marvel Studios was considering making a new standalone Hulk film by June 2014,[46] and the next month, Feige said Planet Hulk was not being considered for a film by then so Ruffalo could headline a potential solo film, but did not rule out a Hulk story in space. He further explained that a Hulk film was absent from their Phase Two slate for the MCU so Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon could focus on continuing to develop the character in that film.[47] That October, Feige said Marvel wanted to make another film but that the focus was on his character interacting with others in their Phase Three films.[26] Ruffalo revealed in April 2015 that because Universal holds the distribution rights and right of first refusal for any future Hulk films, this could prevent Marvel from making them, which he reiterated in the following years.[48][49]

By January 2016, Ruffalo revealed that because Hulk was unlikely to feature in another solo film, it allowed for his character to have a more prominent role in the Phase Three films Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019), with his character arc intended to feel like his own standalone film.[50] James Gunn, the writer and director of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy films, expressed interest in making a film with the Hulk and Red Hulk, but conflicts with Universal prevented this.[51] In December 2020, Ruffalo and Roth were confirmed to reprise their roles as the Hulk and Abomination in the Disney+ television series She-Hulk for Phase Four of the MCU.[52] Ruffalo expressed interest in a solo Hulk film being made to explore the character's life between his other film appearances to further explore him.[53]

Inhumans

Marvel Studios was developing a film based on the Inhumans race by March 2011 to be similar to 20th Century Fox's X-Men (2000), with the plot revolving around the Inhumans being sent to Earth as sleeper cells to bring their race to conquer the planet.[54][55] Kevin Feige said the film would feature an ensemble cast similar to the X-Men films and The Avengers,[56] later expressing his confidence in April 2012 that a film would be made.[57] By August 2014, Marvel was planning to move forward with an Inhumans film and have Joe Robert Cole writing the screenplay,[58] and officially announced the film that October as part of their Phase Three slate to release on November 2, 2018 and Vin Diesel openly attached to the role of Black Bolt shortly after the film’s announcement, despite already having a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Groot.[59] Marvel Studios wanted to make the Inhumans a film franchise that could continuously redefine what the MCU is about by exploring their different powers and social structure.[60] That December, the Inhumans race was introduced in the second season of the MCU television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with Chloe Bennet's principal character Daisy "Skye" Johnson revealed as an Inhuman.[61] By October 2015, Cole was no longer involved with the film,[62] and he later said he had not written an Inhumans script.[63]

In February 2016, Marvel pushed the release date to July 12, 2019,[64] and that April, Feige said he expected the film's release to be delayed once again after Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) were added to Phase Three and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures scheduling a fifth Indiana Jones film near the July 2019 date.[65] Shortly afterward, the film was removed from Marvel's release schedule and Phase Three for undisclosed reasons, but was not outright canceled.[66][67] That July, Feige said Inhumans would be discussed for Marvel Studios' future film releases after 2020,[68] and felt in November that the property would be adapted, noting its potential as a television series or as a film in the future.[69] Marvel Television announced in November 2016 that they were developing Marvel's Inhumans as a new series without Diesel, Feige or Marvel Studios involved,[70] which was not intended to be a reworking of the film.[71] The first two episodes debuted in IMAX in September 2017,[70] to disappointing box office returns, while its run on ABC was critically panned by fans and critics alike and was cancelled in May 2018 after one season.[72] After working with Marvel Studios on the script for Ant-Man, Adam McKay said in December 2018 he was willing to work with the studio again and had discussed making an Inhumans film with Feige.[73]

Guardians of the Galaxy prequel One-Shots

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) director James Gunn had originally intended to introduce each of the members of the Guardians through a series of Marvel One-Shots that would have played before the film in theaters.[74] Partial footage for a Groot and Rocket Raccoon episode was shot, and shown at San Diego Comic Con, with a role for Alan Tudyk also written into the short by Gunn. Only the script for the Groot and Rocket short had been completed at the time of cancellation. Gunn considers the events of the short, which showcased the meeting of the two characters, to still have occurred. [75]

