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Thread: The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.

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    Senior Member HarryCanyon's Avatar
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    Default The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.

    Did you know that X-Men was originally gonna be made when it was announced in 1989? it's true, Carolco had the rights to do an X-Men movie with James Cameron to serve as executive producer. Spider-Man was originally was gonna made by Cannon in 1985 with a teaser poster saying "Coming summer 1986" but never got made, Carolco with James Cameron had the rights in 1990 with MGM but the rights were tangled as the web of Spidey himself, there was even a teaser object saying "Spider-Man: A James Cameron film, coming Summer 1993" but didn't got made despite his original script was around. "X-Men" was suppose to be produced by Cameron and Spider-Man directed by Cameron, Columbia was interested in 1992 to get the property but as the success of the cartoon for FOX TV, Fox bought the rights in 1994 thus when Blade (A marvel picture) was successful they greenlighted the movie, Bryan Singer was on board because he's a fan of the comics. Spider-Man finally got the rights from Sony/Columbia pictures and Sam Raimi came to save the day to make the long awaited movie happen.

    So there are some interesting facts that Cameron wanted to do X-Men and Spider-Man, in fact David Koep's script for Spider-Man was based on Cameron's original treatment even for the organic webshooters.

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    Senior Member tseon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.

    1989? I would never know that. But, cosidering the technology back then, I think it was better this way. If you remember about that Fantastic Four movie of 1994 (although it was not released, right?) you know, it couldn't keep up with the comic.

    But, I wonder how the story would be with Cameron, because the third X-Men movie hmmm... T-T

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    Senior Member HarryCanyon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.

    It's true and what would have Cameron's Spider-Man been like in the 90's?

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Default Re: The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.

    From /film:
    What Happened to James Cameron’s Spider-Man Movie

    From Screen Rant:
    Dodged Bullets: 14 Actors Who Were Almost Superheroes


    James Cameron reflects on his vision for Spider-Man - and why he's not interested in the reboot



    From CBM:
    What would James Cameron's 'Spider-Man' have been like?

    After True Lies, Cameron’s next project could have been based on a character he’d been dreaming about since he was a 9th grader in Chippawa— Spider-Man. He had lobbied Carolco, the independent studio behind T2, to purchase the rights to the Spider-Man comics, which they did in 1990. Carolco’s executives had a habit of seat-of-the pants deal-making that endeared the company to Cameron, who had made his $100 million Terminator sequel with them based on terms laid out in a simple half-page memo. But in this instance, a hasty contract would come back to haunt all the parties involved. Cameron wrote a Spider-Man scriptment for Carolco that was widely admired in Hollywood. The comic’s creator, Stan Lee, adored it and gave a Cameron-directed Spider-Man movie his hearty endorsement. “It was the Spider-Man we all know and love,” Lee said of the treatment. “Yet it all somehow seemed fresh and new.”

    He opted to make his Spider-Man movie an origins story, explaining how Peter Parker developed his web-slinging powers. But he made some thoughtful changes to the iconic character, starting with the Spider-Man’s wrist shooters. Lee’s comic called for Peter Parker to build them himself, but Cameron thought a biological explanation was more plausible. “I had this problem that Peter Parker, boy genius, goes home and creates these wrist shooters that the DARPA labs would be happy to have created on a 20-year program,” says Cameron. “I said, wait a minute, he’s been bitten by a radioactive spider, it should change him fundamentally in a way that he can’t go back.” In Cameron’s treatment, the wrist shooters simply grow as Peter becomes spider-like…

    Cameron also updated the comics’ super-villain Electro for the information age in a character he called Carlton Strand. Electro was a robot that functioned on pure electric power, while Cameron’s Strand could touch a computer or a cable and absorb the data flowing through it—an acknowledgement that information itself is real power. Cameron’s scriptment is darker and more adult than anyone expected from a comic-book movie in the 1990s—Peter Parker says “mother[frick]er” and Spider-Man and Mary-Jane have sex atop the Brooklyn Bridge. Adult-oriented comic-book adaptations like Dark Knight and 300 found huge audiences more than a decade later, but Cameron’s writing was a dramatic departure from the accepted wisdom about the genre at the time, namely that it should be nearly as family-friendly as a Disney movie. It would have been fascinating to see what the creator of the rough-edged characters of the Terminator franchise did with the adolescent superhero. But the James Cameron version of Spider-Man never happened, because Hollywood’s real idea of super villains descended—lawyers. When Carolco filed for Chapter 11 in 1995, it became clear the company’s claim to the Spider-Man rights had been tenuous all along.

    “Here I am working on Spider-Man and it turns out that there’s a lien against the rights and Sony’s got a piece of it and Carolco doesn’t really own it even though they think they own it,” Cameron says. With Carolco down, Cameron tried to get Fox to go after Spider-Man. The studio would have been happy to buy their top-earning director his pet project if it had just been a matter of rights, but procuring Spider-Man now meant entering a nasty legal fight and potentially a bidding war involving multiple other studios and producers with overlapping claims on the project dating back to when Marvel had first put the film rights up for sale in 1985. “They’re so risk-averse,” Cameron says. “For a couple hundred thousand dollars in legal fees they could have had a $2 billion franchise. They blew it.”

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    Senior Member HarryCanyon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.

    Hey Gabriel, what about on X-Men?

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Default Re: The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.

    I don't have anything on the X-men. Sorry.

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    Senior Member HarryCanyon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.

    It's on Wiki.

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Default “The X-Men Movie That Never Was!”

    FromThe Geek Files:
    The X-Men movies that never were...
    Quote Originally Posted by David Bentley
    TWO unused script treatments for the first X-Men movie, released in 2000, have been revealed online, showing characters, story ideas and details that never made it to the finished film.


