10 Marvel Movies That Should Have Happened But Never Did


  • Many planned or logical Marvel movies have gone unproduced over the years.
  • Some of these planned movies became Marvel Television shows, but would have performed better as movies.
  • Some logical MCU sequels were never even planned, such as
    Iron Man 4
    and another
    solo movie.



Over the years, many movies based on Marvel Comics would have been great to see developed, whether they be prior to or set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but they have unfortunately never come to fruition. Movies and TV shows based on the characters and stories detailed in Marvel Comics were being produced long before Marvel Studios was established. These stories weren’t viewed as mainstream media until the beginning of the MCU with 2008’s Iron Man, however, as the MCU has become the highest-grossing film franchise of all time, with one of the most dedicated and involved fanbases in history.

While Marvel has delivered some incredible movies over the years, many more that have gone unproduced would have also been brilliant to see. These include much-wanted sequels to popular past Marvel movies, disappointing TV shows that were originally planned as – and would have worked better as – feature films, and new takes on beloved heroes and villains that would have expanded Marvel’s portfolio. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely any of these movies will be produced, though there is always hope that Marvel Studios, or other Marvel franchises such as Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, could bring these projects to life in the future.

Captain Marvel, Spider-Man and Iron Man against a backdrop of Marvel posters
Every Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie Ranked Worst To Best

Over 15 years and 33 movies, the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies have redefined blockbuster cinema. But how do all the films stack up?

10 Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy Ended In 2007

Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man in 2002

Sam Raimi originally directed Sony’s Spider-Man trilogy, featuring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker’s Spider-Man in three projects between 2002 and 2007. In 2007, Spider-Man 4 entered development, with much of the core Spider-Man cast expected to reprise their roles, and this would have marked the transformation of Dr. Curt Connors into the Lizard, and would have revealed Bruce Campbell to be playing Mysterio after a series of cameo appearances. John Malkovich and Anne Hathaway were also billed to debut as the Vulture and Black Cat, respectively.

Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 was originally billed for release in May 2011, but disagreements between Raimi and Sony led to the acclaimed director departing the project in 2010. In 2013, Raimi revealed to Vulture that he was “very unhappy” with Spider-Man 3, and wanted Spider-Man 4 to end the franchise on a high note. Studio pressure meant that this wouldn’t have been possible, ending these Spider-Man 4 dreams.

After Tobey Maguire’s return as Peter Parker in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, there were calls for Sam Raimi to return to direct Maguire in Spider-Man 4, continuing his Spider-Man franchise. Raimi has stated that he has no intention of directing such a film.

9 Inhumans

Marvel Television’s Inhumans Was Originally Planned As A Feature Film


A film based on Marvel Comics Inhumans was mentioned as being in development in 2011, and Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige confirmed this in 2014, gifting the film a release date of November 2018, as part of the MCU’s Phase 3. Marvel Studios’ Inhumans film would have expanded the MCU massively, introducing the likes of Black Bolt, Medusa, and Maximus to the MCU, and taking the franchise to the Inhuman city of Attilan on the moon. This project was removed from the MCU release schedule in 2016, however.

Prior to this cancelation, Inhuman characters had begun to appear in Marvel Television’s Agents of SHIELD, prompting the former movie to be transformed into a TV series. Unfortunately, Marvel Television’s Inhumans was a massive bomb, failing to deliver exciting, comic-accurate depictions of the Inhuman characters, and delivering a weak and sketchy narrative. These problems could have been avoided in a feature film.

Anson Mount, who debuted as Black Bolt, the Inhuman King, in Inhumans, reprised the role in 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, bringing a more comic-accurate version of the character into live-action.

8 Nick Fury

A Nick Fury Movie Could Have Done A Better Job Than Secret Invasion

Nick Fury with scars on show in Secret Invasion

In 2006, Castle’s Andrew W. Marlowe was hired to write a script for a Nick Fury-centric movie. This was originally planned to be set outside the MCU, though the option was there for the script to be tweaked to better fit Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury after his debut in the post-credits scene of 2008’s Iron Man. This movie would have been inspired by Jim Steranko’s Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD run in Marvel Comics, catching up with the older Nick Fury and introducing SHIELD to live-action.

Even without a movie of his own, Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury became a huge part of the MCU, but it wasn’t until 2023’s Secret Invasion that he was given any focus. Unfortunately, Secret Invasion became one of the MCU’s lowest-rated projects, so a movie focused on Nick Fury might have been a better way to explore the deeper elements of the character.

