Imagine If: Elektra, Release Date 1986

Imagine if Hollywood had released tent-pole comic-book movies starring their iconic characters around the time of the source material’s release date. For the purposes of this experiment, we will say that a movie would be released 5 years after the introduction of the character, and only movies that have been made would be made.

Daredevil was a one and done. When Frank Miller reinvigorated interest in the character by taking over as writer and artists, producers wanted to head back to the well.

chuck norris delta force 1986 aviator sunglassesChuck Norris was still kicking ass in 1986, and donned the red tights once again.

The fact that the actor insisted on keeping some facial hair, which did not work well with the cowl might have been the first clue things were not going to go well.

 

 

 

MSDWISD EC001Elektra-Demi Moore

She was red-hot in 1986, and actually of Greek descent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you needed a villain in 1986, rather if you ask someone to remember a villain from the 80s, they might very well turn to…. The Best Around!

portland-press-herald_3730050Bullseye-William Zabka

 

 

 

 

 

 

df7c8a19c94ac85c06f207e19d772e7f--movie-characters-famous-facesStick-Willem Dafoe

In the same year, Dafoe would star in Platoon, bringing him much more attention and acclaim, but he brought intensity and humor to the role of Daredevil’s blind mentor.

 

 

 

 

 

5c46f0f14db02bbe29eceeb0341e2c5e--sharon-stone-s-style.jpgTyphoid Mary-Sharon Stone

Before her big breakout (Total Recall), Stone had been cast by producers in hopes of making her the next big thing. She brought the sexy and high-energy to the role.

 

 

 

 

JetLi018_c2cb91486a737af86ec8ac330e06449cKirigi-Jet Li

When reviews rolled in (and they were not good), Stone was noticed by critics, as was the young martial artist Jet Li.

 

 

Imagine If, Batman Begins, Release Date 1976

Imagine if Hollywood had released tent-pole comic-book movies starring their iconic characters around the time of the source material’s release date. For the purposes of this experiment, we will say that a movie would be released 5 years after the introduction of the character, and only movies that have been made would be made.

12 years had passed since Batman & Robin. It was indeed a film of the time, but the 70s heralded some filmmakers pushing Holywood’s buttons in ways never pushed before. With these Easy Riders and Raging Bulls leading the way, producers felt like they were ready to reinvigorate Batman, bring him darker.

They had good intentions, but were unable to let a director and screenwriter have complete creative control. Ultimately, they made some inspired casting choices, but the overall product brought with it too much baggage.

Ryan_Oneal_-_1968Batman-Ryan O’Neal

He was the male star of the 1970s, who could lead a romantic film and drama.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3af7f2c1ebf8f9f4e6b41bedd01ee587Alfred-Sir Ralph Richardson

One of the most distinguished actors of all-time!

 

 

 

 

 

jaws1Jim Gordon-Roy Scheider

One of the decade’s favorite supporting men/ everymen.

 

 

 

5d1fccb6ff8c665cc1b8d4e8aca6d157--toshiro-mifune-japanese-culture.jpgRa’s al Ghul (false)-Toshiro Mifune

Toshiro Mifune was incredibly significant as an acting icon, and had second-billing, all in an attempt to mislead the public.

 

 

 

 

 

Omar Sharif captain nemoHenri Ducard/ Ra’s al Ghul-Omar Sharif

Picking up the & credit, Sharif’s role was as a wise, kindly associate of Brice Wayne’s. Only in the final Act, is his true identity revealed.

 

 

6a00e54ecca8b9883301901bd15ff8970b.jpgTalia al Ghul-Cher

Bruce Wayne +Batman’s love interest, introduced as the daughter of Henri Ducard, Cher was a big star, but not for any of the right reasons, but producers saw within her an ability to act. She did not disappoint, picking up several award nominations.

 

 

 

dc-in-tseScarecrow-David Carradine

Trained dancer, film and TV star, Carradine brought some of his patented charisma to the role.

