14 Canceled Marvel Movies And TV Shows That Would've Been Amazing, And Why They Were Axed

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is so expansive that it almost feels like the studio will greenlight anything. Add in the non-MCU Marvel movies and Sony's Spider-Man Universe, and it's hard to believe the production studios pass on anything.

Marvel / Via giphy.com

However, a lot of amazing-sounding projects get canceled before they can make it to our screens.

Marvel / Disney+ / Via giphy.com

Here are 14 Marvel movies and TV shows that we almost got:

1.In 2010, Marvel announced that the Tobey Maguire–led Spider-Man trilogy would be getting a Spider-Man 4.

holding his Spidey suit out in from of him, Peter gazes at it
Sony Pictures / ©Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

However, right before production was set to begin, the crew received an email saying that they were pushing back shooting because "[director] Sam Raimi has story issues [that] need to be resolved before we are ready."

Raimi speaks on a panel at Comic-Con

After cycling through several screenwriters, Raimi was waiting on a new draft of the script from Alvin Sargent, who wrote Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2.

They also initially wanted Anne Hathaway to join the cast, but her rate was allegedly too high for the studio to afford.

Michael Kovac / Via Getty

Eventually, Raimi decided that he couldn't both meet the studio's deadline for a summer release and maintain creative integrity, so he pulled out of the franchise.

Raimi talks with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst onset
Columbia Pictures / ©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Rather than replace Raimi with a new director, the studio decided to cancel Spider-Man 4 and move forward with a reboot (The Amazing Spider-Man).

Peter stands in his Spidey suit, unmasked

2.In 2014, Andrew Garfield and Sony's then-CEO Kaz Hirai were set to announce The Amazing Spider-Man 3's 2016 release at a Sony gala in Rio de Janeiro.

Sony / Via giphy.com

However, Garfield got to Brazil late and wasn't feeling very well, so he unfortunately had to back out only a few hours before the event.

  Kristin Callahan/Sony/Everett Collection
Kristin Callahan/Sony/Everett Collection

The big presentation had to be changed pretty significantly, and — as the 2014 Sony email leak later revealed — the Sony execs were so upset that they fired Garfield and canned the project.

  Kristin Callahan/Sony/Everett Collection
Kristin Callahan/Sony/Everett Collection

Then, Sony decided to negotiate with Marvel to get Spider-Man into the MCU.

Marvel Studios / Via giphy.com

3.After the finale of the animated series What If...? on Disney+, director Bryan Andrews revealed that Marvel planned to make a spinoff starring the Star-Lord version of T'Challa.

on the verge of escape from the Collector, T'Challa looks up to the stars for a solution
Marvel Studios / Via Disney+

Sadly, Chadwick Boseman, who voiced his Black Panther character in the series, died a few months after recording his final lines.

on the red carpet at the "Black Panther" premiere, Boseman does the "Wakanda Forever" pose

Andrews isn't sure if Boseman knew about the plans for a spinoff, but he knows "he would have loved it, too."

in the glowy bar light, T'Challa smiles at Nebula
Marvel Studios / Via Disney+

4.In 2004, Lionsgate reportedly made a deal with Marvel to make a Black Widow movie, and X-Men screenwriter David Hayter was set to write and direct it.

wearing her signature outfit, Natasha lands a fighting pose

However, in 2006, Lionsgate pulled out of the project, citing the box office failure of female-led action movies like Aeon Flux and Ultraviolet.

Hayter told IGN,

Six years later, Natasha Romanoff made her MCU debut in Iron Man 2, but Hayter's version of her solo film never saw the light of day.

Marvel Studios / Via giphy.com

Marvel released Black Widow, directed by Cate Shortland and written by Eric Pearson, in 2021.

5.That's not the only time Marvel decided to replace a writer who'd spent years on a screenplay. In 2003, screenwriter and director Edgar Wright cowrote an Ant-Man treatment.

wearing a bold suit, the curly-haired director poses on the red carpet
Joseph Okpako / WireImage / Via Getty

For over a decade of production delays, he continuously delivered rewrite after rewrite.

