It happens all the time, a movie or TV show has been green lit and is going to be produced. But something happens and it never sees the lights of day. For instance, there was supposed to be a Spaceballs II. In fact, I still remember seeing the teaser poster for it in a movie theater once! Spaceballs III:The Search for 2! Brilliant! What happened? Well not sure but obviously it never existed.
But sometimes, this is a good thing. When a project or idea is so badly conceived and idiotic, thank goodness it is cancelled simply because it was stupid and would have been terrible!
Of course we could be here all day talking about all the cancelled movies and TV shows which were in production at some point only to be cancelled and mercifully forgotten about. But rather than keep this going on forever, I decided to single out five horrible ideas that never made the light of day. Some never got past the storyboard stage, and others did get press releases and even a filmed pilot before wiser heads prevailed. But they are all bad ideas that thankfully remained bad ideas.
So my wife and I were watching the anniversary VHS for Dumbo when at the end, we get the happy news. There’s going to a direct to DVD sequel! Yech. The story was just stupid, having something to do with Dumbo and his friend stuck in the city. Huh? But thankfully wiser heads prevailed and the whole thing disappeared into the same ether that took Pinocchio II, Aristocats II, and Hercules II. Oh and don’t look for Tron 3 anytime soon either.
Nicholas Cage as Superman
As soon as I heard this idea I knew it was rubbish. Thank the lord everyone else did too. Yes this was going to happen at one point. I mean, really? Nicholas Cage? I mean I have no problem with him or anything but…No. Just No. I guess “Superman Lives” would have been based around the Death & Return of Superman arc (which honestly should be a movie), directed by Tim Burton. What???Â but that just would not have worked.
By the way Nicholas Cage’s Superman was not the only Superman project to be shelved. There was many over 20 years which never saw the light of day. There were at least six. Seriously why is it so hard to make a movie about this guy?
Star Trek:Phase II (no connection to the cool web series)
I think most everyone knows this story. Back in the 70’s Gene Roddenberry tried to relaunch Star Trek as TV Series. This was supposed to be the star of a whole UPN network (glad they never tried that). Sets were built and there was casting. This may have been OK except for one thing. Remember that Vulcan who was killed in The Motion Picture? He was supposed to be the new science officer because Leonard Nimoy said no. Oh yeah, they would have gone well. Fans really would have tuned in since the Kirk/Spock/McCoy dynamic was one of the big reasons the old show worked!! Oh and remember Decker and Ilia? They were supposed to the “Riker & Troi” equivalent on the new series. That’s why they are an item in the movie. Now I would have given them different back stories but I’m not Robert Wise. Anyway There were some scripts written, screen shots made and sets built but thankfully the project was scrapped and turned into The Motion Picture. And while that movie was not perfect, if the TV series had been created we never would have had The Wrath of Khan or anything that came after.
SNL Movies That Never Happened
As hard as it is to believe, there were supposed to be other movies spun off from SNL characters. As if “It’s Pat!” wasn’t bad enough. Let’s see there was a Hanz & Franz movie which was cancelled, A Superfans movie which at least sounds like it could be OK, Mike Myers backed out of a movie based on his Sprokits character as well as one based on his Linda Richamn character, and finally a Stefon movie was discussed but thankfully never created. I never liked that character. But the most interesting has to be one that wasn’t supposed to be a movie. Apparently in 1983 The Coneheads was going to an animated series. NBC said no, but the pilot was produced. I checked it out and it was really…weird. But what would you expect from Rankin/Bass? By the way am I the only one who liked The Conehead’s movie?
Justice League/Wonder Woman TV Series
Ok, I am sure you are all aware of these especially if you watch anything from “Channel Awesome” or “The Agony Booth”. But good lord am I happy neither of these projects went anywhere. In the 1990’s CBSÂ tries to give us a Justice League series with a “Friends” slant. Maybe because at the time that’s what the comics were doing, but the comics weren’t taken seriously either so why would a TV series based on them? The characters were jokes and there was even a lame framing device were they talked to an off screen interviewer. What? It was really stupid and never got past the pilot stage. Same for NBC’s attempt at a Wonder Woman series in 2011. Good lord, what were they thinking? If you want a darker superhero, you don’t pick Wonder Woman you use someone like Green Arrow (that’s why Arrow is still on). This Wonder Woman was sadistic, mean, and had no regard for the law. I could do a whole article ranting on this awful piece of crap. There are plenty of reviews of these online (including one with Nash, Linkara, and Film Brain which I love) so check them out if you’ve never heard of them.
Of course I could be here all day listing the spin-off ideas that never made it. Some were backdoor pilots, like “Mona” which was a spin-off of Who’s The Boss? It would have been dumb, Mona is one of those characters you can only have so much of. Some just take the established character and create a new world for them, like “The Art of Nick” which took the character from Family Ties and gave him a whole new life (set before his first appearance in Family Ties which makes NO sense). It was stupid. I have gone over these before and how much I hate them. so will spare you guys the speech again.
Ok, so feel free to comment and let me know the ideas you’re glad never got made. And maybe I’ll be back with five more at another time.