The concept of Hollywood sequels is a pretty simple one: "You know that movie you liked? Here's more of it! Now pay up, ding-dongs." Every once in a while, however, Hollywood's creatives live up to their name and end up proposing sequel ideas so mind-meltingly stupid, not even the industry that gave us Highlander 2: All Of Your Favorite Characters Are Aliens Now would dare approve them.
In an ordered universe, a movie more batshit-crazy than Batman V Superman shouldn't exist, not even as a proposal on an executive's desk. That's like breaking absolute zero -- it shouldn't be possible, it can't be possible, and if we somehow manage to out-bullshit a Superman movie where one of the recurring motifs was "pissing in a jar," we frankly deserve whatever type of retribution the laws of the cosmos decide is apt.
This segues us nicely to Batman Vs. Superman: Asylum.
Called that because this is how you'd end up after watching it.
Birthed through the improbable alliance of screenwriters Andrew Kevin Walker (Se7en) and Akiva Goldsman (Batman & Robin), this 2002 script opens with Clark Kent and Lois Lane going through a divorce, because being faster than a speeding bullet isn't always a good thing. Meanwhile, Batman quit Batmanning because Robin, Alfred, and Commissioner Gordon died, presumably after going to see that Antonio Banderas Zorro movie together.
Batman/Bruce Wayne finally catches a break, meets a nice woman, and gets married... only to have the Joker reappear and murder his new wife. And not just any Joker, either -- Jack Nicholson's Joker, who looked rather indisposed the last time we saw him:
He saw a glimpse of a Jared Leto-filled future and willed himself back to life.
Don't worry, there's a perfectly sensible explanation: Lex Luthor brought him back to life with magic DNA. It's kind of Luthor's thing.
Anyway, since Superman is a paragon of virtue, he doesn't allow Batman to use the Joker's face to redecorate the Batmobile's wheels, so they beat the ever-loving shit out of each other. Eventually, they make/team up to take down Luthor and Joker, and it even turns out Batman's newly murdered wife was only a genetic experiment created for the sole purpose of mindfucking him. A perfectly happy ending! We're not sure why Warner Bros. dropped this movie faster than a hot turd -- it was precisely the kind of light distraction America needed in 2002.
The Bodyguard is a romantic-action-drama-thriller starring Kevin Costner as a super-tough bodyguard assigned to protect a singer who totally isn't meant to represent Whitney Houston (Whitney Houston) from a variety of stalkers and assassins. (This was in the days before Costner became as badass as an angry suburban dad trying to get his kid's pee-wee coach fired after downing 17 beers in the first inning, so it holds up pretty well.)
For years, there have been rumors about a Bodyguard reboot focusing on how the internet makes threatening to kill celebrities as easy as ordering cheese crackers on Amazon. As much fun as it would have been to watch Kevin Costner dropkick an iPad, that idea doesn't hold a candle in the wind to the actual script for The Bodyguard 2, wherein Costner returns to protect a Totally-Not-Princess Diana... played by Princess Diana.
Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images
We'd pay good money to see two hours of Costner shooting paparazzi.
This wasn't just some casting pipe-dream, by the way -- in an interview, Costner revealed that he and Diana had already engaged in serious-enough talks about the possibility to warrant him bringing in a screenwriter to help out their vision. The resulting script was set in Hong Kong and featured "Princess Julia" hiring the titular bodyguard to protect her from stalkers and photographers, but not from his own dick. Costner's character was supposed to have "a steamy affair" with Diana, making us wonder if he also offers this kind of personalized attention when he's protecting Tom Jones or something.
Sadly, the screenplay was delivered exactly one day before this happened:
New York Daily News
This is kind of like commissioning a script where you're the heroic safety inspector of the Titanic.
Buckingham Palace explicitly denied the Bodyguard sequel rumors after Diana's death, only to concede the point when Costner told them to STFU. That's right, Kevin Fucking Costner took on the Queen and won. We almost feel bad for mocking him now.
Some of you are already hyperventilating here: a Predator movie about Arnold Schwarzenegger's character, Dutch, going to space and presumably slaughtering a horde of Rastafarian aliens? How do you go wrong with such a bitchin' idea? Well, let's just say this movie may have opened with Dutch commandeering a Spanish galleon and just got weirder from there.
20th Century Fox
An idea that's not "Arnold Schwarzenegger actually became governor" weird, but close.
This mid-90s script by Robert Rodriguez finds Pirate Dutch and his crew being attacked by a group of assailants wearing Predator-esque armors. It soon turns out that the attackers aren't Predators -- they're Space Marines tasked with arresting Dutch for deserting their Space Marine Corps. Oh, yeah: The galleon was in an alien planet all along. How did Dutch get to space in the first place? The movie doesn't care, so neither should you.
The Marines take Dutch to what's supposed to be a prison planet, but as soon they land, they stumble upon a crucified Predator (later referred to as "the Jesus Christ of the lizard men").
A surprisingly rewarding Google Images search.
Dutch recognizes the species and immediately runs away, sparing him from being slaughtered like most of the Space Marines. Later, Dutch witnesses some of the survivors being used to teach adorable lil' Predators how to hunt humans, while the rest are used in bizarre cross-species genetics experiments (not a euphemism for sex scenes). Most distressingly, Dutch finds out that the big, badass Predator from Predator was just some piece-of-shit hothead with no fighting experience. By winning that fight, Dutch effectively becomes the guy who spin-kicks a disabled child in the head and declares a hard-fought victory.
The comic relief character then eats a Predator, because why the fuck not by this point.
20th Century Fox
Predator dick: one of the most irresistible dishes in the entire galaxy.
