3 Quantum Leap Was to Leap into Magnum, P.I.
For those of you too young to remember the '80s and '90s, Quantum Leap starred Scott Bakula as Sam Beckett, a physicist who time traveled by occupying different people's bodies throughout history, correcting mistakes or otherwise preventing disasters to change their future for the better.
As seen here.
Magnum, P.I. was a show about Tom Selleck solving mysteries while wearing Bermuda shorts and a mustache.
Or, more commonly, just a mustache.
Quantum Leap was best described as a "cult hit," a phrase which here means "financial liability." In an effort to try to gain viewers before NBC replaced it with a Golden Girls spinoff, Donald P. Bellisario, the producer responsible for both shows, hatched a plan to have Sam Beckett quantum leap into Magnum's body. Magnum, P.I. had been an enormously popular show throughout the '80s but had ended its run a few years prior, so the idea (despite being terrible) was completely doable, and might bring in old Magnum fans and convert them into Leap viewers.
The problem here is that the fans of Quantum Leap and the fans of Magnum, P.I. sat on opposite ends of the proverbial high school lunchroom. Leap was a science fiction show about a handsome nerd that frequently dressed its main character up like a woman and occasionally bridged over into the paranormal. Magnum was a show about an awesome dude who drove a sports car, beat the shit out of people and had sex with all of the vaginas in Hawaii. It would be hard to convince Magnum, P.I. fans to tune in to watch some geek in a Tom Selleck costume parade around on the corpse of their favorite television show.
"You think you put on the mustache and suddenly you're Magnum? You have to earn that mustache!"
Also, unless the episode was about Sam Beckett leaping into Magnum's mustache (which we would watch forever), we have to believe that the first five minutes would be devoted entirely to Scott Bakula in a Tommy Bahama shirt violently punching himself in the head as Magnum rebelled against having his body controlled by a time-shifting dweeb.
How We Were Spared
Despite promises from NBC that Quantum Leap would end its fourth season in 1992 with Sam Beckett jumping into Magnum, P.I., apparently no one bothered to inform Tom Selleck -- his publicist denied any knowledge of the deal. Additionally, Bellisario scrapped the idea when he realized that there was studio interest in a Magnum feature film (although the subsequent two and half decades of no Magnum movie seem to suggest that nobody told Tom Selleck about that one, either).
"It's tough getting back to people, what with all the sex I'm having."
2 There Were Plans for Jay and Silent Bob to Meet Hellraiser
Before he began to systematically respond to every single negative comment about him ever posted online, Kevin Smith made movies. Most of them featured the comedic stoner duo Jay and Silent Bob, whose slouched, speech-impeded antics led to five films and a short-lived cartoon series. Hellraiser is a series of films wherein a demon named Pinhead butchers people with hook chains and rips the flesh off of helpless victims to resculpt them into mind-bending horrorbeasts. Clearly it was time for these two franchises to merge.
After 2001's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back seemed to mark the retirement of the two characters, Smith received a phone call from Miramax head Harvey Weinstein, presumably looking for the quickest way to spray ropy diarrhea tendrils all over the Oscar cred the studio had built up during the '90s. Weinstein's idea was to do a Jay and Silent Bob/Hellraiser crossover, like the classic comedy/horror mashup Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein, only with more sadomasochistic demon torture.
The Hays Code censored the planned disembowelment orgy scene.
They came up with a premise where Jay and Silent Bob would hilariously cross paths with Pinhead and get sent to their own personal hell -- a rehab clinic. People would get torn to bloody shreds around them while Jay spat out gibberish and Silent Bob vigorously nodded and bugged his eyes like a cartoon character.
How We Were Spared
It was Smith who decided that it was a terrible idea, even after Ben Affleck weighed in with some advice: "At first I was going to say that's fucking retarded, but I bet you a lot of people would go to see that movie." (Tyler Perry has this quote tattooed on the inside of his eyelids.)
In a bizarre footnote, New Line Cinema came under fire when they all but photocopied the Jay character for their own much more sense-making crossover Freddy vs. Jason, a shameless bit of inexplicable co-opting that led Jason Mewes (the actor who plays Jay) to mock the ripoff character in a TV documentary.