  Frazer Harrison / WireImage / Via Getty
Frazer Harrison / WireImage / Via Getty

Then, in 2014, Marvel Studios commissioned a brand-new draft of the script from a different writer without Wright's input.

Marvel Studios / Via giphy.com

Two months before production began, he formally resigned from the project. Ant-Man, directed by Peyton Reed, was released in 2015.

with his Ant-Man suit hanging from the shower rod, Scott Lang looks carefully over his shoulder

6.In 2015, Marvel announced Damage Control, an ABC sitcom about the team in charge of cleaning up the destruction the heroes leave behind.

the workers survey the Chitauri destruction after the Battle of New York

The show was developed by Ben Karlin, who executive produced The Daily Show.

Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

The Department of Damage Control — "a joint venture between Stark Industries and the federal government" — was introduced in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

the department head lets the salvagers know that all post-battle cleanup operations are now under her jurisdiction
Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

However, in 2019, Marvel Television was folded into the larger Marvel Studios group, and development on the show was canceled.

a news story about the new department plays on an old TV
Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

7.In 2014, Channing Tatum was set to star in a standalone X-Men spinoff, Gambit.

dressed casually in an open blazer, t-shirt, and jeans, Tatum leans against the arm of his chair on a talk show
Randy Holmes / ABC via Getty Images

He also wanted to codirect the movie with Reid Carolin, his producing partner, but the studio "wanted anybody but [them], essentially, because [they] had never directed anything."

Tatum and Carolin pose with their arms around each other on the red carpet
Jb Lacroix / WireImage / Via Getty

After Disney and Fox merged in 2019, the project was canceled — leaving Tatum feeling so "traumatized" that he stopped watching Marvel movies altogether.

National Geographic Channel / Via giphy.com

He told Variety, "I loved that character. It was just too sad. It was like losing a friend because I was so ready to play him."

8.Initially, Marvel planned to follow up 2008's The Incredible Hulk with a sequel starring Edward Norton.

mouth agape, Bruce stares at what's before him

However, during the first movie's editing stage, Norton and the studio butted heads, and most of Bruce Banner's character development ended up on the cutting room floor.

sitting at a lab table in a university classroom, Bruce carefully does an experiment
Universal / ©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

In 2010, Marvel and Norton officially parted ways, and he was replaced by Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers.

on the helicarrier, Bruce talks with his new teammates

Additionally, when Disney purchased Marvel Studios in 2009, another Hulk solo film became an impossibility because Universal owns the distribution rights.

Walt Disney Co. / ©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

9.Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn pitched a spinoff movie starring Dave Bautista and Pom Klementieff as Drax and Mantis.

Drax and Mantis laugh and point at Star Lord
Walt Disney Co. / ©Walt Disney Co./courtesy Everett / Everett Collection

Bautista told Digital Spy, "He laid it out to me. I thought it was such a brilliant idea, but I haven't heard any follow-up from the studio."

smiling wide, Gunn and Bautista pose together in a busy terminal

He continued, "I don't think they're very interested, or it doesn't fit into the way they have things mapped out. But other than that, no. I mean, as far as my obligations, I've got Guardians 3, and that's probably going to be the end of Drax."

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

He also said that, if Disney+ offered him a Drax series, he wouldn't do it because it would be a "makeup nightmare."

standing strong, Drax is scanned for his prison intake
Walt Disney Co. / ©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

10.In 2011, Marvel Television announced its plan to create a Mockingbird series, which would follow Bobbi Morse's Hannah Montana–style double life as a nerdy college student by day and S.H.I.E.L.D. superspy by night.

baton in hand, Bobbi pauses in the hallway, listening for danger

It was described as "Alias meets Felicity."

Kelsey Mcneal / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

The series remained in development until an older version of Bobbi Morse, played by Adrianne Palicki, was introduced in the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Bobbi visits Fitzsimmons' lab
Kelsey Mcneal / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Then, Marvel filmed a pilot for an AOS spinoff called Most Wanted, which centered on Bobbi Morse and her fellow agent/ex-husband Lance Hunter (played by Nick Blood).

