Game Changing Crossovers That Almost Happened

In Hollywood it can be hard to turn a film into a franchise. It takes a good story, intriguing characters, and a certain amount of luck. But sometimes that's not enough, and studios are always looking for ways to make a great thing even better, or reinvigorate a lagging series. One way they've done it is by mixing it up with another well-established series. 

From "Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman" to "Aliens Vs. Predator," we've seen plenty of exciting and unexpected mash-ups, and television has been no stranger to them either. "I Love Lucy" crossed over with "Superman," "The Flintstones" met "The Jetsons," and today "Law and Order" crosses over with other shows on a regular basis. But sometimes there's a great idea for a crossover that just never quite comes together: a jaw-dropping concept that would dazzle audiences, but can't get worked out, whether due to rights issues or creative conflicts. Before the days of the MCU when crossovers were en vogue, studios might have worried how to make it work, and even today they can be troubling productions with clashing egos and complex legal woes.

A number of franchises have planned major mash-ups that simply didn't make it to the screen, and we've learned more about what could have been and why they didn't happen.  From "Batman" to "Pulp Fiction," this is a list of canceled crossovers that would have changed everything.


Possibly the biggest mismatch of crossovers you might ever have seen on the big screen, "Batman Meets Godzilla" was indeed a project that almost happened. It was all sparked in the mid-1960s when Batman was enjoying a hit TV series on the small screen, starring the iconic due of Adam West and Burt Ward. At the same time, Godzilla was starring in a successful film series in Japan, made by Toho Studios. Batman had already met Green Hornet, so why not Godzilla? Though he's not the kind of villain that Bruce Wayne would normally meet in Gotham City, a story was developed that saw Batman facing off against a mad scientist in Japan with a $20 million extortion scheme, threatening to set Godzilla loose if he doesn't get what he wants. 

You may ask, how does Batman defeat the skyscraper-sized monstrosity? Well thankfully, the original pitch document survives and is available for viewing through the American Heritage Center in the University of Wyoming, as part of a collection of papers belonging to "Batman" producer William Dozier. According to the treatment, Batman doesn't save the day with batarangs or the batusi. No, it's thanks to a female mecha-Godzilla's mating call, and the help of Batgirl, that Batman manages to put an end to Godzilla's reign of terror. Sadly, we never got to see this one, as ratings for "Batman" sagged before it got deep into development, and both the TV series and the planned "Godzilla" crossover were canned.


If you thought "Freddy Vs. Jason" was the ultimate horror movie crossover, there was one more in the planning stages that would have topped even that. According to the book "The Hellraiser Films And Their Legacy" by Paul Kane, filmmaker Dave Parker had crafted a story idea for a potential crossover that would have pitted Clive Barker's nail-faced cenobite against the unstoppable serial killer Michael Myers.

"Dimension had both the 'Halloween' and 'Hellraiser' franchises," said Parker about his pitch to the studio. "So I put together a trailer using footage from the 'Halloween' movies ... and I called the idea 'Helloween.'" According to Parker, the story would have had the Lament Configuration from the "Hellraiser" series found in the walls of the Myers house. Both Pinhead and Myers converge on the home and the two duke it out in a battle royale that culminates in a visit to Hell in the film's third act.

The film got far enough along in development that Pinhead actor Doug Bradley described it as an impending production. Rumors circulated that Clive Barker would be writing the script, while original "Halloween" director John Carpenter was said to be taking up the director's chair. Less than a year later though, the project was dead, though no official reason was ever given and nobody involved has commented on what killed it.

Star Trek/Doctor Who

Both launching in the 1960s, "Star Trek" and "Doctor Who" have become two of the most iconic science fiction franchises in existence, and certainly the longest-running on television. Though the two series have crossed over in comic book form, "Doctor Who" and "Star Trek" have never met in live action. But they might have, if "Doctor Who" showrunner Russell T. Davies had gotten his way when he pitched the idea for a crossover in 2005. 

"I would have loved to have done a 'Star Trek' crossover. The very first year, we talked about it," Davies told the UK Times in a 2009 interview that was published on TrekMovie a year later. Unfortunately, just as Davies and his team were putting ideas together for a pitch to BBC and Paramount — owners of "Star Trek" — the latest "Star Trek" spinoff, "Enterprise," was unceremoniously canceled due to low ratings. 