The humans take the battle to the Predators, and Dutch eventually kills the Predator King (presumably while protecting a little boy and quipping, "Gehen Sie aus, Krabbe-Schwanz!"). It's pretty hard to imagine this version getting made. Then again, there's a parallel universe out there where we're talking about how Rodriguez almost made a Predators movie starring the guy from The Pianist and the kid from That '70s Show.
Toy Story 3 is an incredibly moving story about growing up, leaving home, and how throwing away your childhood toys makes you guilty for the Holocaust, basically. It was an instant classic, so it's kind of hard to believe that this movie was almost 1) not made by Pixar (this was before Disney outright bought them) and 2) even sadder, but not in a good way.
The plot starts with Buzz Lightyear experiencing some technical difficulties, which seems harmless enough until you realize there's nothing stopping him from mistaking Andy for a minion of Emperor Zurg and cutting his brakes. The toys learn that this is all happening to all Buzz Lightyear toys, so they stuff their Buzz into a box and ship him off to Taiwan to be mended, all the while presumably hoping that customs doesn't look too closely at his luggage.
Instead of hiring Tim Allen, they would have just sampled the Home Improvement grunt for all of Buzz's dialogue.
The toys soon realize that Buzz is probably going to wind up getting crushed instead of rebooted, so they grab their accessories and set out to save him. Buzz, meanwhile, is locked up alongside a bunch of other defective toys, including Legally Not A Transformer...
Buzz Lightyear "Bro, Do You Even Lift?" Edition...
All those steroids have really shrunk down his cannons.
And Barbie McScissorlegs, the world's most unsurprising recall.
And the only Disney character in history that would never get its own toy (we think).
Of course, it wouldn't be Toy Story 3 without a concentration camp metaphor.
There's just something about the "talking toys" concept that inevitably leads to "war horrors."
But because of corporate reshuffling at Disney and Pixar, this script was quietly forgotten. It's probably better that way. We never, ever want to hear the canon explanation for this image:
One-Eyed Bart got serious about this whole "extortion" thing, huh?
After Age Of Ultron, Robert Downey Jr.'s contract with Marvel expired, leaving the possibility of Civil War twisting in the breeze depending on how badly RDJ wanted that new extension. And if Downey had bounced, we would've gotten an adaptation of one of the craziest Marvel Comics storylines ever, Captain America: Madbomb.
Or "Attack Of The Giant Brain Butt-Plugs."
Originally published in 1976, Madbomb sees Captain America go up against a mysterious group known as the Elite, a cabal of evildoers who want to kill him and take over the world. So far, so normal. Only, the Elite's leader has a grudge against Captain America because his relative was iced during the Revolutionary War by Cap's very own ancestor, who isn't depicted in the comic but probably looked like this:
Look out, Captain Colonial America! The Nazi Pope is about to throw an avocado at your taint!
Unlike HYDRA, the Elite wouldn't have used sophisticated political manipulation and artificial intelligence-driven warships to achieve their aims. Their plan was to drive the population into an insane frenzy using a series of devices called "Madbombs" -- dick-shaped pods that emit sonic waves capable of turning humanity into an uncontrollable mass of anarchic rage, whereafter the Elite can swoop in and seize power. Cap and the Falcon learn about this from Henry Kissinger, that hero of American democracy (as long as it's North American democracy).
Hopefully Al Franken is still willing to play him now that no makeup is necessary.
Of course, this is only a rough approximation of how the movie would have looked, especially when you take into account the ways that Marvel has already adapted the franchise's source material to make it sound plausible-ish. Instead of cockpods that turn people into angry, brainless robots, the main villain would have be, like, Alex Jones, we guess.
The original direction for Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan was an absolute doozy of death and destruction. Gene Roddenberry's treatment for the movie opens with the USS Enterprise returning to Earth after several years of exploring, observing, and sticking it in other species. Upon landing, however, they discover that the Earth has been annihilated by the Klingons, who went back in time and somehow prevented the founding of the Galactic Federation, thus leaving the planet undefended.
To undo this damage, the Enterprise uses a portal to travel back to the '60s, the point in which time became un-unfucked. It's a simple mission: Don't mess things up too badly. Naturally, they crash-land in Canada, put the entire world on DEFCON 1, and cause JFK to cancel his trip to Dallas.
Walt Cisco/Dallas Morning News
That trip to Dallas.
After realizing that the Klingons did jack-shit and that they were the ones who screwed the timeline, the crew has to set things right and save the future. And how do they do that? Well, there are different versions of varying levels of insanity. In one, Kennedy agrees to sacrifice himself. In another, it's left ambiguous. And in the one quoted by William Shatner and Rolling Stone magazine, "the climactic moments of the film would find Spock standing on a grassy knoll in Dallas, firing that infamous 'phantom shot' as a way of ensuring Kennedy's death and thereby guaranteeing a brighter future for all of mankind."
CBS Television Distribution
"Fine, I shall do it, but only if I get to look dapper as fuck."
Reportedly, Paramount responded by shredding the script and shunting Roddenberry into an Executive Consultant position before he wrote something where Uhura steals MLK's draft of "I Have a Dream" or Scotty undoes the formation of Israel.
Behind every awful movie is the idea for a good one. Old man Indiana Jones discovers aliens: Good in theory, bad in practice. Batman fights Superman: So simple, but so bad. Are there good versions of these movies hidden within the stinking turds that saw the light of day? Jack O'Brien hosts Soren Bowie, Daniel O'Brien, and Katie Willert of After Hours on our next live podcast to find an answer, as they discuss their ideal versions of flops, reboots, and remakes. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased here!
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