Here are 15 Marvel movies and TV shows that were originally supposed to be way different:
1.At a 2006 Comic-Con, the Blade: The Series producers teased their plans to introduce Moon Knight into their show.
A few months later, Marvel Studios and No Equal Entertainment announced their plans to produce a Moon Knight TV series.
However, no other announcements regarding the series with No Equal Entertainment were ever made, and in 2022, Moon Knight premiered on Disney+.
2.Originally, Spider-Man: No Way Home was supposed to come out after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, so screenwriters Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna planned for Doctor Strange to already know "the dangers of screwing with [the multiverse]."
However, after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the Multiverse of Madness release way back, the Spider-Man screenwriters "changed it so [Strange] was a person who doesn’t know that much about the multiverse."
3.She-Hulk was supposed to make her live-action debut in 1990's The Death of the Incredible Hulk, but she never made it into the movie.
However, in the early '90s, director Larry Cohen planned to make a She-Hulk movie starring Brigitte Nielsen.
Unfortunately, those plans fell through for unknown reasons, but a She-Hulk series starring Tatiana Maslany is set to premiere soon on Disney+.
4.In 2001, Dreamworks procured the rights to produce The Hands of Shang-Chi and tagged in director Stephen Norrington.
However, after those plans fell through, the film rights reverted to Marvel — who announced plans for their own Shang-Chi movie in 2005.
Marvel initially wanted to introduce the hero in a The Avengers post-credits scene in a bid to gain traction with audiences in China.
Plans for a Shang-Chi movie didn't come to fruition until 2021 with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
5.In the early '90s, Marvel and Full Moon Entertainment worked out a deal to create a Doctor Strange movie.
However, their plans fell through painstakingly close to the scheduled production, and Full Moon Entertainment lost the film rights.
Rather than completely scrap the project, they decided to rewrite the script just enough to shield themselves from copyright infringement, resulting in 1992's Doctor Mordrid.
Marvel eventually brought Doctor Strange to the silver screen in 2016.
6.In 2004, Lionsgate partnered with Marvel Studios to make a Black Widow movie written and directed by X-Men co-writer, David Hayter.
In an interview with FemPop, Hayter described the script: "She’s a freelance mercenary, and she’s called back to where she was brought up to face her past. What I tried to do was use the backdrop of the splintered Soviet Empire — a lawless insane asylum with four hundred some odd nuclear missile silos. It was all about loose nukes, and I felt it was very timely and very cool."
However, as he began working on the final draft, several movies about female vigilantes were released. Three days after the abysmal release of Aeon Flux, the studio told Hayter, "We don’t think it’s time to do this movie."
Natasha Romanoff eventually made her MCU debut in 2010's Iron Man 2, and she finally got her own Black Widow movie in 2021.
7.Early in the drafting process, The Avengers screenplay writer/director, Joss Whedon, wasn't sure if Scarlett Johansson was going to return for the movie, so he planned to replace her.
He told Thrillist, "I wrote a huge bunch of pages starring The Wasp. That was not useful."
Johansson, of course, did reprise her Iron Man 2 role, solidifying Black Widow's status as an original Avenger.
8.In 1990, Universal acquired the film rights for Iron Man and planned to produce a low-budget movie with director Stuart Gordon and writer Ed Neumeier. The storyline was rumored to follow an older version of Tony Stark as he came out of retirement.
In 1996, Universal sold the film rights to Fox, who had Stan Lee and Jeff Vintar draft a script where MODAK — who's a giant evil head — was the main villain.
In 2000, Fox sold the film rights to New Line Cinema, who put the story through multiple rewrites that bear some similarities to the eventual storyline that made it onscreen.
However, New Line Cinema's film rights expired right before they could finalize a deal with director Nick Cassavetes, so the film rights went back to Marvel Studios — who finally released Iron Man with Paramount Pictures in 2008.
9.An early draft of the Iron Man 3 script had a different villain — Maya Hansen.
However, the screenwriters "were given a no-holds-barred memo saying that cannot stand and [Marvel corporate] changed [their] minds because, after consulting, [they've] decided that toy won’t sell as well if it’s a female."
So they rewrote the script to make Aldrich Killian the main villain instead and reduced Maya's role.
10.The version of Thor: The Dark World that director Alan Taylor wanted had "a slightly more magical quality" and "weird stuff going on back on Earth because of the convergence that allowed for some of these magical realism things."
However, "there were major plot differences that were inverted in the cutting room and with additional photography" — resulting in a much different movie than the one he envisioned.
11.Originally, Thor: Ragnarok was supposed to be much darker in tone — in fact, it was supposed to be the darkest Marvel movie yet.
However, during the movie's development stage, Marvel Studios separated from the overarching Marvel Entertainment, which gave Kevin Feige and the filmmakers a lot more creative freedom.
This newfound creative freedom enabled director, Taika Waititi, to inject comedic energy into the film. He told Entertainment Weekly, "A lot of what we’re doing with the film is, in a way, kind of dismantling and destroying the old idea and rebuilding it in a new way that’s fresh."
12.The original Eternals edit had a "really bleak" ending "with everybody back on the ship, minds erased and just going on to another planet, like The Twilight Zone."
However, that ending didn't go down well with test audiences, so it was reworked.
13.Captain America: The Winter Soldier cowriter, Christopher Markus, pushed to make MODOK the film's main villain. He also wanted to cast Peter Dinklage in the role.
However, no one else at Marvel seemed "to be on [his] side."
Eventually, the movie's villain title went to Alexander Pierce. MODOK has yet to make his MCU debut.
14.In 2011, Jessica Jones was slated to premiere on ABC — featuring Carol Danvers (who wasn't Captain Marvel) as the lead's best friend.
However, ABC passed on the show, and before Netflix picked it up, Carol became Captain Marvel in the comics and got her own movie — forcing showrunner, Melissa Rosenberg, to abandon the character altogether.
So Rosenberg replaced her with Trish Walker, and Carol Danvers made her MCU debut in 2019's Captain Marvel.
15.And finally, in the early '90s, Marvel partnered with Wesley Snipes to bring Black Panther to the silver screen.
However, the kind of technology that could accurately recreate Wakanda onscreen didn't exist yet.
Snipes went on to star in Blade instead, and Chadwick Boseman starred in Black Panther in 2018.