5 Cinematic Universes That Were Abandoned
Marvel, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, even LEGO. These are all brands-turned-cinematic universes in the past decade or so, with sequel-after-sequel flowing like water into the river that is the international box office. Still, not every attempt to create a cinematic universe has been so successful. There’s nothing worse than having complete faith in a project only for it to fail miserably. With that logic, that means there’s nothing worse than these failed cinematic universes.
Universal’s Dark Universe has failed multiple times to get off the ground, which is unfortunate. It seems like a no-brainer, so it’s a huge bummer that no one seems to know how to make it work. Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, and all kinds of other instantly-recognizable monsters originally appeared on film back in the 1920s, so they’re certainly due for a reset. Yet, 2017’s The Mummy flopped, 2014’s Dracula Untold flopped, and 2010’s The Wolfman flopped too. The future of the franchise remains unclear, seeing as an Invisible Man movie was announced in 2019.
The Divergent books were just as popular at The Hunger Games back in the first half of the 2010s, yet they couldn’t even manage to finish their series of film adaptations before the final film was canceled in favor of a television adaptation. The cast was stacked, the films had a decent budget, and they even followed a similar plot to Hunger Games, yet they were critical and box office failures. If they ever conclude the series on television, none of the original actors are expected to return.
Like Divergent, the Percy Jackson books are a massive success amongst young readers. It seems they’re young enough to still be without a permit, though, because audiences just didn’t show up for the two feature film adaptations of the first two Percy Jackson novels. Maybe one day this franchise will take another shot at things, but for now, readers will have to be okay with using their imagination to see what the rest of the films might’ve looked like.
Need for Speed
With the massive success of the Fast & Furious movies, it’s no surprise that the Need for Speed video games made it to the big screen. What is surprising, though, is the fact that the film was a complete flop. These video games remain massively successful, but the planned Need for Speed film franchise never made it past the first step. It’s a bummer, especially considering all the different and interesting directions the games have gone in.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Back in 2004, Nickelodeon Films tried to make A Series of Unfortunate Events a series of profitable films. They crammed the first three books into one film, leaving ten other books left to adapt. With such a young cast, they’d practically have to film all the movies at once in order to keep their ages young enough to be convincing as more-or-less the same age throughout the series. When the first film didn’t perform very well and too much time passed between the first and talks of the second, the series was left alone. This one has a happy ending, though, which is ironic considering how dreary these novels are: Netflix actually managed to adapt each book as its own two-part television episode over the course of three seasons.
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