Imagine If, Black Panther, Release Date 1971

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.

Debuting the same year as Rise of the Silver Surfer, but coming out prior, Black Panther became a cult hit. Alan Alda had filmed a larger role, but when it appeared that Black Panther would premiere  before the rebooted F-4 film, it was trimmed to a cameo at the end.

Melvin-Jet1971Director Melvin Van Peebles was able to make the movie quickly, and cast himself as W’Kabi, T’Challa’s #2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

920x1240Taking on the role of Man-Ape was former NFL player Rosey Grier, who was perfect for the role at 6’5″.

 

 

 

 

FrankZappaWho better to play the Murderous Master of Sound, Ulysses Klaw, than Frank Zappa?

 

 

 

 

style-blogs-the-gq-eye-153583803As for the Black Panther, producers found a young actor whose voice projected all the authority they wanted from the figure, Morgan Freeman.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Imagine If: Cinematic Superhero Movies

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.

How would Hollywood and fandom have looked if movies had been released on this schedule? Unlike Hollywood, we made an active effort to not re-use actors for different roles.

  • 1943Superman, starring Gary Cooper
  • 1943- Batman, starring Robert Mitchum
  • 1945- Ingrid Bergman as Catwoman
  • 1946- Burt Lancaster as Captain America
  • 1946- Cary Grant is Steve Trevor and Esther Williams is Wonder Woman
  • 1950The Power of SHAZAM starring John Wayne
  • 1953- Robert Mitchum is Batman Forever up against Donald O’Conner, Dorothy Dandridge, Karl Malden,and Marilyn Monroe
  • 1963Lolita star Sue Lyon as Supergirl
  • 1964- Green Lantern starring Warren Beatty, Elizabeth Taylor, Anthony Quinn and Jimmy Stewart
  • 1964- James Garner in Superman Returns
  • 1964- Mitchum is back, this time with Davy Jones in Batman and Robin with Tuesday Weld as Batgirl
  • 1966- The Fantastic Four starring Paul Newman
  • 1967- Jack Lemmon is The Incredible Hulk
  • 1967- Kurt Russell stars as Spider-Man
  • 1967- Thor starring Jerry Lewis and Introducing Rutger Hauer
  • 1967- Dean Jones is Ant-Man
  • 1968- Yul Brynner leads the X-Men
  • 1968- Rock Hudson is Tony Stark, The Invincible Iron Man
  • 1969- The Avengers Assemble
  • 1969- Introducing Chuck Norris as Daredevil
  • 1970– Alan Arkin is Dr. Strange
  • 1970- Inhumans
  • 1971- Introducing Morgan Freeman as The Black Panther!
  • 1971- Alan Alda is Mr. Fantastic joined by Farrah Fawcett as Invisible Girl, Parker Stevenson as Johnny Storm, and Nick Nolte as Ben Grimm in Rise of the Silver Surfer
  • 1973- Robert Redford, Burt Reynolds, and Steve McQueen starring in Avengers: Age of Ultron with Charlton Heston
  • 1976- Swamp Thing with music by and starring Johnny Cash
  • 1976- Batman Begins with Ryan O’Neal
  • 1976- Man-Thing with Richard Dreyfus, Susan Sarandon, Kris Krsitofferson, and Jeff Bridges
  • 1977- James Caan is Jonah Hex
  • 1977- Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda on-screen again in Ghost Rider, starring Tom Laughlin
  • 1978- Bloodsuckers beware, because Jim Kelly is Blade!
  • 1979- Christopher Walken stars as Jigsaw in The Punisher
  • 1980– Robert DeNiro is Wolverine in All New X-Men
  • 1981- Yes, that is Eddie Murphy in Guardians of the Galaxy with Mr. T, Joe Pesci and Robert Duvall
  • 1982- Gene Simmons is Dr. Bong, Phoebe Cates is Beverly, and John Belushi is Howard the Duck
  • 1985- Rob Lowe, Kiefer Sutherland, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Brigitte Nielsen, and Blair Underwood are the Justice League
  • 1985- Tom Cruise, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Ricky Schroeder, Diane Lane, and Mitch Gaylord are X-Men: First Class
  • 1986- Elektra starring Demi Moore
  • 1987= Robert Englund is The Black King in The New Mutants
  • 1989- Sting is Constantine
  • 1989- James Cameron presents The Amazing Spider-Man starring Robert Downey Jr., Nicole Kidman, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
  • 1990– Of course William Shatner is starring in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, who else would play Eddie Murphy’s father?
  • 1991- Bruce Willis is the Comedian, Val Kilmer is Nite Owl, and they are the Watchmen
  • 1992- Robin Williams is the Joker in Suicide Squad, starring Oprah Winfrey, Winona Ryder, Kevin Bacon, Ice Cube, and Mel Gibson
  • 1993- Brendan Fraser is the Man of Steel
  • 1993- Alicia Silverstone, Robin Williams, Tom Hanks, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Depp and River Phoenix in The Killing Joke starring Nic Cage
  • 1996- Pauly Shore is Weasel in Deadpool. Jim Carey is Deadpool in Deadpool. And Brad Pitt has a part, so do Sylvester Stallone and Julia Roberts. And, there is Wolverine, buuuuuddddy!
  • 1997- BvS with Monica Bellucci as Wonder Woman
  • 1998- Will Smith is Steel
  • 1998- The Dark Knight Rises against Edward Norton as Bane
  • 2010– Armie Hammer faces off against Tom Hardy in Captain America: Winter Soldier
  • 2011- Thor:Ragnorak with Christian Bale as Hulk, Michael Fassbender as Thor, and Alan Cumming as Loki
  • 2016- Spider-Man: Homecoming brought Miles Morales to the screen