    It was in 1994 that 20th Century Fox and producer Lauren Shuler Donner bought the film rights to the X-Men from Marvel. At that time, Andrew Kevin Walker was hired to write, and James Cameron expressed interest in directing. Eventually, Bryan Singer signed on to direct in July 1996 and a new set of writers became involved.


    The final version of the film credits its screenplay to David Hayter, but many others were involved in the project's journey to the big screen...


    THE 1996 MICHAEL CHABON TREATMENT

    A script treatment written in July 1996 by Michael Chabon included Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Beast, Iceman, Storm, Wolverine and Jubilee as the X-Men, with Chabon saying this line-up "provides for the greatest degree of contrast of personality...in an ensemble configuration not too different from Star Trek."

    Jubilee featured in the 1990s cartoon and had a cameo role in all three movies (left), but she plays a central part in the Chabon script.

    Chabon did not include a superpowered villain and said he felt Magneto, Sabretooth and the others could be introduced in a future movie. Instead, Chabon invented a villainous organisation called The League of Gentlemen, headed by a man called Mr Montclair.
    The story begins with Wolverine on the run and being shot with a dart from a pursuing helicopter. He runs into the trees, ferociously fights off an attack by a pack of wolves, then collapses. Meanwhile, Jubilee's powers emerge at home and she runs away - she has the ability to emit plasma energy as balls, flashes and streamers of light (see comicbook image below right).



    Wolverine and Jubilee are both rescued by the X-Men. They discover Wolverine was shot with a dart containing the Legacy virus (a disease fatal to mutants, featured in the comicbooks) and that he was given his metal claws by the League of Gentlemen and once worked for them as a killer. Jubilee's real parents also worked for the League and her father invented the virus - and secretly programmed a cure into the DNA of his daughter. While Wolverine's healing power holds the virus at bay in his own body, he infects Jean, who in turn infects Iceman.


    Beast tries an early cure serum on himself, which ends up mutating him further into his blue, furry version. Later he extracts the proper serum from Jubilee to save Jean and Iceman. Jubilee settles into the mansion and is shown pictures of her real parents; watching enviously, Wolverine then feels the need to go and investigate his own past and identity.

    There are some great ideas in this. Rogue obviously replaced Jubilee in the movie. Montclair could easily have been changed into a suitable comicbook character such as the scientist Sinister and the League of Gentlemen could have been changed to a comicbook organisation.


    THE 1999 ED SOLOMAN/CHRISTOPHER MCQUARRIE SCRIPT

    A script treatment written in February 1999 by Soloman and McQuarrie begins with the same Magneto prison camp scene seen in the released film, but then includes an origin scene for Storm, set in Kenya in 1972, in which the 12-year-old mutant brings huge hailstones down on to a mob of bullies and almost destroys her village. The draft continues with an origin scene for Cyclops, set in California in 1986, when his powers emerge from his eyes just before a school prom.

    Then, at the Senate hearing, Jean Grey gives a far more detailed explanation of why these bizarre mutations are happening: mankind hasn't evolved for thousands of years, instead altering his environment to suit him, but dramatic changes to the Earth mean humankind can no longer keep up. As a result, a dormant evolution gene has switched itself back on, enabling people to begin adapting to their world. The emerging mutants are merely the first signs of change that will one day affect the entire human race.

    There's no scene with Wolverine fighting in a bar, but we do get a fantastic visceral fight with Sabretooth before the intervention of Storm (left) and Cyclops.

    Senator Kelly meets the President, unsuccessfully arguing for urgent action against mutants. Back at Xavier's mansion, we meet Beast; and Rogue is already there (with no origin sequence in Mississippi as in the actual film, although her deadly first kiss from the finished movie is mentioned later).


    We see Cyclops and Wolverine in the Danger Room with Jean Grey in the room's control booth. Here, the Danger Room is not a hologram chamber as it was when it finally appeared in the third X-movie; instead, it contains various mechanical devices, traps and missiles, like the comicbook version.


    Kelly is still taken to Magneto's island lair. The mutation machine uses adamantium as a conductor (in much the same way as the metal filament in a lightbulb) and, although Magneto has a small amount for the first use of the machine, he needs Wolverine to power it with the adamantium grafted to his skeleton. Magneto, whose real name is Max in this draft and whose associates include Blob (main picture at top) and Pyro, tells Kelly: "What if you could breathe pure carbon monoxide, Senator? The kind your fellow man is pumping straight into the atmosphere as we speak? Fly above the water that might one day cover the face of the Earth, or swim faster than any fish in the sea? Would you consider yourself a freak of nature? Or would you just consider yourself prepared for the future?"


    After he is mutated into a gelatinous form, Kelly escapes, stinging Blob like a jellyfish. He doesn't swim to shore and go to Xavier's mansion the same way as in the finished movie - instead he emerges from the toilet bowl in the mansion!


    The movie's train station attack here takes place in a shopping mall, where Toad has the power to change his skin pigmentation to camouflage himself against any background. After that, Magneto attacks the X-Men at the mansion, trapping Jean Grey by surrounding her with levitating metal implements and capturing Wolverine in a metal cabinet resembling an 'iron maiden' medieval torture device.



    At the Statue of Liberty, Wolverine is strapped into the machine as its power conductor. He breaks free and fights Sabretooth. Toad and Pyro die gruesomely, Magneto tries to escape and is attacked by Storm, Jean, Beast and Cyclops, but he fights back and pins them down with strips of metal (as seen in a similar scene in the finished film). Rogue absorbs Mystique's shapeshifting power and, in the guise of Mystique, is able to get close to Magneto and kiss him to drain his lifeforce.



