4 Bonkers '80s Movie Crossovers We Almost Got

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4 Bonkers '80s Movie Crossovers We Almost Got

United Artists, Columbia Pictures

Today everyone is accustomed to the idea of characters from one movie showing up in a different one, but back in the '80s, people's brains hadn't evolved to that point -- or maybe we're the ones who were forced to devolve to accept the relentless assault of corporate synergy? It's hard to tell. Anyway, this has never stopped people from pitching nutty crossover ideas between iconic '80s properties, such as ... 

Rocky('s Son) Goes Into Business With The Karate Kid('s Daughter)

 

A Rocky/Karate Kid crossover doesn't seem that far-fetched, considering that the two franchises were linked from the beginning. The whole reason Karate Kid (and its popular TV spin-off: yes, the cartoon that ran for 14 whole episodes in 1989) exists is that the studio approached director John G. Avildsen about doing something like his most successful movie to date, which happened to be Rocky. They even got the same guy to compose the music, and the main song was actually a rejected training montage theme from Rocky III

Incidentally, Stallone is friends with Karate Kid's writer and told him: "You just @#$%ing ripped off my movie." The writer didn't dispute that assertion. So we can imagine an '80s movie where, say, Rocky breaks his arms and wants to keep fighting, so Mr. Miyagi trains him to make his legs deadlier while Daniel-san waxes his Pontiac. The problem is that the idea was only proposed to Avildsen and Ralph Macchio in 2012. How would that work? Easy, by going The Next Generation on it. 

According to Macchio, the movie would have been about Rocky's son and Daniel's daughter getting to know each other, but hopefully not too closely, because they soon find out they have common ancestors in Italy. Then, as you always do every time you discover a new distant cousin on Ancestry.com, they decide to open some sort of martial arts dojo together. The pitch also involved both franchise's iconic trainers, Mickey and Mr. Miyagi, somehow coming together, even though both actors and at least one character were long dead at that point. Then again, Macchio says people also tried to pitch him the idea that Miyagi comes back as a ghost, so maybe this was the same movie. 

Macchio has indicated that at least one exec was into the idea, but he and Avildsen sure as hell weren't, so it didn't move along. That's probably for the best since the stink on both franchises might have prevented us from getting Creed, Cobra Kai, and the inevitable Netflix revival of that awesome cartoon. Anyway, if you see Milo Ventimiglia pop up in Cobra Kai, now you know where that story's going. 

Star Trek IV Almost Starred Beverly Hills Cop-Era Eddie Murphy

 

While this one isn't technically a crossover, it might as well be since Eddie Murphy played practically the same character in all his '80s movies: a fish-out-of-water dude dealing with some crazy white people nonsense. Well, in 1986, Murphy almost had to deal with the craziest white people nonsense: Star Trek

At the time, Murphy was massively popular and also a massive Trekkie, as evidenced by his (very NSFW) routine about the show in his 1983 stand-up special Delirious

According to Leonard Nimoy, who directed Star Trek IV, he was preparing the movie when the head of the studio called him and said, "I have either the best idea in the world or the worst idea in the world," which was putting Eddie Murphy in Star Trek. At one point, they even had the writer from Beverly Hills Cop attached to do the screenplay. Nimoy says he had several meetings with Murphy so they could figure out a way to make this happen without permanently destroying both of their careers. 

To that end, the writers wrote Murphy into the script as a present-day (as in, '80s present-day) college professor whose musical taste is mainly "whale songs" and who meets the Trek gang when they travel back in time to save the whales. But, despite the fact that his character was an astrophysicist, Murphy still felt like they wrote him as "the jive dude in San Francisco with Spock." The problem, he said, is that he didn't "want to be the jive dude with Spock, I want to have pointed ears and a phaser and I want to beam and I want to do all of that." 

Poster for Eddie Murphy's Adventures of Pluto Nash.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Do you, man? Do you?

Additionally, according to one of the writers, the studio got cold feet about "putting all their golden eggs in one basket," since Star Trek and "whatever Eddie Murphy's doing" were their two biggest franchises. So Murphy backed out and his part was rewritten into the role of the sexy scientist who is romanced by Captain Kirk – or at least we assume they had to rewrite those scenes before going to shoot the movie. As for Murphy, at least he got to brag about his vast Trek knowledge in Boomerang, where he mentions that he even knows Spock's last name (Jenkins). 