Little information has leaked out about Davies' original crossover concept: for example, whether it would have seen the Ninth Doctor meeting the then-current Enterprise's Captain Archer (played by Scott Bakula), or one of the previous Enterprises helmed by captains Kirk or Picard. But the thought of the two sci-fi juggernauts meeting through a spatial vortex or a time travel adventure seems too good to be true ... and it obviously was. 

GI Joe/Transformers

Both '80s animated icons themselves, "G.I. Joe" and "Transformers" have been the subject of crossover rumors almost as long as such talk could have existed. They first teamed up in comic book form while both franchises were at the height of their fame in the 1980s, in a limited series published by Marvel Comics. They were brought together again many more times in the pages of comic books, but they never met on television, other than some sly nods here and there.

With both franchises producing blockbuster live-action Hollywood films during the 2010s, plans were made to finally have them meet on the screen. According to director DJ Caruso, a combination of the two properties found its way into a script before Paramount — which produced both film series — got cold feet. In a 2015 interview with Collider, Caruso revealed that he had worked on a third "G.I. Joe" script that would have teased a crossover in a follow-up installment, but the studio didn't bite.

"It came close but I think what the studio was trying to do was reassess it and so now they're back to the drawing board." Caruso said. He also predicted that the crossover would eventually happen, but not until "Transformers" director Michael Bay had completed his work with the series. With Bay now said to be uninterested in returning as of 2019, maybe this is one crossover we could see yet.

Die Hard/24

One of cinema's most iconic action heroes, "Die Hard" bad boy John McClane (Bruce Willis) thwarted terrorist plots and spouted snappy one-liners with equal style, while "24" star Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) did it on the small screen with a steely-eyed resolve. Two of the most popular tough guys in their respective mediums, both were owned by 20th Century Fox, which made it natural for producers to envision the two meeting — and it allegedly almost happened in one of the more unexpected crossovers on this list, a film that held the clever working title of "Die Hard 24/7." According to Aint It Cool News in 2010, the film was being written as a follow-up to both "Live Free Or Die Hard"  and the 2008 TV movie "24: Redemption."

According to actor Justin Long — who had featured in the previous "Die Hard" film as McClane's son — the talk was pretty serious and a script was completed. However, the word was that Kiefer Sutherland wasn't all that keen on making a buddy picture, instead wanting to focus on making his own series into a standalone feature film. But neither the crossover nor a solo "24" move ever did hit theaters. Too bad though — the idea of both heroes teaming up to stop an international terrorist seems like something that could have rejuvenated both franchises after lackluster installments.

Men In Black/21 Jump Street

Launched in 1996, "Men In Black" teamed comic action star Will Smith with deadpan hero Tommy Lee Jones. The sci-fi comedy adventure about a clandestine group of government agents on missions involving aliens on Earth spawned an animated series and three sequels of declining quality. Meanwhile, the buddy cop comedy "21 Jump Street" was a big screen reinvention of the classic 1980s teen cop TV drama, now starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. Even though they were both action comedies, the thought of combining the very real-world "21 Jump Street" with the science fiction fantasy of "Men In Black" might have seemed like an odd notion. 

But it almost happened, as reported by SlashFilm in 2010. It seemed Sony had the idea to cross over the two franchises into one sci-fi buddy movie blockbuster, with the idea apparently stemming from discussions between then-Sony exec Amy Pascal and Channing Tatum. More was revealed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, writers and directors of "The Lego Movie," who claimed to have written a script that saw the two bumbling cops from "21 Jump Street" recruited into the top secret "MIB" organization.

Following the 2016 Sony email hacking scandal, there was talk that the crossover was finally pushing forward, according to Vanity Fair. While it still hasn't materialized, Tatum stated in 2022 that he loves the script and still hopes to make it happen.

X-Men/Fantastic Four/Daredevil

Two of Marvel's biggest superhero teams, "X-Men" and "The Fantastic Four" were both licensed by 20th Century Fox with multiple films released between 2000 and 2007. With the two teams having crossed over plenty of times in the comics, it's actually surprising that a feature film mash-up didn't get planned until the early 2010s. By then, Fox's "X-Men" series was already being relaunched by Matthew Vaughn in "X-Men: First Class," while the reboot of "The Fantastic Four" wasn't yet in development.