 

Imagine If, The Power of Shazam, Release Date 1950

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.

alg-ricky-david-nelson-jpgBilly Batson- Ricky Nelson (R)

Star of the popular Ozzie and Harriet series. His real-life brother David (L) would play the part of Freddy Freeman.

 

 

 

16ab2ac1fea98207f59c67e3c18e8800Mary Marvel- Natalie Wood

Young star in the making.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tawky Tawny (Voice)- Sterling Holloway

Prominent voice actor, he would later become best known as the voice of Winnie the Pooh.

 

Jack_Palance_-_1954Black Adam- Jack Palance

Film debut for the stage actor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a6bf99bc2030c8d5806d3a4b4b15ec12--john--john-wayneSHAZAM- John Wayne

Young Billy Batson transformed into the titular hero.

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine If, The New Mutants, Release Date 1987

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.

X-Men: First Class rejuvenated the franchise, and as in comics, New Mutants brought something new to the table.

Ed Harris reprises his role as Professor X, and Alyssa Milano appears in a couple scenes to tie it together, but this film, as the comic, was about the New Mutants. But, moving away from the Brat Pack drama of the First Class, this film was more of a horror film, catering to the rejuvenated interest in that genre.

kinopoisk.ruCannonball- Woody Harrelson

A bit old as an actor, yes, but did the charm thing well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

657f4656b35d79db00bb89032d5081a5Karma-Tia Carrere

An established actress, producers wanted someone who woudl be believeable as the leader of the team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

reise-zur-insel-der-geister-journey-to-spirit-island-tarek-mccarthy-D1Y412Psyche- Bettina Bush

Primarily a voice actress, but had some on-screen experience.

 

 

 

 

 

1485740426560Sunspot-Gerardo

Rico Suave indeed. Arrogant, handsome, and South American.

 

 

 

 

 

ok1a.jpgWolfsbane- Dervla Kerwin

Irish stage actress would be making her film debut.

 

 

 

 

 

115397.max-620x600Cypher- Corey Haim

Already a big star, producers were reluctant, but he nailed his audition, showing some of the depth he portrayed in Lucas.

 

 

 

 

 

And for the rivals, the Hellions, mentioned by name, paving the way for a sequel. Instead, the enemy in this was Demon Bear, with the Black King and Queen as antagonists.

1d8123bc34a4b215c9d38123f74d9574--robert-englund-actors-maleBlack King- Robert Englund

Freddy Krueger himself in a horror film.

