As recently proven by the tremendous success of superhero movies, one of the easiest and quickest ways to guaranteed money in the entertainment industry is through the deep pool of fascinating characters and compelling storylines from comics.
With plot and character development laid out right before them, the success of a superhero film or TV show is really as simple as finding the right character and following along with the right storyline. But the temptation to tinker with plot and character is often too great to resist and, when that happens, the end result is usually a botched job that results in plenty of lost money and wasted time.
With that in mind, here’s a look at five TV shows where the creators were just way off:
The Amazing Spider-Man
We’re all familiar with Marvel Comics’ signature character. Now take away much of what made the character work, strip him of his love interests, keep him from fighting anyone from his well-established roster of super villains, and burden the entire presentation with poor writing and cheap special effects. That pretty much sums up the Amazing Spider-Man mess dished up by CBS television in the late 70’s.
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
This romantic comedy had a bit of a following and actually lasted four full seasons (’93-’97). Unfortunately, likely none of that following came from hardcore, loyal followers of the Superman character. Straying too far from the real storyline and skimping on real superhero action, this one was a clunker for Superman fans from the very beginning.
Attempting to cash in on the success of the X-Men movie, Marvel commissioned a series in 2000 to keep the mutant bandwagon rolling. Unfortunately, due to legal issues, the series would feature no recognizable characters from the comics, make no reference to anything regarding the X-Men, and even disregard the core concept of mutant powers. Essentially, by the time the creators were done with it, this Marvel mutant project became a story about rebellious teens given super powers by a government agency.
This one never got past the pilot stage-and for very good reason. The creators of Smallville made this dud based on one of comics’ least interesting characters, apparently with the idea that a snazzy soundtrack and plenty of beach bodies could overcome all. They were wrong.
Justice League of America
A JLA TV pilot without Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman is pretty much doomed to failure. Throw in awful special effects, poor writing, laughable costuming, and a lame super villain called the Weatherman and the end result is a real mess that wasn’t even worth the effort to film.