The Marvel Movies You’ll Never Get To See

The Marvel Cinematic Universe seems unstoppable, and as we move beyond Phase 5 (and beyond), the ever-expanding slate gets bigger by the day. It’s difficult to imagine the MCU cancelling any of its current projects, unlike the turbulent times at the DC Extended Universe.

Nevertheless, the Quantum Realm has claimed several Marvel films over the years. Movies with wall-climbing heroes, amazing mutants, and even Olivia Newton-John have all been put on hold. Here are 12 cancelled Marvel films that you’ll never get to watch because not everything has been able to fit into the tidy little box of the MCU. If you’re up for an unexpected episode of What If…?, read on.

Spider-Man 4

The most well-known cancelled Marvel film, in my opinion, is Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4. While Raimi’s Spider-Man from 2002 served as the catalyst for our present love with comic book movies, 2007’s Spider-Man 3 marked a significant decline in quality. Despite Raimi being given a fourth film to direct before Spider-Man 3 hit theatres, that project failed amid an emo Peter Parker and Topher Grace’s Venom chewing scenery.

Spider-Man 4 went further than the majority of us anticipated thanks to storyboards and props that depict what may have been. The cast of Mysterio was to include Bruce Campbell as Mysterio, John Malkovich as Vulture, and Anne Hathaway as Felicia Hardy/Black Cat, or a new bad guy called Vultress.

Recently, Malkovich’s Vulture wings were displayed on Twitter by comic book writer Ken Penders. There have been cries for the original to don his spandex once more following the success of Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Matthew Vaughn’s First Class Sequel

The thought of recreating the X-Men with a new cast and ’60s setting was a breath of fresh air for Charles Xavier’s talented children because it’s no secret that X-Men: The Last Stand divided fandom. While there was a sequel/crossover in the form of 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, this wasn’t always the goal for X-Men: First Class, which launched its own franchise.

Matthew Vaughn, the director of First Class, had initial ideas for a trilogy that would have told the comic arcs of Apocalypse and Days of Future Past. Fox produced those stories out of chronological order and without Vaughn in charge. The shocking news that Vaughn wanted Tom Hardy to play a young Wolverine in his shelved First Class sequel was revealed to ComingSoon in 2019.

It’s a terrible shame Vaughn left the series after what transpired with Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix. Regarding Wolverine, we’re happy to have Hugh Jackman back, but it’s still unclear who will play the character in the future MCU films.

The Hands of Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu

Did you know that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings almost made his live-action debut decades ago? Phase 4 of the MCU broadened its diversity with films like Ms. Marvel and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The Hands of Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu was marketed as a full-fledged martial arts film long before Simu Liu started kicking ass.

Instead of simply inserting martial arts, Blade’s Stephen Norrington sought to make a “honest” movie in 2001. By 2005, the film was set to be executive produced by Stan Lee for DreamWorks, the renowned Yuen Woo-Ping had been hired as director, and a PG-13 rating was being promoted.

The Hands of Shang-Chi never progressed, and intentions to feature Shang-Chi in Phase 1 were reduced to a passing mention to the Ten Rings as a result of the rights lapping back to Marvel.

Guillermo Del Toro’s Doctor Strange

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange is an underappreciated addition, but in a different universe, Guillermo del Toro might have directed his debut. In 2007, the famed director suggested making a Doctor Strange movie with Neil Gaiman, who wrote The Sandman.

Gaiman tweeted in 2015 that Marvel Studios didn’t seem to be interested. The one thing that Guillermo del Toro excels at is creating fascinating fantastical settings. You only need to look to Pam’s Labyrinth or Hellboy to see what the Nightmare Realm would have looked like if he had.

Although Del Toro has never been officially associated with Man-Thing, Ted Sallis’ debut in Werewolf By Night feels like it was designed for some of the director’s legendary magic. Del Toro is frequently mentioned as one of the ideal directors for the MCU.

X-Men Origins: Magneto

Less is more when it comes to X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Even by charitable standards, the X-Men anthology hasn’t held up that well. We’re still working to undo the harm that Ryan Reynolds’ initial attempt at playing Deadpool caused.

Fox created a schedule of anthology films each concentrating on a different mutant. A younger Ian McKellen as the Master of Magnetism would have been the centre of attention in X-Men Origins: Magneto. The WGA strike of 2007–2008 put a kink in the plans despite screenwriter Sheldon Turner writing a script that was intended to be The Pianist meets X-Men.

Producer Lauren Schuler Donner said (via MTV) how Origins: Magneto was “in the back of the queue” despite David Goyer submitting a revised version by 2009 The story’s main themes were depicted in First Class, with Sebastian Shaw’s experiments on a young Magneto (Michael Fassbender) at Auschwitz (Kevin Bacon). Turner claimed it plagiarised his work and, as a result, earned a credit on First Class.

Quentin Tarantino’s Luke Cage

Recently, Quentin Tarantino has been extremely outspoken about the MCU, but years ago, he was developing a Luke Cage movie starring Laurence Fishburne as the hot Harlem boy.

After Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino told MTV that he had considered making a Heroes for Hire film, but in his own words, “I ended up creating Pulp Fiction.” The fact that Tarantino added, “My feeling is if I wanted to do something like that, I’d want to invent the superhero myself,” may help to explain why he is so against the MCU.