    The president vetoes the mutant registration act on a news bulletin as Wolverine tries on a new X-Men uniform and is welcomed to the mansion. And the final chess scene with Magneto and Xavier is there but is fuller and longer.


    There's some great characterisation and explanation in this - often much deeper than in the finished film - and the environmental theme of emerging mutation as the key to man's survival on a planet he is destroying is excellent. It's easy to see why Rogue's more emotional role, in being a vulnerable teenager needed by Magneto to power the machine, was added for the movie, even though the version of Rogue in this early script is more accurate.



    Both scripts contain some great ideas and it's a shame more of them didn't make it on to celluloid. Perhaps any future X-Men movies can try to include some of these unused ideas.



    X-MEN 1984

    Progressive Ruin casts (partially) the 1980s X-Men movie!

    From Twomorrows: Alter Ego 58:
    Alter Ego #58 spotlights “The X-Men Movie That Never Was!” as GERRY CONWAY & ROY THOMAS reveal their 1980s screenplay for Orion Pictures—analyzed & annotated by CHRIS IRVING—with art by DAVE COCKRUM, NEAL ADAMS, JOHN BUSCEMA, JOHN BYRNE, GIL KANE, JACK KIRBY, DON HECK, LARRY LIEBER, MARK GLIDDEN, & others!
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven E. McDonald
    I'd love to read this article -- I was involved with the Orion X-Men project right before it hit turnaround, when they'd finally given up on the Thomas/Conway version (the reason I was given by the development folks at Orion was that the budget estimates for the project were terrifyingly high and that the writing wasn't coming within loudhailer distance of good.) I was in discussions on Friday, and we hammered out ideas (amounting to "let's simplify the fuck out of this!") and an agreement for me to start on story as soon as the contracts were set and signed, meaning I should have been hard at work by the following Wednesday. On the Monday the development arm was beginning to hammer out the deal memo with my agent...and at the same time Orion management were busy picking projects to put into turnaround.

    By Monday afternoon I got a phone call saying it was off -- X-Men was one of those in turnaround due to Orion's financial problems. The timing was just right to prevent the deal memo from being signed off on. I think that was the worst thing at all -- not even a kill fee.

    As they say, that's showbiz.

    One of the things that got me there, though, was being a comics fan and knowing the history of the characters and the title. And the approach we'd have taken? Strip it down and take it back...pretty much a similar approach to the one Singer finally took, although we would have had fewer effects due to the technical limitations at the time. Gene Warren's Fantasy II house would probably have handled most of the visual effects, with Peter Kuran's VCE handling some of the shinier stuff (Cyclop's optic blasts, for example.) No idea about prosthetic effects and animatronics; it's been a while. If I recall correctly they were looking to top out at $20 million on the budget, but I suspect that would have been cut back, given the financial issues.
    http://js-kit.com/api/static/pop_com...7682194#307262

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Default Re: The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.


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    Senior Member HarryCanyon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.

    WOW i didn't know Orion wanted to do X-Men in 1985, amazing. Carolco and Cameron wanted to do X-Men then plans dropped as various scripts until Bryan Singer came along and did a great job of bringing X-Men to the big screen after all these years. Bob Hoskins for Wolverine? a fat guy for the job, that would be dumb. Kurt Russell was originally going to be him or Russell Crowe then they went for Hugh Jackman or Ray Parker.

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    Senior Member HarryCanyon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.

    WOW i never knew Cannon made a promo for Spider-Man back then, they even made a poster and the film never got made.

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Star Trek: Planet of the Titans

    From Ralph McQuarrie.com:
    Crossing the final frontier . . .
    Immediately after Ralph finished work on Star Wars Episode IV he began designing 'Star Trek - Planet of the Titans'. This was Paramount's first attempt at taking Star Trek to the big screen .

    The production design was handled by Ken Adam (of James Bond fame) and the director was Philip Kaufman.

    This wasn't the end of Ralph's involvement in Star Trek however Ralph returned to work on ‘Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home'.

    Over the years many of Ralph’s designs have resurfaced. One concept of the Enterprise that he and Ken Adam designed is visible in dry-dock in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. It turns up later in the Next Generation episode 'Unification Part 1' ( the ‘B-24-CLN’) and once more as a wreck in the battle of Wolf 359.
    From TrekWeb:
    Star Trek Planet of Titans : The Conceptual Art of the 1976 Unfilmed Trek Movie
    Quote Originally Posted by Gustavo Leao

    In the book "The Art of Ralph McQuarrie", there are six pages of which are dedicated to production designer Ralph McQuarrie's (Star Wars) conceptual art for what is listed in the book as "Unfilmed Star Trek Feature, late 1970s", better know to Trek historians as Philip Kaufman's 1976 aborted film Star Trek Planet of Titans

    This film, to have been directed by Philip Kaufman (who went on to helm the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers starring Leonard Nimoy), and Executive produced by Jerry Isenburg, had a screenplay written by the British writing team of Chris Bryant and Allan Scott.

    Set after the five-year mission depicted in the series, the film involved Starfleet competing with the Klingons for claim to the supposed homeworld of the mythical Titans, a technologically-advanced race long thought extinct. As the planet is pulled into a black hole, the USS Enterprise must also face off against the Cygnans, the alien race responsible for the Titans' disappearance. Ultimately, Captain Kirk is forced to take the Enterprise into the black hole to defeat the Cygnans, a decision that sends the starship and its crew backwards in time thousands of years and into orbit around Earth. After introducing fire to the primitive Humans living at the time, Kirk and his crew are revealed to be the legendary Titans.