Thunderbolts

During the production of Guardians of the Galaxy, director James Gunn had proposed the idea of a film based on the Thunderbolts to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, to which he was told that it was a possibility based on the success of Guardians of the Galaxy.[76] By 2021, he was no longer interested in directing a Thunderbolts film after directing The Suicide Squad (2021), another film about a team of supervillains, which he described as having "scratched that itch".[77]

After the appearance of Helmut Zemo, a member of the team in the comics, in the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021), head writer Malcom Spellman said that an appearance by the team had not been considered for the series, but that he wasn't sure if "the fans are crazy or not" for believing the team could appear in a future MCU film or series.[78]

Ant-Man Hank Pym prequel

In June 2018, actor Michael Douglas expressed interest in playing a younger version of Hank Pym in a prequel to the Ant-Man films,[79] an idea that Peyton Reed had proposed in June 2015.[80]

Untitled Drax and Mantis film

In March 2020, Drax actor Dave Bautista revealed that James Gunn, director of the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, had pitched a film based around the characters of Drax and Mantis to Marvel Studios, but that it could not release within the next five years due to a full release schedule. Bautista was interested in appearing in the film.[81] In May 2021, Bautista theorised that the studio may have had no interest in the project, due to a lack of communication about it. He indicated that he would likely retire from playing the role of Drax after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, due to his age, but Drax would remain in the MCU. Gunn replied through Twitter stating that he believed the role should not be recast.[82]

Television series

Marvel's Most Wanted

By April 2015, Marvel Television was developing a spin-off series from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to be developed by that series' executive producer Jeffrey Bell and writer Paul Zbyszewski, and would follow storylines that occurred at the end of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s second season, with its own pilot planned.[83] Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood entered negotiations to star in the series as their ex-spies and ex-spouses Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter, respectively.[84] ABC passed on the spin-off in early May,[85] but that August, it was revived as Marvel's Most Wanted with a pilot order.[86] Bell and Zbyszewski returned to develop the series and to co-write the pilot,[87] with it focusing on Morse and Hunter as they are on the run trying to uncover a conspiracy against them without S.H.I.E.L.D.'s help, and partner with rogue adventurer Dominic Fortune.[86][88][89] In May 2016, ABC again passed on the series.[90]

Untitled John Ridley-developed series

By mid-April 2015, Marvel Television and screenwriter John Ridley were developing a series to reinvent an existing Marvel character or property for ABC,[91] and in January 2016, Ridley confirmed it was in development and that it would incorporate the "socially conscious nature" of the Marvel Netflix series Jessica Jones and his series American Crime to it while still being direct entertainment.[92] A year later, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey revealed Ridley was rewriting his script,[93] with Ridley saying this was so the series brings something different to viewers of superhero television series to fill an area not explored by Marvel and hoped the series was nearing creation.[94] By August 2017, Dungey was unsure if Ridley was still working on the project,[95] and was confirmed to have "fizzled" in December 2019 when Marvel Television was shut down and folded into Marvel Studios.[96]

Damage Control

By October 2015, Marvel Television and ABC Studios were developing a half-hour live-action comedy series based on the overworked and underpaid Damage Control clean-up crew that was mentioned in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.[97][98][99] The series was intended to follow Damage Control as they deal with the aftermath of superhero conflicts, rescheduling events due to the conflicts, and retrieving lost items, with Ben Karlin writing and serving as an executive producer.[97] It had the potential to begin airing by the 2016–17 television season,[100] before the group was introduced as the "Department of Damage Control" in Spider-Man: Homecoming with Tyne Daly portraying head of department Anne Marie Hoag.[101] The series was no longer moving forward by December 2019.[96]