Later, Columbia decided to make a Luke Cage movie, and Tyrese Gibson or Jamie Foxx may have been cast. We all know that Mike Colter portrayed Power Man in the egregiously brief Luke Cage series on Netflix.


It’s incredible that it took 40 years for the X-Dazzler Men’s to appear on film, and even then, it was only in a fleeting cameo in Dark Phoenix. Thanks to a cancelled 1980s film that was supposed to be a part of Dazzler’s cross-media creation, this almost didn’t happen.

Dazzler was created as a Grace Jones rip-off at first, but she was immediately transformed into a tribute to Bo Derek and released in 1980. Getting Derek herself to sign up for the movie was not difficult, but that is where everything went awry.

Despite the fact that she had become famous through her husband’s films, Derek’s insistence on hiring the extremely volatile John Derek reportedly sent investors screaming for the hills.

Universal’s Namor Movie

Despite the fact that Ryan Coogler originally planned for Namor from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to appear in a post-credit teaser for the 2018 film Black Panther, he chose to save him for the follow-up. After numerous legal disputes with Universal, Namor finally makes his long-awaited MCU debut.

As early as 1997, work on Namor: Sub-Mariner began at Marvel Studios, and in 2001, Namor was released by Universal. Chris Columbus from Home Alone was slated to helm the project at one point, it was stuck in an absurdly protracted production limbo, and MCU supremo Kevin Feige recently explained to IGN how Namor’s rights are “complex”

The rights are still tough today. Nate Moore, the producer of Wakanda Forever, told The Wrap that the MCU is still unable to proceed with a Namor standalone movie. Namor might be restricted to other people’s movies for the time being, similar to the complicated web of Hulk rights.

Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man

Directors have long advocated for Scott Lang to play Ant-Man in place of the “original” Hank Pym, even before Ant-Man first appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What happened to Edgar Wright’s movie that laid the groundwork for Paul Rudd’s hilarious Ant-Man that we currently know?

Wright shot and displayed a test reel for Comic-Con 2012 after working on Ant-Man for Artisan Entertainment from 2003 to 2012. The issue was a significant creative gap between Wright’s desire for a standalone and Feige’s desire for Ant-Man to integrate into the wider MCU.

Wright discussed his painful choice to quit Ant-Man with Variety in 2017 and said, “I wanted to do a Marvel movie, but I don’t think they truly wanted to make an Edgar Wright movie.” Fortunately, Wright soon began work on the critically praised Baby Driver.


When the MCU fails, it truly fails. ABC’s Inhumans was a dumpster fire that will go down in history as the worst of the worst (and make Iron Fist look like Avengers: Infinity War). With an Inhumans movie being developed to capitalise on the success of Fox’s X-Men as an ensemble, it was almost entirely different.

Vin Diesel was cast as Black Bolt in the Inhumans, which was revealed to be a part of the MCU’s Phase 3 schedule. Inhumans were revealed to be Chloe Bennet’s Skye Johnson in Season 2 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Feige stated they would “further refine and enhance what the Marvel Cinematic Universe is all about.”

Although the film was never abandoned, due to its indefinite postponement, ABC continued with its Inhumans television series without Diesel, Fiege, or much of a relationship to the main MCU. Diesel told that he was still hoping for an Inhumans film in 2020, but with Anson Mount playing Black Bolt once more in Multiverse of Madness, it appears that the saga is over for the time being.

Sinister Six Spin-Off

When it comes to Spider-Man stories that have already been done, Spider-Man 4 ranks right up there with Drew Goddard’s Sinister Six prequel to Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The spin-off was skillfully built up by the post-credits tease of “the Gentleman” approaching Dane DeHaan’s Green Goblin.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 teased Rhino, Vulture, Doc Ock, Mysterio, Kraven the Hunter, and perhaps Venom despite Goddard’s reservations about his cast. Amy Pascal wrote in an email that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man might show up in the movie, which was made public as a result of the Sony hack. Pascal informed Vanity Fair in 2018 that Goddard’s script would still be utilised.

The future of the Sinister Six is in doubt after Morbius appeared to maintain that narrative threat, No Way Home created its own Sinister Five out of earlier franchise villains, and Spider-Man: Homecoming hinted at its own lineup. It is past time for The Sinister Six to shine, but we’ll have to wait and see what the upcoming Tom Holland film has in store.

Silver Surfer: The Musical

An 1980s rock opera starring Norrin Radd was popular even before Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer rejected the idea of a Silver Surfer standalone. This Silver Surfer musical, which would have featured Olivia Newton-John from Grease and been scored by Paul McCartney, is unquestionably the craziest entry on the list.

Newton-John was connected to a role as a female Silver Surfer named Ardina thanks to Xanadu Executive Producer Lee Kramer’s involvement in Silver Surfer: The Musical. Journalist James H. Burns recalled his conversation with Kramer about the legendary show when speaking to CBR.
Kramer’s lofty goal of using “1,000 electric guitars” became synonymous with the entire project; he intended the music to be on par with 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Silver Surfer would be played by bodybuilder Frank Zane, according to an eBay ad for a poster featuring him. A comic novel created expressly for the film by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby was published, but as with most such endeavours, funding was unsuccessful.

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Being a binge-watcher himself, finding Content to write about comes naturally to Divesh. From Anime to Trending Netflix Series and Celebrity News, he covers every detail and always find the right sources for his research.

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