 

 

 

 

 

8d6586c0829d77b384f65772aed2f258--kelly-brock-vogue-fashionBlack Queen- Kelly LeBrock

 

 

Imagine If: Captain America: Winter Solider, Release Date 2010

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 Winter Solider story arc brought back the one character who had stayed dead the longest in comics. Interest in the story, revitalized producers who green-lit a reboot to their cinematic universe.

1f1e31d1aac97c8d1aa67ab6f0276014--armand-hammer-beautiful-disasterSteve Rogers/ Captain America- Armie Hammer

Released the same year as The Social Network, this was the film that made him a star!

 

 

 

 

 

 

FWROBucky Barnes/ Winter Soldier- Tom Hardy

Hardy would also see a double release, with this and Inception bringing him more into the public eye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

johngoodmancoensNick Fury- John Goodman

CGI was used to show Goodman and Cap and Bucky in flashbacks in WWII.

 

 

 

terry-crews-feature-0215Falcon- Terry Crews

Often known for comedic roles, his muscles were nothing to laugh at.

 

 

 

elenasatine-450x270Black Widow- Elena Satine

An actual redheaded Russian.

 

 

 

 

Imagine If: Ghost Rider, Release Date 1977

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.

In an era of cult characters, Ghost Rider rode to the top of popularity. Producers had never really considered a solo title until movie maverick Tom Laughlin approached them with his take on the character. Laughlin, of course, is Billy Jack, ass-kicking man of peace. Laughlin purchased the rights to the property, promised a share of profits, but demanded to answer to no one, and make the film his own way.

2f1f32a3d4cb6dee47b183e8b3fafb16--jack-movie-tv-movieJohnny Blaze/ Ghost Rider- Tom Laughlin

Roxanne Simpson- Delores Taylor

Laughlin’s wife, and co-star.

 

 

 

 

 

 

the-hired-hand-peter-fonda-1Phantom Rider/ Carter Slade- Peter Fonda

 

 

 

american-friend-the-1977-002-dennis-hopper-close-upMephisto- Dennis Hopper

 

 

Imagine If: Dr. Strange, Release Date 1970

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.

1970 was an interesting time in Hollywood, and Dr. Strange was an interesting title. Altman and Kubrick were doing fascinating things as directors, and producers wanted to make a movie worthy of the subject matter.

primary_EB19670409PEOPLE704090301ARDr. Strange- Alan Arkin

Intense, quirky, counterculture, and a critically acclaimed.

 

 

Photos of Donald Sutherland and His Family in 1970 by Co Rentmeester (1)

 

Baron Mordo- Donald Sutherland

As intense and quirky and counterculture as any actor working at the time.

 

 

 

Burt Kwouk 'The Saint' (1968) 6.8Wong- Burt Kwouk

He was not as well-known as he would be in some alternate universe where he portrayed Cato in the Pink Panther films, but had made one appearance, and Arkin of course had portrayed the bumbling Inspector in a different film.

 

 

 

Keye_Luke_Master_Po_Kung_FuThe Ancient One- Keye Luke

Well known Chinese-American actor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine If, Justice League, Release Date 1985

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 last Batman franchise was started in 1976. Producers now wanted to expand their cinematic universe. The core premise would be the established Batman mentoring and bringing together a group of young heroes to deal with a threat he alone could not handle.

Batman and Alfred remain the same (O’Neal and Sir Ralph), Tatum did not make an appearance as Batgirl, although there was a rumor her scenes were cut.

Producers really embraced the young hero role, making this a Brat Pack supers film.

Superman- Rob Lowe

He was a Tiger Beat level pinup star and had blue eyes.

Wonder Woman- Brigitte Nielsen

She impressed producers with her size and her fluency in 5 languages.

Aquaman- Kiefer Sutherland

Acting royalty, this would be a huge role for him.

Cyborg- Blair Underwood

Krush Groove would be released the same year.

Flash- Emilio Estevez

Like Kiefer, also acting royalty, and as much as he would be remembered for The Breakfast Club, cult fans would always recall him from Repo Man.