Nick Fury as seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier between his appearance in Secret Invasion and Captain Marvel
All 13 Nick Fury Appearances In The MCU, Ranked

Nick Fury has been a central MCU player since the early days of the Infinity Saga, and here is every one of his appearances in the franchise ranked.

7 The Sinister Six

The Sinister Six Still Haven’t Come Together In Live-Action

Green Goblin attacking in Spider-Man No Way Home

The idea of a feature film bringing together Marvel Comics’ Sinister Six has been floating around Sony Pictures for a number of years, but has unfortunately never come to fruition. Originally, Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man franchise was planned to set up the Sinister Six, with Drew Goddard attached to write and direct the project. These plans disappeared when Sony and Marvel Studios brokered a deal to bring Spider-Man into the MCU, ending Andrew Garfield’s career as the wall-crawler.

After the success of Venom in 2018, plans for a new Sinister Six-centric movie were reignited. As Amy Pascal revealed to Vanity Fair in 2018, “I’m just waiting for Drew [Goddard] to be ready to direct it,” yet nothing has been heard about the potential movie since then. This project will presumably bring together the separate villains of Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, though Sony hasn’t even debuted its own version of Spider-Man.

Sony’s Spider-Man Universe Projects




Venom: Let There Be Carnage




Madame Web


Venom: The Last Dance


Kraven the Hunter


6 More X-Men Origins Movies

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Was Supposed To Start A New Franchise

Wolverine waking up in X-Men Origins Wolverine

After 20th Century Fox delivered the original X-Men trilogy between 2000 and 2006, development began on a series of prequel spinoffs exploring the origin stories of some of the trilogy’s most popular characters. X-Men Origins: Wolverine released in May 2009, exploring the backstory of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. If this project had performed well, more Origins installments were planned, namely one focused on Magneto. Unfortunately, X-Men Origins: Wolverine did not perform well, so these plans were canceled.

Elements of the planned X-Men Origins: Magneto transformed into 2011’s much-more-popular X-Men: First Class. Nevertheless, it would have been brilliant for more of the X-Men members’ origin stories to be explored, as the likes of Cyclops, Storm, Jean Grey, and Nightcrawler were severely underdeveloped. Of course, Marvel Studios now has the opportunity to rectify this when bringing the X-Men into the MCU, with Michael Lesslie already being tapped to write the MCU’s X-Men reboot.

Canceled X-Men movies
All 7 Canceled X-Men Movies (& Why They Didn’t Happen)

Despite producing more than a dozen X-Men movies, sequels, and spinoffs, Fox had plans for even more X-Men films – here’s why they were canceled.

5 X-Men: Fear The Beast

X-Men: Fear The Beast Would Have Developed Nicholas Hoult’s Beast & Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine


While working on 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, Byron Burton pitched the idea for X-Men: Fear the Beast to editor and composer John Ottman. Initially skeptical, Ottman joined the project, reworking the script that would have caught up with (presumably Nicholas Hoult’s) Hank McCoy, who would have been struggling to keep his mutation under control with the formula from X-Men: Days of Future Past. Fear the Beast would have included Wolverine, the Friends of Humanity, a battle with a Wendigo, and another Mister Sinister tease, but this never occurred.

Simon Kinberg, the architect behind Fox’s X-Men franchise, refused to read the script for X-Men: Fear the Beast for fear of it influencing his work on Dark Phoenix. This meant that the project didn’t get off the ground before Disney bought out 20th Century Fox, canceling every X-Men project in the works at that point, though this surely would’ve been an exciting installment.

Wolverine, Beast, and Jean Grey from Fox's X-Men movies.
Abandoned X-Men Script Shows Why Marvel Doesn’t Use Fan Writers

While fan writers might usually be an asset to Marvel projects, an abandoned X-Men movie portrays the pitfalls of hiring them for modern audiences.

4 Silver Surfer Rock Opera

Xanadu’s Lee Kramer Almost Developed This Epic Silver Surfer Movie

Silver Surfer flying in Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer

Back in 1979, Xanadu producer Lee Kramer planned to produce a solo Silver Surfer-centric movie that would have seen bodybuilder Frank Zane, three-time Mr. Olympic winner, portraying the cosmic Herald of the planet-eater Galactus. Kramer revealed these plans to Men’s Health in 2019, suggesting that this project would have been an epic space opera, “on the scope of 2001: A Space Odyssey with the kind of soundtrack that that film had, only using contemporary rock and roll.”