    Production designer was to be Ken Adams, who then hired McQuarrie to do some design work, some of which you can see here.

    Gene Roddenberry said at the time 'I'm very excited about some of the ideas they've come up with. The concept that only a science fiction writer can write science fiction motion pictures is ridiculous. Look at me. I came up with STAR TREK, and I was a dramatic writer. I wrote for TV.'

    Kaufman, in particular, was thrilled with the prospect of being involved. 'George Lucas is a good friend of mine,' he had told one reporter. 'He told me before he made STAR WARS he'd made inquiries as to whether STAR TREK was available to be bought. I thought George had a great thing going. When I was asked if I would be interested in doing STAR TREK, well...I felt I could go through the roof.

    'My agent called me up,' he continued, 'and said, 'What would you like to do?' I said I would like to do a science fiction movie. And he said, 'Well, I'm sure you wouldn't want to do STAR TREK.' I said, 'Wait a second--they're making a movie out of STAR TREK?' He said, 'Yeah, but they're gonna make a 2 or 3 million dollar quickie.' I told him, 'I don't think they really know what they've got there if that's what they're going to do. Let's explore it.' Right away I got a call from Jerry Eisenberg, who had been put in charge. We talked, and I came down and met with him first and then with Gene Roddenberry. In the process of getting involved with the project, I moved it up from being a small project into a $10 million picture.'

    In addition to all of this, the original cast had essentially been signed to reprise their original roles, with the exception of Leonard Nimoy, who at the time had refused all interviews pertaining to STAR TREK. William Shatner, however, had no problem in discussing the situation. 'Leonard Nimoy has a beef, and it's a legitimate one,' Shatner said in 1976. 'It's about the merchandising, and it's something that irks me as well. Our faces appear on products all over the country, all over the world, and we've not really been compensated fairly for it. Leonard was walking in London, England. He stopped to look at a billboard. The billboard's divided into three sections. The first section is Leonard's face with the ears--Spock--the ears are drooping. The second section of the billboard has Leonard, with the drooping ears, holding a tankard of ale. The third section has an empty tankard of ale, and Leonard's face, with pointed ears straight up in the air. So Leonard and I have had this battle, with whoever licenses STAR TREK, for a long time. I mean, kids are walking around with my face on their shirts. Occasionally I see a postcard with my face on it. People are exploiting us. So anyway, Leonard goes back to the studio and says, 'There's a demeaning billboard of me out there. Did you guys okay it?' So he goes to his lawyer and tries to sue. Right now Paramount wants Leonard, and Leonard wants fair recompense. It's only reasonable that Paramount meet his demands. Something has happened here. Someone has made a lot of money from the show, and the people who were the show have seen very little of it. I think Leonard is totally in the right.'

    While Nimoy would eventually agree to do this attempted resurrection of STAR TREK, the format would again be changed and he would again drop out. As time went on, it seemed as though the problems facing cast and crew were unending, yet despite all this, Roddenberry remained optimistic. 'I'm very pleased with the way the film is going,' he enthused at the time. 'We've just signed Phil Kaufman--who's done many fine films--to direct. Things really began to change around here when the studio shifted its power base and David Picker took charge. He put Jerry Eisenberg in command of the film, and Jerry knows how to deal with the front office quite well. Once these men entered the picture, things began to move quite smoothly.

    'It's taking more time than usual to come up with a good script, because we're faced with some unusual problems. This is not just another movie--this is STAR TREK. A lot of people in the business have said to me, 'Hey, it should be easy to do the film. Just do an extended TV episode. You've done lots already; just do it again.' Well, I didn't want to do it that way. A movie is different from a TV show in a lot of ways. For one thing, the audience has made an investment in the film. They've shelled out money for the ticket, as well as for parking, baby-sitters, maybe dinner. They don't want to see a TV show on the screen. They're a captive audience, and they want something special. It's like getting a book and finding out it's lousy. If you've been given it as a present, you figure, gee, since I got it for free, it's no big deal that it's bad. But if you've paid $8.95 for it, you get a little pissed off.

    'With the STAR TREK script, we have defined personalities and really can't do anything contrary to the behavior patterns we've already established in the past. We're finding out that it's easier to work from scratch in terms of a storyline, but because all the details of the film are so well known already, it's getting harder and harder to come up with something new. I don't know what we'll finish with at this point, but I'm sure it will be a film that has a lot of entertainment value--action, adventure and a little comedy. I want a 2001.'

    Unfortunately, he didn't get it, although it wasn't from a lack of trying. The Scott-Bryant screenplay opens with the Enterprise investigating a distress signal sent from the USS DaVinci. By the time they arrive in that quadrant of space, the other starship is gone. Suddenly, Kirk's brain is struck by electromagnetic waves, which results in erratic behavior and his commandeering a shuttlecraft. He pilots it towards an invisible planet and disappears. Three years later, Spock leads an expedition back to that area of space, and they discover what they believe to be the planet of the Titans, an ancient but highly advanced race that had been thought extinct. Problem is that the planet is being drawn towards a black hole, and it becomes a race against time between the Federation and the Klingons, who are both interested in that particular world. The one who saves the planet will receive the fruits of their knowledge.

    On the planet's surface, Spock discovers Kirk, who has been living there as a wild man. However, the captain is restored to normal in short order, and together they discover that the planet is actually populated by the evil Cygnans, a race who have destroyed the Titans. The story concluded with Kirk, in an effort to destroy the hostile Cygnans, ordering the Enterprise into the black hole. As Susan Sackett noted in THE MAKING OF STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, 'During the trip through the black hole, the Cygnans are destroyed and the Enterprise emerges in orbit around Earth. But it is Earth at the time of the Cro-Magnon man, the dawn of humanity. The ancient Titans, it would seem, were the men of the Enterprise.'