Mera- Paulina Porzikova

Unsubtly, she was best known for her swimsuit appearances.

Lois Lane- Ally Sheedy

Before her breakout role with Emilio in The Breakfast Club, best known for War Games and Oxford Blues.

Hippolyta- Sigourney Weaver

Tall and bad-ass!

Lex Luthor- John Malkovich

A very serious stage actor making the transition to film, producers kept him sequestered from the rest of the cast, wanting them to fear the actor and the role.

Steppenwolf- Mickey Rourke

Rourke oozed charisma, and producers wanted an actor who could carry the role of a lesser-known villain.

 

 

Imagine If: X-Men: First Class, Release Date 1985

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.

This one is a slight cheat, as the year should be 1983, but producers found someone they really wanted for one of the roles, but the individual had Olympic commitments. As luck would have it, this delay was an incredible blessing as The Brat Pack era of films post Fats Times was in the early stages, and this soft re-boot, focusing on school life for the mutants was a great way to get movie-goers to buy-in. It was superheroes meets teenage hi-jinx and angst.

4e9aa8f2d617182c2c9f0b3920b58385Cyclops- Tom Cruise

Arrogant, cocky, and unlikable. Cruise could do all these things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSDSICA EC001

Jean Grey- Molly Ringwald

Already a Hughes-star, the redhead was perfect for Jean Grey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3d0c92979cc95ef44740053992a64704--olympic-gymnastics-olympic-gamesBeast- Mitch Gaylord

Starting in 1981, producers searched long and hard for a Hank McCoy, they wanted someone who could be acrobatic. Gold medal winning Olympian Gaylord was perfect!

 

 

 

 

 

ab883fcdf2dfe35b2968661949b110bb--ricky-schroder-pinup-postersIce Man- Ricky Schroeder

Already a Golden Globe winner, Schroeder was a TV star at the time and played the part of the prankster Ice Man.

 

 

 

 

 

 

01629d8660bc613086a8b19fd8f0627f--judd-nelson-the-breakfast-clubAngel- Judd Nelson

The part of ultra-wealthy mutant was taken on by prep school alum Judd Nelson, who brought a new dimension to the character.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ee83728f4ca7cb4e136f91b82d3d73d6Mystique- Diane Lane

Producers wanted another female student, and also wanted to bring some of that school tension. Lane has flirted with stardom, and embraced the role of bad girl.

 

 

 

 

 

10810790534_67e4a432d9_bProfessor X- Ed Harris

Producers saw in him the right stuff for the role. Bah dum tish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rebecca De Morney 00001Emma Frost- Rebecca DeMornay

She had already co-starred with Cruise in Risky Business as an older woman with sex appeal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

17134 014

Magneto- Christopher Lambert

Lambert had starred in Greystoke and caught the producers’ eyes for his intensity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the first post-credit scene…

A young, new student shows up at the school ready to begin her studies.

alyssa-milano-commandoKitty Pryde- Alyssa Milano

When First Class released, Milano was on TV on Who’s The Boss and the silver screen in Commando.

 

 

 

In the second post-credits scene, Yul Brynner appeared, setting up all sorts of time travel wonkery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine If: Steel, Release Date 1998

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.

1997 saw Superman die on-screen, facing off against Doomsday. 1998 saw the introduction of Steel, carrying on the Man of Steel’s mantle.

2a4f7eb6cfb46411f3aa6e50ddb72eb9Steel- Will Smith

Producers considered someone physically bigger, but there were few bigger stars in terms of star power.

 

 

 

 

Louis+Gossett+Jr+Nichelle+Nichols+59th+Annual+8uIvFNbod7LlButter and Bess- Louis Gossett Jr. and Nichelle Nichols

John Henry Irons’ grandparents needed to be icons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MV5BMTkzODQ4NzU1N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTUzMzc5Mg@@._V1_UY1200_CR127,0,630,1200_AL_Manuel Cabral/ Hazard- Benico Del Toro

The enigmatic Fenster from The Usual Suspects was now in Hollywood’s eye, this was his first big budget film role.