Marvel Studios’ Armor Wars was originally planned as a Disney+ Marvel Cinematic Universe series, but it’s now been revealed that the project is being redeveloped into a movie. This is great news for many MCU fans who weren’t impressed with Disney+’s discordant shows, and the project will no doubt get a lot more fanfare now.
Armor Wars isn’t the only canceled series that has been redeveloped into a movie. This isn’t always for the best, as failed pilots are often rearranged into movies so the footage isn’t wasted. Either way, whether it was a series that didn’t get picked up, a network-made project that had huge box office potential, or unaired TV episodes that were stapled together, the reorganization of TV shows into movies had mixed results.
While Disney+ MCU series impressively have about the same kind of budgets as movies, they’re still much thinner at seven to nine hours instead of two hours. And digital effects are clearly the most affected when it comes to budget restrictions. But with Armor Wars now being a movie, it will have a much lighter narrative with amazing effects, and there won’t be this Disney channel feeling this series like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier did.
The movie will also have Don Cheadle in the lead role, which is an impressive feat considering the actor is 57 and directing a blockbuster superhero movie. And given that fans want to see Justin Hammer return, because he was such a charismatic and entertaining villain in iron man 2fans could now see it back on the big screen.
Mulholland Drive (2001)
Mulholland Drive is not only ambiguous, but it’s borderline nonsense, and fans are still debating its meaning today. The 2001 release is one of David Lynch’s most famous films because the neo-noir mystery thriller is so imaginative and aesthetically pleasing. However, half the pieces of the puzzle are completely missing, and the only logical way the movie makes sense is if fans fill in huge gaps with their own narratives.
But there might be a reason why it seems entire storylines are missing, because the movie is essentially a pilot episode for a TV series that never happened. In an interview with Lynch conducted by the Queensland Art Gallery, ABC hated the 90-minute pilot he made and didn’t pick it up, so the filmmaker shot another hour of footage to wrap up the story. But the story is still extremely truncated, so much so that the DVD even contains 10 clues to “unlock” the meaning of the film.
Serenity is one of the most thrilling sci-fi action movies of the 2000s, and it follows the same ragtag group of space explorers in the short-lived TV series Firefly. Firefly was canceled by Fox after just one season due to low ratings, and the ratings were so low that the network didn’t even bother to finish airing all of the episodes, as only 11 of the 14 produced episodes were originally broadcast.
However, as it was creator Joss Whedon’s passion project, he didn’t give up on it, and after failing to find a new home for the series with several different networks (via sci fi), he repackaged it as a movie, and Universal picked it up immediately. Which makes Serenity so great is that it’s not only a perfect continuation of the cult classic series, but it’s also a great entry point for newcomers, as viewers don’t need to have seen Firefly to understand the movie.
Cruel Intentions 2 (2000)
Manchester Preparation was a planned prequel series for the cult 90s film cruel intentionsbut according to Varietyonly two episodes were shot as Fox was concerned about the theme of sexuality and instead decided to rearrange the two episodes shot in Cruel intentions 2.
Usually, sequels are hugely successful because the franchise has an existing fanbase, which also means the sequel would have a guaranteed audience. But it turns out that simply applying the title to a completely unfinished, rough draft doesn’t work very well. Hardly anyone knows the direct-to-video sequel exists, and those who’ve seen it have nothing but negative things to say about it. Ironically, if it had stayed as a series, it could very well have been a hit with teenagers and beat people like Gossip Girl in a fist.
Star Trek: The Movie (1979)
The original TV series was canceled 10 years ago Star Trek: The Movie has been freed. However, it had been in development for a long time but not always as a movie. According The Making of Star Trek: The Movieafter reruns of the original series received high ratings, Paramount was convinced to work on a second television series titled Star Trek: Phase II.
But after the phenomenal success of the 1977 science fiction film Dating of the Third Kindwhich has grossed over $300 million worldwide (via Box Office Mojo), the studio was later convinced to turn Stage II in a movie. The star trek the movie didn’t even make half the box office Close Encounters did, but he’s launched a massive movie franchise that’s grossed over $2.2 billion so far (via The Numbers).
Zombie Land (2009)
Before director Ruben Fleischer came on board and drastically changed much of the script, 2009 zombieland was different. The spec script even had an appearance by Patrick Swayze (via CC2K,) not Bill Murray who ended up being the movie’s MVP.
Even before that, according to Reuters, the script was not a movie but a TV pilot, as screenwriters Rhett Reece and Paul Wernick envisioned the horror-comedy as a long-running series, which they developed in 2005. Since the screenwriters had to having so many episode ideas and the movie being such a hit in 2009, it’s a surprise there was only one sequel that didn’t even arrive until 10 years later. Hopefully there aren’t 10 years left until the sequel arrives.
L.A. Takedown (1989)
Heat is one of the greatest heist movies ever made, and it’s the first big movie where Hollywood elites Al Pacino and Robert De Niro go head-to-head. But none of this would have ever happened if NBC had picked up Michael Mann’s failed TV pilot, Teardown of LA. Mann shot the pilot for the cop show which he pitched to the studio, but NBC was not happy with the outcome of the 90-minute cat and mouse episode.
NBC ended up releasing the pilot as a standalone TV movie, but more famously Mann later adapted it into the universally acclaimed 1995 crime thriller. Heat. The movie might even get a legacy sequel, as Mann wants to shoot the newly released novel, Heat 2, in a movie. And that’s thanks to NBC.
NEXT: 10 Characters Who Could Return For Armor Wars