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Marvel movies sure have come a long, long way. We’re currently on the brink of a third incarnation of Spider-Man on the big screen. If things had played out a little differently, however, it could have been the fourth.
Back in the early 1990s, Carolco Pictures came incredibly close to producing a Spider-Man film that was written, directed, and produced by none other than James Cameron. In the end, financial and legal troubles, among other Hollywood hooha, kept the film from seeing the light of day. Fans have known about this obscure piece of comic film trivia for decades, but new slice of nostalgia recently surfaced via Imgur brings us back to a period of “What If…,” courtesy of Stan Lee himself.
In one of Lee’s classic Stan’s Soapbox pieces from the Bullpen Bulletin section that ran in the back of ’90s comics, Spider-Man’s co-creator sings the joys of signing the deals to bring Cameron onto the film. “So you can take this to the bank, Believer,” writes The Man, “SPIDER-MAN is destined to be the biggest, boldest, baaaaadest block-bustin’ bombshell of a super hero action extravaganza ever to hit the screen!” Well, almost anyway. Read the whole thing above.
… to extol the virtues of these creators would seem to have the potential to drive people to more consumption of Marvel product. No, it’s not 1.5 billion dollars in movie tickets, but I know I’ve bought Disney-related material presented to me via the idea of the Nine Old Men; I don’t know why Marvel Bullpen isn’t a similar organizing principle for that company.
– Tom Spurgeon, explaining why it’s weird that Marvel Studios doesn’t make a bigger deal about the creators of its characters.
It makes sense, right? I don’t know when the last Visionaries collection came out, but at one point Marvel saw potential in marketing comics based on the names of legendary creators. Think how much better those collections could sell if the names were known by the general public. Seems like an opportunity for corporate synergy that they’re just walking away from for no reason that’s been explained very well.
(Bullpen photos via The Kirby Museum)