Untitled Allan Heinberg-developed series

In September 2018, ABC gave a production commitment to a series featuring lesser-known female superheroes, to be written by Allan Heinberg who would executive produce it with Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb, with the hope for it to be a "strong contender from the get-go".[102] However, in February 2019, ABC chose not to proceed with the pilot, despite its "big" production commitment. Deadline Hollywood reported it was "unclear" if the series would be redeveloped.[103]

Other ABC series

In January 2016, Paul Lee announced ABC Studios was developing a second comedy series with Marvel after Damage Control with the hope that it would air on ABC.[100] In August 2019, ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke stated that ABC was in active discussions with Marvel regarding "one project in particular" that would be "something brand new, mostly" and be a female-focused superhero series. This project was separate from the female-focused superhero series developed for ABC by Allan Heinberg earlier in 2019.[104] Deadline Hollywood reported plans for the series had "stalled" by January 2020,[105] a month after Marvel Television announced they were no longer developing new series.[96]

New Warriors

By late August 2016, Marvel Television and ABC Studios were developing a half-hour comedy series based on the New Warriors team and featuring Squirrel Girl.[106] In April 2017, Freeform announced a straight-to-series order for Marvel's New Warriors with 10 episodes to be developed by showrunner Kevin Biegel who was writing the first script.[107][108][109] It was set to focus on Doreen Green / Squirrel Girl, Craig Hollis / Mister Immortal, Dwayne Taylor / Night Thrasher, Robbie Baldwin / Speedball, Zach Smith / Microbe, and Deborah Fields / Debrii,[109] as they want to make a positive impact in the world even if they are not quite ready to be heroes.[107] That June, the cast was revealed with Milana Vayntrub starring as Doreen Green / Squirrel Girl and Derek Theler as Craig Hollis / Mister Immortal.[110] In November, Freeform was announced to no longer air the series as it was being shopped to other networks, with Marvel aiming to air it in 2018.[111] By September 2019, the series had been unable to find a new broadcaster and was officially considered dead.[112]

New Warriors spin-offs

After ordering New Warriors in April 2017, Burke said Freeform was "absolutely" interested in creating spinoff series for each of the characters on the New Warriors team, in a similar fashion to Marvel's Netflix television series, explaining that the characters Marvel chose for the team "are all really singular and could each carry the show that they're on. They're bound together ... for as long as we choose with this show but it's conceptually tailor-made for spinoffs."[109] These potential spin-offs were still considered likely when Marvel began looking for a new broadcaster for New Warriors.[111] Marvel Television was no longer developing any new series in December 2019.[96]

Ghost Rider

After Gabriel Luna was announced to portray Robbie Reyes / Ghost Rider in the fourth season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,[113] Leob said he could go to other parts of the MCU depending on audience response, while Luna also expressed interest in reprising his role outside of that series.[114] By October 2016, Luna said there was potential his character would get a spin-off series.[115] In May 2019, Hulu ordered Ghost Rider to series with Ingrid Escajeda serving as showrunner and executive producer alongside Zbyszewski and Loeb, with Luna reprising his role.[116] It was intended to be a new standalone story about Reyes' character from S.H.I.E.L.D. and not a traditional spin-off of that series,[117] with Marvel Television and ABC Signature Studios producing. It would focus on Reyes as he avenges the innocent at the Texas–Mexico border by unleashing the demonic Ghost Rider,[116] while referencing his role in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.[118] That September, Hulu chose not to move forward with the project over creative differences.[119]

Adventure into Fear series

By August 2019, Leob said several series were being developed for Marvel Television's planned Adventure into Fear franchise at Hulu,[120] which he reiterated in October,[121] before Marvel Television was shut down in December 2019, stopping development on any further series. Only one of the planned series was released, Helstrom.[96]

Untitled Star Lord T’Challa series

In October 2021, What If director Bryan Andrews stated that a spin-off series revolving around the Star Lord T'Challa character introduced in "What If... T'Challa Became a Star Lord?" was in development, but was in "limbo" following the death of T'Challa actor Chadwick Boseman.[122]

See also

References

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Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - List of unproduced Marvel Cinematic Universe projects