    Jon Povill, who had shifted into the background as Gene Roddenberry's assistant, noted the project with interest, though he wasn't convinced it was right for STAR TREK's debut on the movie screen. 'It was an interesting script in a certain sort of way,' Povill explains. 'It was not Star Trek. People would have gone to see it, and it would have done as well as we did with STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, but it's just as well that it didn't get made. Chris and Alan even felt that it was something that wasn't quite successful. They didn't feel they had brought off a script that was just right. They didn't feel confident about it. Then Phil Kaufman decided that he wanted to take a run at the script. His treatment was, I think, worse than the script. Then the whole thing kind of fell apart.'

    It's been over 3 decades since the Scott-Bryant script had been written, and while Allan Scott cannot recall the specifics of the storyline, he has no trouble remembering his involvement with the proposed film. 'Jerry Eisenberg brought us into the project,' says Scott. 'He was going to be the producer at the time. We came out and met with him and Gene. We talked about it, and I think the only thing we agreed on at the time was that if they were going to make Star Trek as a motion picture, we should try and go forwards as it if were from the television series. Take it into another realm, if you like, into another dimension, and to that end we were talking quite excitedly about a distinguished film director and Phil Kaufman's name came up. We all thought that was a wonderful idea, and we met with him. Phil is a great enthusiast and very knowledgeable about science fiction, and we did a huge amount of reading. We must have read thirty science fiction books of various kinds. At that time we also had that guy from NASA, who was one of the advisors on the project, Jesco von Puttkamer. He was at some of the meetings, and Gene was at all of the meetings.

    'We were under instructions at the time,' he adds, the passage of years unclouding a bit, 'that they had no deal with William Shatner, so in fact the first story draft we did eliminated Captain Kirk. It was only a month or six weeks later when we were called and told that Kirk was now aboard and should be one of the lead characters. So all that work was wasted. At that time, Chris and I would sit in a room and talk about story ideas and notions, and talk them through with either Phil or Gene. Without any ill feelings on any part, it became clear to us that there was a divergence of view of how the movie should be made between Gene and Phil. I think Gene was quite right in sticking by not so much the specifics of STAR TREK but general ethics of it. I think Phil was more interested in exploring a wider range of science fiction stories, and yet nonetheless staying faithful to STAR TREK. There was definitely a tugging on the two sides between them. One of the reasons it took us so long to come up with a story was because things like that would change. If we came up with some aspects that pleased Gene, they often didn't please Phil and vice-versa. We were kind of piggies in the middle.'

    It's pointed out that in many instances there was a similar situation between Roddenberry and director Robert Wise on STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE. 'I would imagine,' Scott replies earnestly. 'Eventually we got to a stage where we more or less didn't have a story that everybody could agree on, and we were in very short time of our delivery date. Chris and I decided that the best thing we could do was take all the information we had absorbed from everybody, sit down and hammer something out. In fact, we did a fifteen or twenty page story in a three-day time period. I guess amendments were made to that in light of Gene and Phil's recommendations, but already we were at a stage by then that the thing was desperate if we were going to make the movie according to the schedule that was given to us. We made various amendments; we went to the studio with it, and they turned it down.

    'We never heard the reasons that it was turned down. I think other political things intervened, and I think the management at Paramount changed as well. I'm almost sure that at that time Michael Eisner came in and David Picker left, and I think that may have been as significant as anything else that may have happened. Our working relationship with Gene was very good and very friendlysimilarly with Phil. The only thing I can remember about the story itself is the ending, and I truly don't remember anything else but the ending. It involved primitive man on Earth, and I guess Spock or the crew of the Enterprise inadvertently introduced primitive man to the concept of fire. As they accelerated away, we realized that they were therefore giving birth to civilization as we know it. That's the only thing I can remember. I know a black hole was very important to the story. I guess it was through the black hole that they ended up in time warp.'

    Although there had been a slight feeling of intimidation at the outset, this quickly faded as the writing duo got further involved. 'I think as time wore on, we became less intimidated and much more absorbed in the STAR TREK ethic,' Scott concurs. 'You can't work on that project with Gene and not become involved with it. The difficulty for us was trying to make, as it were, an exploded episode of STAR TREK that had its own justifications in terms of the new scale that was available to it, because much of the show's charm was the fact that it dealt with big and bold ideas on a small budget, and of course the first thing that a movie would do, potentially, was match the budget and scale of the production to the boldness and vigor of the ideas. Of course we spent weeks looking at every episode of STAR TREK, and I would guess that more or less every member of the cast came by and met us.

    'We were surprised that it didn't go, because it seemed that it would. It was absolutely a 'go' picture. But it was a very exciting project to be involved with. I'm sorry it didn't work, because we would have enjoyed it even more if it had. We had a lot of fun, and it was really an enjoyable time. I don't feel unhappy about it at all. It was just one of those deals that happens at studios from time to time that fell down the middle.'

    Phil Kaufman's reaction to the cancellation of the film was not quite so idealistic. 'We were dealing with important things,' he said. 'Things that George [Lucas] has a smattering of in STAR WARS. We were dealing a lot with Olaf Stapledon. There were chapters in LAST AND FIRST MEN that I was basing STAR TREK on. That was my key thing. Gene and I disagreed on what the nature of a feature film really is. He was still bound by the things that he had been forced into by lack of money and by the fact that those times were not into science fiction the way they are now. Gene has a very set way of looking at things. My feeling always was that he was anchored in a 10-year-old TV show which would not translate for a feature audience ten years later with all that had been done and could potentially be done in a feature scope. For years I had walked around San Francisco with George Lucas talking about what he was doing. I knew what the potential of this kind of stuff was.' Perhaps most shocking to him was the feeling that Paramount canceled the film because of the success of STAR WARS, which was released in May of 1977, and the belief that they had blown their opportunity at the box office. 'They didn't even wait to see what STAR WARS would do,' Kaufman said incredulously. 'I don't think they tried to understand what the phenomenon of STAR TREK was.'