Transformers Meets G.I. Joe Meets ... Jem?

 

Listen, we all know there's gonna be a Transformers/G.I. Joe movie sooner or later. They're owned by the same studio, they've already had a bunch of crossovers in the comics, and truth be told, the Autobots probably owe it to the Joes since the only reason they got a film franchise first was that the U.S. invaded Iraq. Mashing these two explosion-filled franchises/vehicles for military propaganda together kinda makes sense. What doesn't is also throwing Jem and the Holograms in there. Specifically, this version of Jem and the Holograms

Screenshot of Rotten Tomatoes page for Jem and the Holograms movie showing 22% rating.

Rotten Tomatoes

As a reminder, that's the one most fans of the original show didn't seem to care for, probably because it had like 3% to do with the original show. 

In 2015, right before the Jem movie was released (and two weeks before it was pulled from theaters), director John M. Chu said he was hoping to inherit Transformers from Michael Bay and eventually do "one epic blockbuster" uniting the two franchises and also G.I. Joe. Why? Because they're all based on '80s Hasbro toys, and the film rights are owned by the same studio. That's literally the only reason anyone would think to have giant alien robots and super soldiers meet the most generic 2010s pop band possible. 

While it's perfectly possible that Chu was joking, his idea still seemed like a realistic possibility since he'd already directed a G.I. Joe movie, and Universal had paid for the rights to do FIVE more Jem ones. All franchises start thinking about adding giant robots that turn into cars by the fifth one. Of course, the fifth movie never happened because the first one was a spectacular bomb, and Jem was absent from Universal's plans later that year when they announced their Hasbro toy-verse featuring G.I. Joe, Micronauts, Visionaries, M.A.S.K., and ROM. Which also didn't happen. Oh well, Hasbro fans will always have this: 

Every '80s Slasher Meets Every Other '80s Slasher

 

After Freddy vs. Jason made nearly four times its budget in 2003, everyone wanted to jump in on the haunted slasher movie crossover bandwagon with their own ridiculous idea -- starting with Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash (as in Ash the chainsaw-handed guy from Evil Dead, not the Irish alt rock band).  

According to Freddy Krueger himself, actor Robert Englund, the only reason that project never happened was that Evil Dead's Sam Raimi wanted Ash to win but New Line Cinema refused to let Freddy die in two movies in a row. You know, because that would be demeaning for a character who had his own rap album and was once resurrected via dog pee. 

Another project that had key creative people on board was Child's Play on Elm Street, in which Freddy bumps into Chucky, they profess their admiration for each other's work, and then they get competitive and decide to hold a contest to see "who can kill the most teenagers before the sun comes up." This was pitched by Chucky's creator Don Mancini, who called the idea "cool and doable" and said he was trying to sell New Line Cinema on it. Plus, Bride of Chucky had already laid the groundwork for a vast horror movie cinematic universe in the scene where everyone's masks and weapons are seen in the police evidence room for some extremely unlucky town. 

There were also talks about a Hellraiser/Halloween (Helloween, probably) movie, which was actually pitched in 2002 but turned down because everyone expected Freddy vs. Jason to bomb. When it did the opposite, the studio pulled the script out of the trash and quickly managed to get director John Carpenter and writer Clive Barker on board … but the project reportedly fell through anyway because Hellraiser's rightsholders didn't want their character hanging out with Michael Myers. Maybe they thought it was an Austin Powers crossover? 

Perhaps they did, since Candyman vs. Leprechaun was also pitched around this time and might have seriously happened if Candyman's actor, Tony Todd, hadn't said, "I will never be involved in something like that." And yet that's still less silly than the time Harvey Weinstein tried to sell Kevin Smith on doing Jay and Silent Bob vs. Hellraiser, or when the director of Friday the 13th VI proposed a movie where Jason meets Cheech and Chong. We can see why they passed on that, but this raises an important question: how the hell is it possible that Jay and Silent Bob Meet Cheech and Chong (and Also Leprechaun Maybe) hasn't happened yet? 

Follow Maxwell Yezpitelok's heroic effort to read and comment on every '90s Superman comic at Superman86to99.tumblr.com. 

Thumbnail: New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures 

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