After a slam-dunk opening weekend at the box office, Avengers director Joss Whedon has to be giddy over his epic superhero spectacle. We’re sure it’s far more thrilling a feeling than the one the Cabin in the Woods filmmaker had when he pitched a Batman movie shortly before Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins would reboot the caped crusader franchise. According to an interview with the director that Slash Film shared, Whedon’s “morbid, death-obsessed kid” Batman pitch — in which a 12-year-old Bruce Wayne realizes his true purpose — didn’t impress Warner Bros. Nolan’s version of Batman eventually made its way to theaters. Whedon’s story, however, recalls the number of big budget studio projects that were almost made by different directors, and we’ve explored a few of those famous titles past the break. Leave your picks below.
Directed by Paul Verhoeven
Almost directed by David Cronenberg
“Cronenberg’s Total Recall would certainly have been a very different movie than the one ultimately produced,” production artist Ron Miller recently told io9 about working on the film with his wife Judith. Cronenberg was brought onto the project by producer Dino De Laurentiis and created dozens of drafts of the Philip K. Dick short story adaptation, but no one was particularly impressed. The studio wanted “Raiders of the Lost Ark Go to Mars,” and Cronenberg’s version stayed faithful to the source material. Eventually the filmmaker left the project and made The Fly instead, but Miller’s production artwork inspires thoughts of a far stranger story that included a surreally shapeshifting Kuato — who at one point in the movie transforms into “a kind of phosphorescent vagina.” (Visit io9 for more artwork, as pictured above.)