 

 

d22b072d4841eafcaaad29046ed28a0a--baseball-movies-bad-newsBarbara Gordon-Tatum O’Neal

Already an Oscar winner and movie star in her own right, producers threw an Easter Egg in introducing Babs, setting the stage for her introduction later as Batgirl.

 

Imagine If: Avengers, Age of Ultron, Release Date 1973

Imagine if Hollywood had released tent-pole comic-book movies starring their iconic characters around the time of the source material’s release date. For the purposes of this experiment, we will say that a movie would be released 5 years after the introduction of the character, and only movies that have been made would be made.

The first Avengers film made money, but the egos, and actors proved to be too much. The 1970s brought us large ensemble disaster films, and Marvel wanted to reignite the franchise with new blood, and new stars!

51da947e7fcf2db19e20292575ad8aaeCaptain America-Robert Redford

One of the biggest stars of the day!

 

 

 

 

 

02-hauer-turkishdelightThor-Rutger Hauer

He was just coming into his own, and producers couldn’t find anyone they liked better at all.

 

 

 

6804979.jpgHulk-John Cazale

Best known as Fredo Corleone, he epitomized pent-up rage.

 

 

 

 

shamus-burt-reynolds-1973-everettIron Man-Burt Reynolds

Arrogant? Charming? Mustache?

 

 

 

 

 

 

peter-sellers-ekland-photoHenry Pym- Peter Sellers

For the complicated, tortured genius, they went with a complicated, tortured genius.

Wasp-Britt Ekland

 

 

220px-Steve_McQueen_cropHawkeye-Steve McQueen

One of the biggest movie stars who shone bright even standing in the background.

 

 

 

 

$(KGrHqRHJCoE9rehwC7sBPio!vbrLw~~60_35Quicksilver-Alain Delon

French heart-throb who hadn’t had the big Hollywood role everyone wanted.

 

 

 

 

68119.jpgScarlet Witch-Claudia Cardinale

International sex symbol.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holder-Geoffrey-ADV-OBIT-slide-JPDN-videoSixteenByNine1050Black Panther-Geoffrey Holder

6’6″, very distinctive voice, also starring in Bond film the same year.

 

 

 

-amazing-facts-about-true-lies

Nick Fury-Charton Heston

The man who would bring them all together, having as strong a career as ever.

Voice of Ultron-Clint Eastwood

Did the Avengers feel lucky?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine If: Batman and Robin, Release Date 1964

Imagine if Hollywood had released tent-pole comic-book movies starring their iconic characters around the time of the source material’s release date. For the purposes of this experiment, we will say that a movie would be released 5 years after the introduction of the character, and only movies that have been made would be made.

The Bat-franchise was struggling, Mitchum was happy to collect his paychecks, and his acting style had worked for a gritty performance, as producers threw everything at the franchise at an attempt to…. truthfully, no one is really sure what producers were trying to do, there were so many cooks in the kitchen.

Mitchum still donned the cowl, but his aloof nature and disdain for the material was quite evident.

2de0e94c1a379c0049ca6637b3a4bc6f--artful-dodger-school-picsRobin-Davy Jones

Hot off a Tony nomination for Oliver, Jones was a peculiar choice, mainly due to his English accent. Producers explained it away with batman having had a mod adventure in England and meeting young Dick Grayson.

 

 

 

PCDTUWE EC001Batgirl-Tuesday Weld

Producers wanted Batgirl to serve many roles, drawing in female viewers with a strong female character, and providing a cute foil for Robin. Unfortunately, Weld only had eyes for older men.

 

 

 

!C!3D8v!!mk~$(KGrHqN,!i0E0GwGU4)oBNE4OuztDw~~0_35Mr. Zero-Lionel Jeffries

Bald and English, he fit the theme of having Robin be a young street urchin.

 

 

 

 

 

MV5BODY0NTgzMTE4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzUxNTgzNA@@._V1_Nora Fries-Honor Blackman

Mod in The Avengers and Pussy Galore in a Bond film released the same year, Blackman was shown in flashbacks, but was Mr. Zero’s reason for villainy.