According to "First Class" screenwriter Zack Stentz, he and his writing partner Ashley Miller had assembled a script that would have combined every Marvel hero then licensed by Fox, which also included Daredevil. "When we were working at Fox ... we did a secret movie for them that — I can't tell you what the plot was — but I can tell you that it used all of the characters, all of the Marvel characters that Fox had at the time in 2011," Stentz said. "It used the X-Men. It used the Fantastic Four. It used Daredevil. It used Deadpool."

A few years later in 2015, with "Daredevil" then off the board and starring in a Marvel-produced Netflix series, returning "X-Men" director Bryan Singer insisted that a "X-Men/Fantastic Four" film was still in play. Though that film may never happen, it's likely we will see the X-Men and Fantastic Four cross paths in the MCU sooner rather than later, following Disney's buyout of Fox.


Pinhead and Michael Myers aren't the only pair of horror icons that missed out on a blockbuster crossover. Two more legendary lead monsters from a pair of competing '90s horror film series — the titular "Candyman" and "Leprechaun" — had been proposed to star in their own film together. Though the time frame is nebulous, producers had been looking to craft a follow-up to the classic trio of "Candyman" flicks starring Tony Todd as a vicious vengeance-seeking spirit. With producers struggling to come up with an idea that would bring it back to its former glory, one of the ideas pitched was a crossover with the long-running "Leprechaun" series.

Whereas "Candyman" had been a trilogy of dark psychological horror movies, "Leprechaun" by contrast was a much more tongue-in-cheek slasher series, with Warwick Davis starring as the monster who goes on a murderous quest to reclaim his stolen gold. Thanks to their clashing styles, a crossover likely seems just as odd to our readers as it did to "Candyman" star Tony Todd when it was put forward to him as a possible sequel. 

"I was never interested in a versus movie. [A studio] actually suggested to me a 'Candyman vs. Leprechaun' at one point," Todd told Coming Soon in 2008. But the actor didn't seem eager for a sequel of any kind, content with what had already been made. "I could live forever with the thought of what we did with the first two 'Candyman' films just fine," he said. Todd returned to star in a reboot in 2021.

X-Files/Picket Fences

What's most fascinating about the story behind the proposed "X-Files" crossover with prime time drama "Picket Fences" is not that it didn't happen, but that it essentially did. Planned by the creators of their respective series — Chris Carter and David E. Kelley — the story would have focused on some paranormal goings-on involving a cult performing genetic experiments on cattle in the town of Rome, Wisconsin, the setting of "Picket Fences." As you might imagine, this brings Mulder and Scully in to investigate, presumably bringing them into the world of the other series' characters, including Sheriff Jimmy Brock (Tom Skerritt), the honorable Henry Bone (Ray Walston) and legal eagle Douglas Wambaugh (Fyvush Finkel). 

Despite both being Fox-produced shows, the two series aired on competing networks, so the crossover was halted. But both creators had already developed their scripts and were unwilling to abandon them. Each rewrote their stories, removing references to the other's series. The "X-Files" episode "Red Museum," as aired, still sees Mulder and Scully investigating a cult that is experimenting on cows in a rural town. Meanwhile, over on "Picket Fences," the episode "Away In a Manger" finds two FBI agents who aren't Mulder and Scully looking into a coincidentally similar occurrence on a local farm, with cows being subjected to genetic experiments.

Though the two creators haven't officially commented on the nixed crossover, insiders in Hollywood have referenced it as a creative way to cross over shows that might not be approved by studio higher-ups.

Evil Dead/Evil Dead

Perhaps the most iconic independent horror film of the 1980s, "The Evil Dead" launched the careers of both Sam Raimi and star Bruce Campbell. It told the story of sardonic hero Ash Williams, who discovers an ancient tome that unleashes evil spirits and threatens to turn him and his friends into undead monsters. Filled with over-the-top scares, loads of blood-spurting gore, fast-paced action, and a healthy dose of side-splitting comedy, it was unlike anything horror audiences had seen before. It was followed by the even more celebrated "Evil Dead 2," a threequel titled "Army Of Darkness," and a veritable franchise of comic books, toys, and more. 