    'We considered the project for years,' summed up then Paramount president Barry Diller. 'We've done a number of treatments, scripts, and every time we'd say, 'This isn't good enough.' If we had just gone forward and done it, we might have done it quite well. In this case [the Scott-Bryant-Kaufman version], it was the script. We felt, frankly, that it was a little pretentious. We went to Gene Roddenberry and said, 'Look, you're the person who really understands STAR TREK. We don't. But what we should probably do is return to the original context, a television series.' If you force it as a big 70-millimeter widescreen movie, you go directly against the concept. If you rip STAR TREK off, you'll fail, because the people who like STAR TREK don't just like it. They love it."

    Bryant and Scoot's draft was rejected by Paramount in April 1977, as was Kaufman's rewrite in May (just before Star Wars came out). Paramount decided to produce a TV Series titled Star Trek Phase II instead of the movie.

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Default Re: The original Silver Surfer movie treatments.


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    Default Re: The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.

    The Secret History of Spider-Man Movies

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Jane Anders
    1975-1976: Steve Krantz
    Krantz, one of the producers of the 1960s Spider-Man cartoons along with Fritz the Cat, tried to launch a live-action Spider-Man movie in the mid-1970s, according to the book Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book by Jordan Raphael and Tom Spurgeon. Originally, Krantz wanted to make a splashy action-fantasy musical — perhaps not that different from Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark?

    But eventually, Krantz realized that a more straightforward approach to Spidey would be more successful — and in 1976, he was pitching the studios with an outline that involved a college-age Spider-Man fighting a 100-foot-tall robot, plus Nazis. And it included the death of Gwen Stacy. Sadly, it never got off the ground.


    1977-1978: Columbia Pictures
    And then there was the disco-era Spider-Man TV series, which started out as a made-for-television movie that was released theatrically in some countries, about a grown-up Peter Parker who gets spider-based superpowers. A new-age guru is mind-controlling people to become criminals. And the guru threatens to make 10 New Yorkers commit suicide, unless he gets $10 million. So Spider-Man invents web shooters and swings into action against the guru and his army of samurai. Sure, why not? You can watch the whole thing right here.

    After the TV show was on the air, some other episodes were edited together and released theatrically. There was Spider-Man Strikes Back (comprising the two-part "Deadly Dust" storyline) and Spider-Man: The Dragon's Challenge (the "Chinese Web" storyline). In the former, Peter Parker's students accidentally gain the materials to create an atomic bomb. In the latter, Spider-Man goes to Hong Kong to save a Chinese politician accused of corruption, resulting in a boat chase and lots of clunky action.

    1982: Roger Corman
    The producer of countless low-budget classics — including the legendary original Fantastic Four movie — also nearly made a Spider-Man film. Orion Pictures had the rights at one point, but to Corman's dismay, let the rights expire.

    According to Raphael and Spurgeon's book, the Corman movie would at least have been based on a treatment by Stan Lee himself, which stuck pretty closely to the comics. Peter Parker would have been a college student, facing Dr. Octopus. And he would have had a few love interests, including Mary Jane Watson and a sexy KBG agent. But Lee's screenplay was probably too ambitious, including a huge sequence where Spidey fights atop the U.N. building, with lots of swinging, sticking to walls, leaping, jumping and falling, all while dodging Doc Ock's arms. Meanwhile, Spidey also finds time to prevent a nuclear war with Russia.

    1985-1990 Cannon Films
    Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus were known for their schlocky films — including our favorite, The Apple — but in the 1980s, they were trying to go legit via the Cannon Group and Cannon Films. After Corman lost the Spider-Man rights, Cannon Group purchased them for $225,000 plus profit-sharing, and took out a 50-page pull-out ad touting Spider-Man among its upcoming productions, according to the book Superman Vs. Hollywood by Jake Rossen. At first, this film was going to be directed by Tobe Hooper (Texas Chain Saw Massacre) or Joseph Vito (Missing in Action), but after he dropped out, the director's chair was taken by B-movie mastermind Albert Pyun.

    Early on, there were huge problems — because Golan, despite being hugely enthusiastic about the Spider-Man character, was very unclear on the concept. And he wanted to change Spider-Man's origin to be caused by an evil scientist named Dr. Zork, who creates mutants. Peter Parker would be a lowly employee of Dr. Zork's, who accidentally gets turned into a Spider-Man and then has to fight Zork's army of mutants. In another screenplay that was considered, Spidey gets turned into an eight-legged tarantula.

    "Golan and Globus didn't really know what Spider-Man was," Zito told the L.A. Times. "They thought it was like the Wolfman."

    As Don Kopaloff, Marvel's film agent in the 1980s, told Spurgeon and Raphael in their Stan Lee book, "I would never have gone to [Cannon] as a first choice. I went to them after I couldn't get Captain America or Spider-Man sold." The younger people in the film industry were plenty interested, but the older people, who were still in charge, "didn't bite."

    According to Video Junkie Strikes Back from Beyond the Grave, stuntman Scott Leva was considered to play Peter Parker — and it got as far as creating these test shots. (They also dreamed of casting Tom Cruise in the role, according to the L.A. Times.)

