The Marvel Cinematic Universe was kicked off with the critically acclaimed film “Iron Man,” as is the case with every other successful film series. However, not every movie that is supposed to be the first instalment of a new series really ends up being profitable enough for the studio to see the need to keep the franchise going.
Here is a list of 10 movies that were planned to be the beginning of a new series but were unsuccessful:
1. The Last Airbender (2010)
M. Night Shyamalan’s live-action version of the famous Nickelodeon cartoon series, The Last Airbender, which was released in 2010 and received a great deal of backlash, was meant to have a “far darker” sequel at one point. According to Time, “the promise of a sequel at this movie’s finale seems more like a menace.” However, Paramount Pictures did not follow through on their threat and instead allowed its preparations for a sequel to fizzle away.
2. The Golden Compass (2007)
The Golden Compass, which was released in 2007, was supposed to be the first part in a film version of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. However, in the end, the planned sequels were scrapped because of a combination of factors including a worldwide recession and opposition from the Catholic church. This criticism came in the form of boycotts and allegations that the film encouraged atheism.
3. Green Lantern (2011)
Green Lantern, which was released in 2011, had the potential to serve as the springboard for a new DC Movie Universe; but, following a lacklustre showing at the box office and generally unfavourable reviews, Warner Bros. decided to scrap their plans for a sequel. They had a better beginning with the film “Man of Steel,” which they released two years later.
4. The Mummy (2017)
The Mummy (2017) was planned to lead Universal’s Dark Universe series, but when the film made a loss of about $95 million, the studio decided to scrap the franchise in favour of legendary monster movies that stand on their own.
5. Fantastic Four (2015)
Following criticism that the previous film, Fantastic Four (2015), was “the cinematic equivalent of virus” and “worse than useless,” Fox decided to remove the planned sequel from its release schedule for 2017 and cancelled it.
6. John Carter (2012)
In 2012, after being stuck in the development abyss for many decades, John Carter was eventually released. The film, which is an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ book A Princess of Mars, was planned to be the first episode of an adaptation of the Barsoom series; however, public interest in the story had dropped prior to the release of the first film in the series. Despite positive reviews, there was never enough of an audience response to support a second instalment.
7. Eragon (2006)
Christopher Paolini’s The Inheritance Cycle was going to be adapted into a series, and Eragon was supposed to be the first book in the series. The film’s director, Stefen Fangmeier, had planned to shoot the subsequent two “as one production,” but he was never given the opportunity to do so since the first film was criticised as being a “shabby Lord of the Rings knockoff.”
8. Daredevil (2003)
Although the Daredevil movie from 2003 did quite well at the box office, Matt Murdock’s character was shelved by Fox when the spin-off movie Elektra bombed at the box office. In 2006, the principal actor Ben Affleck said that he would never appear in a sequel to the film since the part was “a source of embarrassment” for him.
9. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)
The film adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s book series The Mortal Instruments, titled The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, was scheduled to serve as the first instalment of a planned franchise. The sequel, The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes, was scheduled to be released sometime in the future; however, its release was postponed indefinitely after the film’s underwhelming performance at the box office.
10. King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword (2017)
King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword (2017) was meant to be the first film of a series that would consist of six instalments. Despite this, it is alleged to have suffered a loss of $150 million, and an official at Warner Bros. named Jeff Goldstein said that “the premise missed.” The production of the other five movies was scrapped.
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