As hard as it may be to believe, some of the world's most beloved franchises didn't start as some inspired thought overnight. That's actually the case most of the time, and if one digs through the work that went into making major franchises happen, they'll spot a few instances across their development of how things could've turned out much differently.
Star Wars is a great example of this, though we'll only be highlighting one specific instance in the Skywalker Saga that would've majorly impacted the rest of the franchise had it happened. The same is true with these other franchises, many of which may exist in an alternate universe where some of these wild ideas came to be.
Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi
Many know Return of the Jedi as the final act of Darth Vader's story, but in George Lucas' original vision for the Star Wars saga, Vader and Emperor Palpatine wouldn't even be a real factor again until the next trilogy. Instead, Return of the Jedi was originally plotted out to be a Han Solo rescue film with Boba Fett as the main villain.
This news came from Craig Miller, who noted to Inverse that the proof is in the marketing of Boba Fett prior to the movie's release. The toys and Life Day special were meant to get fans excited about Boba Fett, but that all changed when George Lucas realized during The Empire Strikes Back that he wasn't feeling doing several more movies. Instead, he'd close it out after the next one, keep Vader on as the big bad and condense the entire Palpatine trilogy he planned to one movie. Boba Fett would remain, but he went out like a chump.
Joss Whedon's The Avengers remains one of the premiere ensemble hero films of the genre, but one has to wonder how it would've turned out had the director stuck with a few ideas he had come up with towards the beginning. Some are small, such as having two villains as opposed to just Loki, though one decision in particular would've drastically shaped the MCU differently from how we know it today.
When it wasn't a sure thing whether or not Scarlett Johannson would be available for the movie, Joss Whedon went about scripting in a role for Janet Van Dyne's Wasp. Eventually Whedon opted out of including the character, but only because he wasn't sure how well she'd fit into the whole feature. It's hard to say if that wasn't for the best given how The Avengers turned out, and how much differently Ant-Man would look if it still became part of the MCU with Van Dyne an existing Avenger.
Dan Aykroyd's original idea for Ghostbusters, or "Ghost Smashers" as he called it, is quite a trip to read. Some things are the same, like the Ghostbusters living in a firehouse and using proton packs, but then they're also battling ghosts across dimensions and space. Yeah, things go a lot further than New York City in this original vision, which, weirdly enough, still featured a cameo from the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
Gozer and Zuul are still involved in Ghost Smashers, though their involvement is a bit weird. Zuul are basically Gozer's demon dogs, which the Ghost Smasher's boss, Shandor, has stolen. I'm not entirely sure why Shandor is being a jerk about this and incurring the wrath of the ultra-powerful Gozer, but suffice it to say someone stepped in and sent this movie in a different direction. It's a good thing too, because I have a much harder time believing this movie becomes a hit, assuming it would've even gotten made at all.
Back To The Future
Back To The Future's various first draft changes may not be quite as Earth shattering as we've gone through so far, but they are just off enough to turn this classic into something kind of weird. Doc Brown was "Prof Brown," which is jarring enough, and he had a pet monkey named Shemp. Oh, and Marty didn't time travel in a Delorean, but a refrigerator. Imagine one of those bad boys zipping down the road and leaving a trail of flames!
Did I mention the part where "Prof" Brown is killed by government agents? Marty is also transported back to 1982 via a nuclear test site in Nevada, only to learn his father has become a boxer. If there's one upside to this version, Marty still didn't sleep with his mom, which I'll always consider a win. It's also great that this movie got the small, but much-needed tweaks that turned this time-traveling movie into a full-fledged franchise.
We all know Frozen as a tale of two sisters, though the original story was something much different. Anna was a normal girl and Elsa was an evil snow queen with a heart of ice supposedly after a scorned love. The two were at odds for most the movie, with their showdown culminating toinElsa attacking Arendelle with a snow army. Elsa's assault would be the fulfilling of a prophecy in which Arendelle would be destroyed by a ruler with a frozen heart.
Long story short, Prince Hans ended up being the ruler with a heart of ice, and Anna and Elsa join forces in the final act to become the heroes of Arendelle. I can't say it's a bad idea, though Disney probably created a much better classic by making the theme of the movie built more on sisterhood than the traditional story of good and evil. Plus, could we have gotten "Let It Go" with the original script? I'm not so sure.
The Cloverfield Paradox
So far in this list we've touched on movies that were arguably improved from their original concepts, so it's only fair play to touch on one I think some would agree wasn't. The Cloverfield Paradox originally started as an entirely unrelated movie called God Particle. The movie was set to be a sci-fi in which a space station crew suddenly discovered the Earth was missing, but that changed drastically when J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot got involved.
Abrams decided that, much like how 10 Cloverfield Lane started as a whole other movie, this was another feature that could be re-worked into a piece of the Cloverfield franchise. Unfortunately, much of the integration of the Cloverfield world happened while filming was already underway on the movie, which may have led to the movie's shaking reviews. Not all reviews were bad though, so I guess it's unfair to say this movie suffered being shoe-horned into the Cloverfield franchise.
Have thoughts on any of this? Throw down in the comments below, and be sure to stick with CinemaBlend for all the latest news in television and movies.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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