11 More Superhero Movies That Almost Happened

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Before Tim Story was involved, a number of different filmmakers were approached to bring Marvel’s first family to the big screen, but none of them had as interesting a pitch as director Peyton Reed (who now is directing Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man) which was “A Hard Day’s Night” but with superheroes.

Screenwriter Doug Petrie spoke with MTV about the film, saying it began with the team already established as heroes with powers.

“They’re the biggest celebrities in New York City. To the world outside, they are the world’s coolest superheroes. [But] when they get home, they just fight with each other about everything. They order pizzas and argue about who gets the better costumes and stuff like that. It’s a family comedy when they get behind closed doors.”

Petrie also spoke about who he would have been interested in casting for the film, including Alexis Denisof (“Angel”) as Reed Richards, Charlize Theron as Sue Storm, John C. Reilly as the voice of Ben Grimm, Paul Walker as Johnny Storm, and Jude Law as Doctor Doom. He also explained they wanted the poster for the film to be a live-action recreation of the first issue of the series.

“The big debate between everybody was giant monster or no giant monster,” Petrie said of the flick’s proposed opening scene. “I wanted the poster for the movie to be the cover for the first issue, where basically you do a live-action version of a giant monster ripping through Fifth Avenue and Fantastic Four kicking its ass. For budget reasons, it went to something else, but it’s still a giant opening scene. It’s ‘A Hard Days Night.’ It’s everybody going to watch the Beatles.”

At one point, the film was even going to be a throwback to the original comics and be set during the 1960s, though this was eventually thrown out.

“The things that make Fantastic Four different than other characters in the Marvel Universe is that idea that they’re daytime superheroes,” Reed told AICN. “There are no secret identities, and they’re part of the cultural landscape of New York and L.A. But we didn’t want to make a movie that was *all* about that. The trick with these movies, too, is that you’re working from forty years of source material, and it’s really kind of distilling down the heart and soul of what the movie is, so it’s satisfying as an origin story, but also it stands on its own as a movie. *And* the fact that all the things that made the comic so innovative in the early-60’s – that made it so different – all of those things have become cliches now. So you can’t always rely on those things.”

Reed eventually departed the project due to creative differences.

A fan favorite animated series was almost a live action film. Check it out on Page 7!