The film had a groovy soundtrack, the costumes and clothing was brightly colored, and although it made money, producers were willing to admit that maybe it just didn’t work that well. It has since become a cult favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine If: Deadpool, Release Date 1996

 

Imagine if Hollywood had released tent-pole comic-book movies starring their iconic characters around the time of the source material’s release date. For the purposes of this experiment, we will say that a movie would be released 5 years after the introduction of the character, and only movies that have been made would be made.

jim-carrey-cable-guy-1996-movie-photo-GCDeadpool-Jim Carrey

He might be best known as a comedic actor, but his first significant big-screen role was, appropriately enough, in the Dirty Harry The Dead Pool film. Carrey even convinced producers to secure the rights to “Welcome to the Jungle” for Deadpool. He might have started as a comedian, but his commitment to method saw him putting on significant bulk and muscle for his wole as Wade Wilson. Silly Wabbit. Plus, he was a huge movie star in 1996.

 

009-brad-pitt-theredlistCable-Brad Pitt

Pitt was hot after Seven and 12 Monkeys, he could play it straight, or looney, the type of range required for Cable.

 

 

 

 

PaulyShore2-300x257Weasel-Pauly Shore

Paying homage to Deadpool’s tendency to break the 4th wall, producers went for it “If you need someone to play Weasel, why not The Weasel…. Buddy?” Even more, they gave Pauly total freedom when it came to his character, letting him write his own dialogue, telling him they wanted Weasel to be The Weasel.

julia-roberts_1996Copycat-Julia Roberts

Producers were not only able to convince Roberts to take on the role of Copycat, the role was designed to pay homage to Pretty Woman, with Orbison’s classic song featured, as well as a scene where Wade gives his beloved a necklace but snaps the case closed on her.

 

 

 

 

080413sly_autos.pngAjax-Sylvester Stallone

Almost 20 years after expressing interest in the actor, Stallone finally found a role he couldn’t let go, villainous, wisecracking merc Ajax. Trailers had Deadpool calling him Sly, and quoting from the Rocky franchise.

 

 

 

 

fear-movie-stills-mark-wahlberg-24894184-1000-1500Wolverine-Mark Wahlberg

Producers also used Deadpool as a back-door introduction to their new Wolverine in a cameo appearance, Mark Wahlberg. DeNiro was reportedly uninterested in continuing in the role after 16 years.

 

Imagine If: Man of Steel, Release Date 1993

timecoversupermanat50800It had been 50 years since the first Superman movie. The franchise had not rebooted, chugging forward, but recasting Superman to keep him from aging as quickly. James Garner had a nice run, but in celebration, producers wanted a full reboot, piggybacking on John Byrne’s Man of Steel series from 1986, they would re-tell the origin story and reintroduce the latest version of the character to new audiences!

Of course, this meant coming up with a whole cast of characters.

 

 

brendan-fraser-younger-and-younger-1993-BPEBYHClark Kent/ Superman-Brendan Fraser

6’3″, can be goofy and buff, producers feel like they had their next franchise Superman.

 

 

 

df8f5f8370cc36d0c1e96c0abfc0ec9dLex Luthor-Billy Zane

Producers brought in Eric Stoltz as they initially wanted to embrace Byrne’s vision of Superman in long red locks, but the iconic image of Luthor is bald, so the role went to Billy Zane, who also had a BTTF connection.

 

 

 

 

 

berry-halle-photo-halle-berry-6221630Lois Lane-Halle Berry

Hot off her breakthrough role in Boomerang, producers cast Berry as the plucky reporter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSDWRER EC001Martha Kent-Shirley Maclaine

Decorated, veteran actress, producers liked that she had a slight humorous edge to her, wanting make Ma Kent be the goofy side of Clark.

 

MSDUNFO EC021Pa Kent-Gene Hackman

Think not only of his Oscar-winning and nominated performances as a bad-ass, think also of his humanity as the coach in Hoosiers.

 

sean_conneryJor-El-Sean Connery

If a film needed gravitas, one line of thinking was cast Connery.

