Whether it be in film, television, or video games, comic book titan DC Comics has a lot of projects that ended up vanishing without a trace. While some, including the highly anticipated Snyder Cut of Justice League, ended up seeing the light of day, other projects weren’t so lucky.
A lot of these canceled plans have the potential of being better than most DC projects fans end up getting, while others are best left on the cutting room floor. Needless to say, this covers some of DC’s biggest losses, but also some of their biggest failures.
10 Return: Bottle Rocket’s Flash Video Game
Many fans probably didn’t even know that a game based on the Flash was even a thing until video game historian Liam Robertson posted a video about it on Did You Know Gaming?, but what was shown was fascinating. Developed BottleRocket, the game was canceled when its publisher Brash Entertainment folded in 2008.
The game was pretty far along when it was given the ax and what was crafted sounds like it could have been something special. With Warner Bros. Interactive’s DC offerings looking a little too Batman-heavy at the moment, perhaps if someone stepped in to finish the Flash game, it would help that lineup stand out.
9 Skip: NBC’s Wonder Woman Pilot
No question fans absolutely need more Wonder Woman. But whether that be in the form of a series on the CW or HBO Max, this abandoned NBC pilot is a blueprint for what not to do with a Wonder Woman show.
Sticking future Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Adrianne Palicki in a gaudy version of Wonder Woman’s iconic getup, the pilot is cheesy and not in a good way. If Warner Bros. ever allows another live-action Wonder Woman to exist, it’s safe to say it won’t be this one.
8 Return: J.J. Abrams Superman: Flyby
The most exciting aspect of a hypothetical Superman: Flyby is seeing what J.J. Abrams would do with the Man of Steel. Abrams’ first draft of the film script had interesting ideas, but if the director decided to revisit his old movie, he should perhaps retool it a bit.
Some ideas, such as a civil war on Krypton and Lex Luthor being a UFO-obsessed CIA operative sound tantalizing. However, having Luthor turn out to be a Kryptonian is an idea that probably needs to be jettisoned.
7 Skip: The Wachowskis’ Plastic Man Movie
For a long time, Plastic Man has been marginalized by fans for being one of DC’s sillier characters. And while he may not get the respect he deserves, Plastic Man would have gotten an even worse reputation if the Wachowskis’ movie actually made it to cinemas.
Despite the script barely following the comics outside of most things revolving around Plastic Man himself, it apparently impressed Warner Bros. enough to attempt to revive it again in 2009 with Keanu Reeves being considered to play Plastic Man. With that level of star power behind it, it’s a (welcome) surprise this never got made.
6 Return: CW’s Deadman Series
With John Constantine running around on Legends of Tomorrow and a Justice League Dark project still in development, perhaps it’s time DC’s mystical side got some more coverage. Believe it or not, this would have happened not too long ago with the CW’s canceled Deadman series.
Warner Bros. even hired Supernatural‘s Eric Kripke to develop a series based on the ghostly hero back in 2011. It ultimately never materialized, which is a shame as Boston Brand would have certainly been a great fit for the Arrowverse.
5 Skip: Jack Black As Green Lantern
Jack Black is great, Green Lantern is great, but that doesn’t mean they would be a great fit. An infamous script by former Conan O’Brien writer Robert Smigel would have seen the Nacho Libre star cast as a more comedic take on Green Lantern, but the internet wasn’t laughing at that idea.
Though the 2011 Green Lantern film starring Ryan Reynolds may have hurt the character’s chances of appearing in a big movie again, this idea would have finished those chances off for good. While a future Green Lantern movie is still in the cards, it’s best to hope that Warner Bros. has lost Jack Black’s number.
4 Return: THQ’s Gotham By Gaslight Game
Though Warner Bros. may be overdoing it in terms of Batman-related video games, Gotham By Gaslight could be a different beast entirely. Based on the 1989 graphic novel that put DC’s Elseworlds imprint on the map, THQ almost made a game based on Gotham By Gaslight, but it never happened as the gaming company couldn’t get the rights.
However, some positively received test footage has been released showing what developers Day 1 Studios, of F.3.A.R. fame, were working on. Ultimately, the fans still gained a victory in Rocksteady’s most excellent Arkham series, but the idea of a triple-A Gotham By Gaslight game could still work.
3 Skip: Joss Whedon’s Wonder Woman
Joss Whedon is not a very popular individual with DC fans right now, largely due to his less-than-ideal cut of 2017’s Justice League. But long before that, he wrote a script for a potential Wonder Woman film. This movie would have been more close to the original comics, but Warner Bros. apparently didn’t like it.
Ultimately, Whedon’s script is irrelevant as fans now have a top-notch Wonder Woman movie in the form of Patty Jenkins’ film.
2 Return: George Miller’s Justice League: Mortal
Ever since its cancellation in the late 2000s, more information about Mad Max director George Miller’s Justice League film, Justice League: Mortal has been made available. The script may come across more like Super Friends than Batman Begins, but the general premise holds up and could still work today.
Inspired by Mark Waid’s Tower Of Babel story, the movie would have showcased one of the most accurate portrayals of Batman’s paranoia on screen. With Warner Bros. most likely looking for a chance to redeem the iconic team in the eyes of its fanbase, perhaps they should give George Miller a call.
1 Skip: Tim Burton’s Superman Lives
At this point, Superman Lives is a movie that needs no introduction. The thing about Superman Lives, which was going to be based on the iconic yet poorly aged story “The Death Of Superman,” is that it wouldn’t have been bad necessarily, just very Tim Burton-y…with a healthy dollop of Nicolas Cage.
The late Jon Schnepp’s documentary The Death Of “Superman Lives:” What Happened? is a fascinating if hazy look into what could’ve been if the troubled film had made it to the big screen. While the film is a fever dream of an idea, the prospect of it finally being finished is more of a nightmare.
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