This kind of rock opera style would have fit the fantastical and universe-gliding Silver Surfer perfectly. Evidently, this movie would have been incredibly cheesy, but Marvel Studios could bring elements of these plans into the MCU’s upcoming The Fantastic Four, which is set to debut Julia Garner as Shalla-Bal’s Silver Surfer. This would have been an entirely experimental movie, but could’ve paid off massively, marking a powerful live-action debut for the Silver Surfer.

Julia Garner was cast as Shalla-Bal’s Silver Surfer in April 2024, though it’s unclear who will portray the MCU’s version of Norrin Radd, Marvel Comics’ main version of the Silver Surfer.

3 James Cameron’s Spider-Man

James Cameron’s Spider-Man Had Huge Ambitions

Spider-Man in James Cameron's Spider-Man treatment

In 1990, acclaimed director James Cameron had incredibly detailed plans to bring Spider-Man to live-action. Cameron submitted a 57-page “scriptment” that detailed Spider-Man’s origin story, included variations on Marvel Comics villains Electro and Sandman, had Peter Parker revealing his identity to Mary Jane Watson, featured a huge battle atop the World Trade Center, and included extreme profanity and a sex scene between Peter Parker and Mary Jane on the Brooklyn Bridge.

This project ultimately never came to fruition because of legal rights issues. James Cameron’s Spider-Man movie would have been huge in scale, budget, and ambition, but may have been massively ahead of its time, as it’s hard to imagine some of the movie’s more challenging scenes being pulled off effectively in the early 1990s. That said, James Cameron’s work on Titanic in 1997 was groundbreaking, so this could have been repeated in perhaps the most ambitious Spider-Man movie ever.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About James Cameron’s Canceled Spider-Man Movie

Before Spider-Man was made real by Sam Raimi, director James Cameron wrote a script that took the web-slinger in an entirely new direction.

2 Iron Man 4

Robert Downey Jr. Never Returned For A Fourth Iron Man Movie

Tony Stark in his Iron Man suit in 2008

Robert Downey Jr. became the face of the MCU after kick-starting the franchise with 2008’s Iron Man. He went on to star in his own solo MCU trilogy, culminating in 2013’s Iron Man 3, and make appearances in a number of other MCU movies. As one of the most popular aspects of the MCU, it could have been assumed that Downey Jr. would have returned in Iron Man 4, but this project was never even planned at Marvel Studios, since Downey Jr.’s contract with Marvel ran out after Iron Man 3.

Robert Downey Jr. revealed to Variety in 2014 that there was “no plan for a fourth ‘Iron Man’,” though recent speculation about Downey Jr.’s potential return to the MCU suggests Iron Man 4 might actually be developed. It’s unclear what story would have been told in the MCU’s Iron Man 4, though Stark’s legacy will continue in Armor Wars.

Robert Downey Jr. has been speculated to return as Tony Stark’s Iron Man in 2027’s Avengers: Secret Wars, though this hasn’t yet been confirmed.

1 Hulk Solo MCU Movie

The Hulk Hasn’t Had A Solo Movie Since 2008’s The Incredible Hulk


2008’s The Incredible Hulk, a joint venture between Marvel Studios and Universal Pictures, brought Bruce Banner’s Hulk into the MCU. Originally portrayed by Edward Norton, Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner has become a core MCU character, but has never received his own solo movie. Universal still owns the distribution rights to the Hulk, which makes it impossible for Marvel Studios to feature him in another solo project, though the Hulk has appeared in crossover stories.

In recent years, the distribution rights to The Incredible Hulk reverted to Marvel Studios, which means the Hulk’s full rights could follow suit. This means that a new solo Hulk movie could be produced, with speculation suggesting this could adapt Marvel Comics’ World War Hulk event into live-action. It’s unclear if this will ever happen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it would be great to see Mark Ruffalo lead his own movie as the Hulk.

A split image of the MCU Hulk roaring and in armor
The MCU Can Still Do World War Hulk Even Without A Solo Hulk Movie

Mark Ruffalo has noted that he may never get a solo MCU film as Bruce Banner’s Hulk, but that doesn’t mean his most iconic story will be forgotten.

Upcoming Marvel Movies

Release Date

Deadpool & Wolverine

July 26, 2024

Venom: The Last Dance

October 25, 2024

Kraven the Hunter

December 13, 2024

Captain America: Brave New World

February 14, 2025


May 5, 2025

The Fantastic Four

July 25, 2025


November 7, 2025

Avengers 5

May 1, 2026

Avengers: Secret Wars

May 7, 2027

Leave a Comment