 

 

 

jack-nicholson-1993-by-michael-tigheZod-Jack Nicholson

Terrifying and malevolent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSDSLIV EC004Ursa-Sharon Stone

Sexy and confident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

500full.pngNon-Dolph Lundgren

6’5″ Kryptonian of few words.

 

 

 

 

james_woods-gtPerry White-James Woods

Veteran actor who tends to make any role memorable.

 

 

 

 

 

matt_damon_fotor.jpegJimmy Olsen-Matt Damon

Producers considered Pauly Shore, Fraser’s co-star from Encino Man, but thankfully went with another co-star.

 

 

 

 

 

imgJenny Mccarthy1Matrix-Jenny McCarthy

Producers wanted to introduce this new “Supergirl” as she was in the comics, as having a connection to Luthor. They considered Pam Anderson, but settled for another Playboy star, this one having tons of brassy personality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMAGINE IF: Spider-Man: Homecoming, Release Date 2016

Imagine if Hollywood had released tent-pole comic-book movies starring their iconic characters around the time of the source material’s release date. For the purposes of this experiment, we will say that a movie would be released 5 years after the introduction of the character, and only movies that have been made would be made.

The Spider-Man film franchise is closing in on 50 years, and we have seen two actors portray the titular character. RDJ is no longer the sassy young man he once was, and since the Cameron-derived Spider-franchise only lasted for two films (many claim the adult tone and nature of the first, while generating record box office, did not help the franchise find new sequel legs), the franchise was once again in limbo. Marvel, and Producers privately toyed with the idea of a reboot, but since the comics had not rebooted, they did not want to go this route. Thank goodness for the Ultimate universe, and specifically, Brian-Michael Bendis who created Miles Morales. Instead of negating all the films that came before, Marvel would be be able to continue to tell stories in comic-time, as opposed to regular time. In comic-time, Peter Parker might be approaching his mid-30s now, and producers did consider having the always chipper RDJ don the tights again, after a 20 year hiatus. But, now, they didn’t have to. They could continue to advance their timeline, introducing not only a new Spider-Man, but villains and supporting characters who had not been seen in the franchise without ignoring anything from any of the prior films. Producers were certain they wanted the franchise to be solidly PG again, both in terms of tone and content.

c977ac76ef590ffa8f047827fd8ed478Miles Morales/ Spider-Man-Roshon Fegan

Believe it or not he is 25!

 

 

 

 

 

jennifer-lopez-122915Rio Morales-JLo

Miles’ mother.

 

 

 

0117-GQ-FEOS03-Mahershala-Ali-02Jefferson Davis-Mahershala Ali

Miles’ dad.

 

 

 

img_about_indexGanke Lee-Bobby Lee

Yes, he is very old for the part, but producers thought the role needn’t necessarily be young, and loved his comic timing. And he was of Korean descent.

 

 

10Morlun-Colin Farrell

Producers thought he could pull off the long hair and the warmth and menace needed for the part.

 

 

 

 

320add17807f3c939d57369f65c778e1Madame Web-Meryl Streep

Why not?

 

 

 

 

 

0328-chloe-grace-moretz-tmz-3

Spider-Gwen-Chloe Grace Moretz

Fearless, unafraid to do action, and with plenty of sass.

 

 

 

indexVulture-Woody Harrelson

Producers had something else in mind, but Harrelson once again surprised everyone with his audition and nailed the part.

 

 

 

seth-rogen-steve-jobsElectro-Seth Rogen

Rogen made his pitch, and producers liked what he was selling. Electro should be an everyman, working on a power line.

 

 

Will-ArnettMysterio-Will Arnett

Likely cashing in on his distinctive voice, and with his previous experience with ILLUSIONS, Arnett had no issue wearing a fish bowl filled with smoke on his head.

 

 

Jeffrey WrightChameleon-Jeffrey Wright

Wright showed up to the audition and wowed producers with his own chameleon-like ability to morph into various ages, ethnicities, accents, and dialects.

 

 

 

 

Superstar-Category_Superstar_562x408_cesaroRhino-Cesaro

WWE wrestler, incredibly strong, fluent in several languages.