    Eventually, the "Dr. Zork" concept was dumped, and replaced by a more traditional approach, in which Spider-Man was going to fight Dr. Octopus (who might have been played by Bob Hoskins, according to Comic Book Heroes of the Screen by William Schoell.) In this version, Doc Ock would have been transformed by a cyclotron explosion, and would have had a hideous latex fake torso, showing how his cybernetic tentacles had fused with his body. You can read the unproduced script by Ted Newsom and John Brancato here. Some of the stuff that Newsom and Brancato came up with that made it into the Sam Raimi movies included Peter Parker discarding his glasses, which hindered his now-perfect eyesight.

    But by the time Pyun came on board, the Doctor Octopus script had been dumped, in favor of another storyline, about Spider-Man being pitted against a bat-like scientist-turned-vampire (Morbius?), according to Cinefantastique Volume 34.

    We asked Pyun about his experiences with this project, and he told us:
    It was a big challenge trying to figure out a dynamic way to bring him to the screen back in 1988. The villain I chose was The Lizard but he had his own challenges with the tail and ability to jump around.


    We were experimenting with centrifuges and wire work but it was daunting on a low budget. We were fully cast and had most of the major sets built when the plug got pulled.
    Stan Lee kept rejecting these script drafts — but at the same time, kept bucking to play J. Jonah Jameson himself. Meanwhile, legendary concept artist Mentor Huebner created some concept art, which is sadly unavailable.

    Pyun was hoping to film Spider-Man at the same time as Masters of the Universe 2, using the same sets — but in the end, both films fell through. A big problem, as with many of Pyun's films, was funding. There simply wasn't the money to support such a huge production, which had a $5 million special effects budget alone. At last, Pyun used the sets and props for Spider-Man and MOTU2 for his movie Cyborg.

    1990-1993: Carolco:
    The Cannon Group went under, but Golan still had the rights to Spider-Man, which he sold to a number of entities, including Carolco, which hired James Cameron for $3 million to write and direct. Golan's only condition was that he had to be listed on the finished product as a producer. Eventually, though, Carolco realized they had accidentally given James Cameron a contract that was basically his Terminator 2 contract with "Terminator 2" replaced with "Spider-Man." And this contract gave Cameron approval of all on-screen credits — and Cameron would not agree to giving Golan a credit in his movie. Golan sued, and the whole thing went down in a flurry of lawsuits.

    But meanwhile, Cameron had already written a 31-page illustrated "scriptment," a kind of detailed outline with snippets of dialogue, and then an actual script. And according to the L.A. Times:

    Cameron painted Peter Parker in darker hues than the previous writers had: morally ambiguous, profane, even sadistically violent. He gave Parker's love interest the name of Mary Jane Watson, who in the comics is a neighborhood girl attracted to Parker. But he also gave her the snobbish, upper-crust personality of several other girls in the original material, along with a drunken, abusive father. The arch-criminal is a small-time hood accidentally invested with electromagnetic powers, resembling the comics' Electro.
    Cameron was also the first creator to come up with the idea of organic, rather than mechanical, web shooters. You can read the entire scriptment here, or read the actual 1993 final script here.

    After that, Marvel realized it had sold the movie rights to Spider-Man to three different companies, under varying terms, and the lawsuits were epic and bitter. By the time the mess was sorted out, Hollywood was finally waking up to the big-screen potential for superhero films, and Columbia snagged the rights, leading to the Sam Raimi films.

    Additional reporting by Katharine Trendacosta.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Default Re: The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.

    From Bleeding Cool:
    Monday Runaround – James Cameron’s X-Men

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Johnston
    XWatch: Chris Claremont has been talking X-Men with Louise Simonson at the Columbia University, hosting Comic New York: A Symposium.
    He said that as Cameron launched his own studio, Lightstorm Entertainment, in 1990, he and Marvel Comics mastermind Stan Lee went to his office to pitch him an X-Men movie.

    “Just think about this for a minute: James Cameron’s X-Men. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. That’s what we were playing,” Claremont said. “So we’re chatting. And at one point Stan looks at Cameron and says, ‘I hear you like Spider-Man.’ Cameron’s eyes lit up.

    “And they start talking. And talking. And talking. About 20 minutes later all the Lightstorm guys and I are looking at each other, and we all know the X-Men deal has just evaporated. Kathryn goes off and writes a screen treatment for X-Men that was eaten alive by all the idiots who have a piece of Spider-Man because Marvel during its evolution has sold off the rights time and time and time again.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Default Re: The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.

    Movie Legends Revealed: He-Man & Spider-Man Films Became Cyborg?
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Cronin
    MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: The Jean-Claude Van Damme film Cyborg was originally going to be both the sequel to the Masters of the Universe film AND a Spider-Man film.

    Cannon’s rights agreement with Marvel required Cannon to release a Spider-Man film by 1990, so they came up with a clever approach. Writer/director Albert Pyun explained how it would work:
    The concept was to shoot 2 weeks of “Spider-Man” first. The section of Peter Parker’s story before he was bitten. Then we would shoot 6 weeks of “Masters 2″. The actor cast to play Parker would undergo a streneuous 8 week workout regimen supervised by a fitness professor at UCLA, Dr. Eric Sternlicht to build size and muscle mass. After shooting “Masters 2″ we would resume shooting “Spider-Man”.
    Pyun doesn’t recall who was cast as Peter Parker. The projects were to be filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina, where they created all of the sets and costumes for Masters of the Universe and the New York City sets for the early Spider-Man sequences. Pyun estimated the budget for Spider-Man was roughly $6 million (the largest he had ever worked with), while the one for Masters was about $4.5 million. Mattel had submitted all of their approvals, and production was ready to get under way.
    Then, two weeks before filming began, the bottom fell out.