  John Fleenor / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images
John Fleenor / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

However, in 2015, ABC elected not to pick up the new series, and the characters remained part of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Bobbi leans with her arms folded, and Lance stands with his hands in his pockets
Kelsey Mcneal / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

11.In 2016, Marvel and ABC Studios announced their plans to develop New Warriors, a comedy series about a "junior version of the Avengers" featuring Squirrel Girl.

Squirrel Girl wears an ears headband and a squirrel tale, and she has a cute pet squirrel sitting on her shoulder
Marvel Entertainment / Disney XD via Getty Images

Freeform ordered the show straight to series, and Milana Vayntrub (who you might recognize from the AT&T commercials) was cast as Squirrel Girl.

wearing a long, floral dress, Vayntrub smiles on the red carpet at NYCC

Other cast members included Derek Theler, Calum Worthy, Kate Comer, Matthew Moy, and Jeremy Tardy.

Jeff Neira / Marvel via Getty Images

In 2017, though, Freeform canceled the series, and the pilot was unsuccessfully shopped around to other platforms.

Marvel Studios / Disney+ / Via giphy.com

In 2021, showrunner Kevin Biegel alleged that "a singular power that be killed the show...because it was too gay."

wearing an understated collared shirt, jacket, and jeans, Beigel smiles on the red carpet

12.Similarly, after Gabriel Luna joined Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider in 2016, Marvel planned a Ghost Rider spinoff.

wearing his signature leather jacket, Robbie stands with his fists clenched, ready for a battle
Jennifer Clasen / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Hulu picked up the series in May 2019 and planned to release it in 2020.

in a storage room, Robbie is alert to a sudden threat
Jennifer Clasen / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

However, when the streaming platform and the show's team reached a "creative impasse," the series was canceled altogether in September 2019.

Robbie casts a sad glance
Eric Mccandless / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

In 2021, Luna expressed his willingness to return to the MCU as Ghost Rider whenever they're ready for him.

wearing a shiny suit on the red carpet, Luna smiles
Morgan Lieberman / FilmMagic / Via Getty

13.In 2011, while they were working on X-Men: First Class, then-screenwriting partners Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller were also secretly working on a major crossover film for Fox.

the two writers sit on panels at comic-con events
Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images / Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images

The movie included all of the Marvel properties Fox owned at the time, including the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Deadpool, and Daredevil.

the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Deadpool, and Daredevil all stand together
Murray Close/TM and Copyright ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. / 20th Century Fox Film Corp. /Mark Rogers/TM and ©Copyright 20th Century Fox Film Corp. / Zade Rosenthal / TM & Copyright ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. / Via Everett Collection

Fox wanted Paul Greengrass to direct the ambitious film, but he had scheduling issues with another project at the time.

wearing round glasses and a puffer jacket, the director smiles on the red carpet
Tim P. Whitby / Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images for Disney

Unfortunately, the crossover movie ultimately didn't end up working out for Fox.

Marvel / Via giphy.com

14.And finally, in 2017, FX announced an adult animated Deadpool series headed by Donald Glover and his brother, Stephen.

Deadpool narrows his eyes and points
Disney Xd / Disney XD via Getty Images

However, in 2018, the series was canceled over "creative differences" between the Glover brothers and the network.

20th Century Fox / Via giphy.com

Afterward, Donald Glover shared a spoof version of his script, in which Deadpool mocked Marvel and the show's cancellation.

wearing a shiny floral suit jacket, low-cut shirt with a bow, and trousers, Donald Glover smiles on the red carpet
Gregg Deguire / FilmMagic / Via Getty

On Twitter, Stephen Glover shared his own theory for why the series was canceled. He said, "There really was a Taylor Swift episode...It was HILARIOUS. And it definitely was the last straw lol."

wearing a crisp, retro-inspired suit and bowtie, Stephen Glover poses on the red carpet
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images