Prior to Raimi and Campbell's return for the Starz original series "Ash vs Evil Dead" in 2015, the original movie was the subject of a remake in 2013; although Raimi and Campbell were credited as producers, neither was directly involved with the film. While it's been described as a "soft reboot," it's not clear whether it's set in the same world as the original, and this time the lead was a young woman named Mia who also discovers the Necronomicon. In the aftermath of its release, Raimi himself proposed a crossover film that would have had Mia meet Ash, in a story that would have set the record straight. Ultimately, the meeting between both versions of "Evil Dead" was scrapped, replaced by "Ash vs Evil Dead."

1970s Hulk/Spider-Man

Debuting on TV screens in 1977 within mere months of each other, "The Incredible Hulk" and "The Amazing Spider-Man" were the first live-action adaptations of Marvel Comics superheroes. Though the special effects of the day limited their scope, they still managed to impress, with Lou Ferrigno and Bill Bixby in particular making "The Incredible Hulk" a ratings hit that lasted for five seasons plus three follow-up TV movies. "The Amazing Spider-Man," starring Nicholas Hammond as Peter Parker, is sadly best known for its goofy webslinging and ran for just 13 episodes. But if Hammond and Bixby had their way, according to the Hollywood Reporter, there would have been one more that would have put their versions of Spidey and the Hulk together in a special that would have formed the first Marvel television universe.

Hammond reportedly told SFX magazine (via CBR) that Bill Bixby — who had major pull with the studio at that point — was actually close to a deal with Columbia Television on a project featuring both heroes. "Bill was going to direct, and I was to have writing credits with Stan Lee and Ron Satlof," said the actor, who added that Spider-Man would have worn the recently introduced black costume. The project fell apart due to scheduling conflicts and issues with the two studios who owned the rights. While meeting Spider-Man never happened, Hulk would get his chance at a crossover, meeting both Thor and Daredevil in a pair of television movies in the 1980s. 


Long before the MCU, in fact even before Fox launched the "X-Men" franchise, Wesley Snipes turned obscure Marvel hero Blade into an unexpected box office success. Snipes played Eric Brooks, a half-vampire hunter of the undead, and the film's mix of high octane action, sly comedy, and blood-letting action — along with a techno-driven soundtrack — gave audiences something fresh and new that would influence movies for a decade. One such franchise borne in its wake was "Underworld," starring Kate Beckinsale as a similarly themed half-vampire hunter named Selene, clad in black leather and sporting guns and kung fu moves. 

From 2003 to 2017, Beckinsale starred in four of the five "Underworld" films, but in 2016, the actress claims to have approached Marvel Studios about teaming her character with Snipes' "Blade." In a panel at New York Comic Con that year, the actress revealed to the audience that they had planned the next film in the series to be a crossover with Marvel's resident vampire hunter, but that they were turned away. "We had that idea. No," she revealed. "They're busy. They're doing something with Blade."

What's interesting of course is that Beckinsale's comments were the first indication of Marvel developing a "Blade" film in the MCU, which would be announced three years later with Mahershala Ali starring. But Beckinsale is still hoping to suit up alongside "Blade," no matter who plays him: "What a duo that would be."

Pulp Fiction/Reservoir Dogs

Director Quentin Tarantino came out of the gate in 1992 with a slick and stylish neo-noir crime film called "Reservoir Dogs," starring Steve Buscemi, Michael Madsen, Harvey Keitel, and Tim Roth. With quirky characters, witty dialogue, and graphic violence, it set the tone for every movie Tarantino would make. His follow-up was the groundbreaking "Pulp Fiction," a story that took the style and tone of "Reservoir Dogs" and infused it with unforgettable performances from John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, and Ving Rhames. The two films have a lot in common, including their shocking gore and snappy script, but they also share a narrative link, as the characters played by John Travolta and Michael Madsen in their respective films were brothers Vincent and Vic Vega.

In a 2020 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Madsen revealed that Tarantino had approached him about reprising his role as Vic Vega in a crossover film — set before the two earlier movies — that would have co-starred Travolta as his brother. "The picture was going to start out with the two of us being released from prison in different states," Madsen said. Eventually, the brothers team up to open a club. Sadly, as Tarantino moved on to focus on other projects, both actors got too old to believably play the younger Vega brothers, and the film concept collapsed.