Here's some common sense: the more complicated a machine gets, the more ways it can break down and fall apart. That applies to everything from cars to kids' toys to Hollywood, and that last thing (Hollywood) is this principle's most fun application. Because what happens to your favorite movie if any step of the process goes differently? Is it even still that thing you like if it has different writing/casting/directing/editing/releasing/endless continuing list of these things?

On this week's episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by podcasting titan Matt Gourley for a deep dive into all the ways our favorite franchises could've come together completely differently. From James Bond to Star Wars to even bigger pop cultural touchstones than those (!), they'll discover how close we came to not even recognizing the movies, TV shows, and other entertainments closest to our hearts.

Footnotes:

James Bonding (Earwolf)

The Andy Daly Podcast Pilot Project (Earwolf)

Conan O'Brien Needs A Friend (Earwolf)

Roles Burt Reynolds Turned Down, From Bond to Solo (Variety)

Jane Bond? Scribe's-Eye View of 007 Pic Birth (Variety)

Richard Maibaum in Starlog Magazine

Mexicans embrace Day of the Dead spectacle in place of Halloween (The Guardian)

5 Insane Pop Culture Crossovers That Almost Happened (Cracked)

5 Famously Terrible Movies That Were Almost Great (Cracked)

5 Family Movies and TV Shows That Were Almost Insanely Dark (Cracked)

8 Hilariously WTF Backstories Behind Your Favorite Shows (Cracked)

5 Reasons The Marvel Cinematic Universe Should Have Failed (Cracked)

"Batman v Superman" Director "Shocked" People Didn't Guess The Ending (BuzzFeed)

10 Directors Who Turned Down Star Wars (Mental Floss)

Arnold back for 'Westworld,' 'Conan' redos (Variety)

Why Kevin Can Wait Really Killed Off Kevin's Wife (Vanity Fair)

Norm Macdonald Doesn't Want to Go Back to Work Any More Than You Do (New York Times ArtsBeat)

When New Jersey Was Film Capital of the World (History)

HOORAY FORT LEE, N.J., BIRTHPLACE OF FILM : Thomas Edison, D. W. Griffith and Other Pioneers Made It the Hollywood of the Pre-WWI Movie Industry (Los Angeles Times)

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