 

 

 

4b8d61e35d08b308fd673e8a04e14778Kangaroo-Hugh Jackman

Rounding out the sinister six, the multi-talented Aussie made his case to producers by explaining that dancing is jumping and if they wanted a jumping supervillain, they best have someone who knows how to move.

 

 

 

In a post-credits scene…

Sajal20Ali202020-85-1442253324Kamala Khan-Sajal Ali

Young Pakistani actress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rico_Rodriguez_at_2015_PaleyFestGoldballs-Rico Rodriguez

Star of the small-screen.

 

 

Imagine If: Batman Forever, Release Date 1953

Imagine if Hollywood had released tent-pole comic-book movies starring their iconic characters around the time of the source material’s release date. For the purposes of this experiment, we will say that a movie would be released 5 years after the introduction of the character, and only movies that have been made would be made.

Ten years after Batman, the franchise was still going strong. For the third film in the franchise, Mitchum still donned the cowl, but Dickie Jones, 27 years old, would don the peter pan booties for the last time as Robin.

As much as anything, the franchise was an excuse for the villains to be showcased.

MCDILOV EC013The Riddler-Donald O’Connor

Producers developed a high-energy song and dance number to showcase O’Connor’s talents.

 

 

 

 

 

d69cbdf40f1b8e17d1ab73baff43945bTwo-Face-Karl Malden

Celebrated everyman actor brought depth to the role as Harvey Dent, and surprised audiences with his darker side as Two-Face.

 

 

Looking to bring some sex appeal, producers insisted on some eye candy, and writers developed the characters of Sugar and Spice, assistants to Two-Face.

Dorothy Dandridge 1953 On the set of Bright Road copySugar-Dorothy Dandridge

She would be the first African-American actress nominated for a Leading Actress Oscar the following year, but memorably played the role of goody-two-shoes Sugar here.

 

 

 

 

CKS_1031_0001Spice-Marilyn Monroe

Playing the naughtier, but just as sexy role of spice was the quintessential bombshell herself.

Imagine If: Avengers, Release Date 1968

Imagine if Hollywood had released tent-pole comic-book movies starring their iconic characters around the time of the source material’s release date. For the purposes of this experiment, we will say that a movie would be released 5 years after the introduction of the character, and only movies that have been made would be made.

With Ant-Man having been released, the pieces were in place for a full-blown Avengers film! Returning cast members included:

the-swimmer-1968-e1324749503445Rock Hudson as Iron Man, Jack Lemmon as the Hulk, Rutger Hauer as Thor, Jerry Lewis as Loki, and in the most shocking of developments, 56 year old Burt Lancaster as Captain America (see right).

With this much star power, there was no way the film could fail, right?

What started as curious casting choices, and with so many Huge Hollywood egos on display, the film was successful, but producers quietly decided that this would be the one and only film in the franchise with this cast.

 

Imagine If: Superman Returns, 1964

Imagine if Hollywood had released tent-pole comic-book movies starring their iconic characters around the time of the source material’s release date. For the purposes of this experiment, we will say that a movie would be released 5 years after the introduction of the character, and only movies that have been made would be made.

James Garner circa 1965 **J.S.C.1963 saw Supergirl open to moderate success, but with the teaser of Superman at the end of the film, fans were hoping for the return of the Man of Steel to cinemas, and they would not be disappointed.

Wanting to not have to reboot, producers kept Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, and Lex Luthor played by the same actors, but original Lois Lane was approaching her mid-40s, so they brought in Lana Lang.

Superman-James Garner

 

Actress Tina LouiseLana Lang-Tina Louise

The redheaded Golden Globe winner was committed to some ridiculous show about castaways stuck on an island, and although sexy, she was not seen as too young for Garner’s Superman/ Clark Kent.

 

 

 

Annex - Sharif, Omar (Fall of the Roman Empire, The)_01Zod-Omar Sharif

Hollywood wanted more after his appearance in Lawrence of Arabia.

 

 

 

 

the-collector-terence-stamp-1965Brainiac-Terence Stamp

Billy Budd brought him to the attention of Hollywood, and producers wanted more than one villain for Superman to face off against.