    Cannon had bounced its licensing checks to Marvel and Mattel, and negotiations fell apart, as the studio had little money to spend. Suddenly, neither film was going to be made. Pyun was left sitting there with all of these sets and costumes but unable to start filming. However, he had an idea. Cannon was already in the hole about $2 million on the two projects, so why not just make a different film that would incorporate the sets and costumes but wouldn’t require licensing fees? Cannon agreed. and Pyun spent the weekend putting together a script for a new film called Cyborg.


    Pyun recalled:
    I wrote a first draft of what became “Cyborg” over a weekend and brought in a young actor — who wanted to be a screenwriter — to do polishes. His name was Don Michael Paul and he has gone on to write and direct “Half Past Dead” and Harley Davidson and the “Marlboro Man”.

    Pyun wrote the script with Cannon star Chuck Norris in mind for the lead role, but instead he was given Jean-Claude Van Damme, who starred in the Cannon-financed film Bloodsport the previous year. Naturally, Pyun had to re-write the lead character (originally an over-the-hill ex-Army Ranger), making him the mercenary character Van Damme eventually played. Pyun recalled that the budget, with Van Damme’s salary included, was roughly $500,000.
    The film was a modest hit, taking in more than $10 million at the box office. It has become a cult classic in the years since. However, from an ingenuity standpoint, it was clearly a major success.
    The legend is…
    STATUS: True

  19. #19
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jonathan Hensleigh's HULK

    Billy Crudup As Ang Lee's HULK? See The Concept Art!
    Conceptual illustrator, Benton Jew, had the privilege of working on not one, not two, but three live-action Hulk films: Jonathan Hensleigh's defunct Hulk film (1997), Ang Lee's 2003 film, and Louis Leterrier's The Incredible Hulk (2008). Come see concept art and storyboards.

    CBM:
    EDITORIAL: The Incredible Hulk: A Cinematic Hot Mess? PART 2.1
    I gotta be honest, the development of Marvel’s Iconic Emerald Giant into a film reads like a “How To” on doing everything wrong in developing a comic book movie. Back in the early nineties, I was fortunate to get my hands on a copy of a proposed HULK script that while it left much to be desired … was LEAUGES BETTER than the resultant 2003 fiasco. This script featured the origins of the Hulk nemesis “THE LEADER” and numerous skirmishes between the HULK and the US MILITARY. The Hulk’s Mr. Fixit alter ego, Rick Jones and even Marlo Chandler. It was basically … A really GOOD START to a proposed Hulk movie.
    IGN:
    An Interview with Jonathan Hensleigh - We speak with the writer/director behind The Punisher.

    IGNFF: At one point, weren't you going to helm Hulk?

    HENSLEIGH:
    Yeah. I was in pre-production for nine months.

    IGNFF: What happened with that?

    HENSLEIGH:
    They fired Casey Silver and they shut down his projects. The budget had been high – it had always been hovering around $100 million, and they were trying to get me to cut the script to take it lower. They wanted me to stay on the project to continue to rewrite the script to make the budget lower, and I just said, "I've been on this project for a year. I can't wait around unless I have a 100% commitment that you're going to make it." And they couldn't really do that – they were in transition – so I just said, "Listen, I've got to move on." Gale (Anne Hurd), of course, stayed with it, and a few years later Ang Lee attached, and that was that.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Default Re: The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.

    DOOMED: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s THE FANTASTIC FOUR Begins Pre-Production

    Work has begun on DOOMED: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s THE FANTASTIC FOUR, a documentary which sets out to reveal the true story behind the "lost" Roger Corman film that was eventually leaked on VHS.


  21. #21
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Default Re: The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.

    ‘Spider-Man 2’ scriptwriter, screenwriting coach relishes ‘make-believe’
    Quote Originally Posted by David Rogers
    At 23, while working as an assistant to Columbia Pictures producer Laura Ziskin (who died of breast cancer in 2011), Cherry attended an early script-writing meeting for Spider-Man 2. A plot proposal had Peter Parker using a machine to rid himself of his superpowers. Cherry grimaced — and his boss asked why.


    Having read comics as a boy, Cherry thought that method was too simplistic — and mirrored what happened to the man of steel in 1980s Superman II. “So that in itself was reason enough to find something different to do. Also I knew the fan boys would jump all over it and tear it apart,” Cherry said. The executives in the room, including then-Marvel executive Avi Arad, agreed with Cherry’s idea that Parker’s emotional state should be the cause of the loss of his powers, Cherry said.


    From there, his role transitioned from taking notes to writing scripts for “filler scenes” and then doing more substantial screen writing. For Spider-Man 2, Cherry estimates he wrote a quarter of the script.

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    Default Re: The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.

    The 10 Weirdest Marvel Movies That Almost Got Made

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Jane Anders
    3) Menahem Golan's Spider-Man

    There were many, many Spider-Man films in the pipeline in the years before Sam Raimi got his hands on Spidey — but the weirdest had to be the one that Menahem Golan, of the Cannon Group, had in mind. Golan, who gave us the supreme cult classic The Apple, misunderstood the basic concept of Spider-Man. He thought the character was a giant human-tarantula hybrid with eight hairy legs. In one of Golan's pitches, Peter Parker gets turned into Spider-Man by the evil Dr. Zork. In another, the hairy eight-legged Spider-Man fights mutants in an underground laboratory. Director Joseph Zito said the producers "didn't really know what Spider-Man was. They thought it was like the Wolfman."

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    Default Re: The original X-Men and Spider-Man movie treatments.


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