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An Alternate Rise of the Blockbuster

That's what he did in Watchmen, and also in those comics he did with that Neopolis city. I was under the impression that all he does is write about creeps. Perhaps I need to know more about his career?
That's what he did in Watchmen, and also in those comics he did with that Neopolis city. I was under the impression that all he does is write about creeps. Perhaps I need to know more about his career?

He also wrote "For The Man That Had Everything" and "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow," that while dark in some respects still portrays Superman in a positive light. Plus he reconstructed the silver age Superman mythos in "Supreme" as well as Doc Savage in "Tom Strong."

But I think this is taking away from ColeMercury's thread so I'll leave it be. ;):cool:
Update #10 -- a whole lot of blockbusters and non-blockbusters released over the period 1982 to 1984, described movie by movie.


Batman (1983)

The background regarding the film rights to Batman is a somewhat amusing story. By the late 1970s, Batman was in a popularity slump: public interest had gone down significantly since the days of the 1960s comedic television show with Adam West. Consequently, in April 1979 Warner Bros – of which DC Comics is a subsidiary – had sold off the film rights for Batman to two producers, Michael Uslan and Benjamin Melniker. At the time, the film adaptation of Superman had just broken all records as the highest-grossing movie of all time – but rather than seeing this as the possible beginning of a long-term trend, Warner Bros was more inclined to view the movie’s success as a flash-in-the-pan and wouldn’t have considered trying to use it to rehabilitate the popularity of a now-in-decline second superhero. Then Superman II came out in December of that year and almost matched the success of the original, showing that there could be long-term potential in blockbuster-scale superhero movies. Warner Bros thus moved to include multiple film adaptations of other DC Comics superheroes in short-term and long-term planning – the first of which would have to be Batman. And so, less than a year after they sold the Batman film rights to Uslan and Melniker, Warner Bros ended up making a deal with the same duo to make a Batman film.

Uslan was a lifelong comic book enthusiast who lectured on “The Comic Book in America” at Indiana University, and intended from the start to make a Batman adaptation that was “the definitive, dark, serious version of Batman, the way Bob Kane and Bill Finger had envisioned him in 1939. A creature of the night; stalking criminals in the shadows.” A director soon became attached to the project who was very receptive to Uslan’s ideas: Ridley Scott, director of Alien, who had gladly accepted the offer of ready-made work to take his mind of his older brother Frank’s recent death from cancer. (At the time, Scott had just spent a year on the slow-moving Dune film adaptation, and felt he needed to actually get some directing done to work through his grief.)

At the time Scott joined the project, no script was written – indeed, no actual story had been decided upon. Scott and Uslan worked out a story between them, and wrote a fifteen-page treatment for Warners’ approval. Although the details took many weeks to get right, the two agreed on several important decisions right away: the film should incorporate an origin story but not be overwhelmed by it; the Joker, being Batman’s most iconic villain, would have to be the main antagonist; Robin and other such secondary superheroes need not be included, and could be left for the sequels if there were to be any. Warner Bros approved of the treatment when they received it in early May 1980, and the first draft script based on the treatment (not written by Scott or Uslan, but by an actual screenwriter) took another six months to be completed.

Scott had some very definite ideas for the aesthetic of the film: as befitting a “creature of the night” like Batman, often referred to as “the world’s greatest detective”, the movie would have a look reminiscent of 1940s “film noir” but updated for a modern audience – with muted colours and high contrast using the then-novel “bleach bypass” technique on the film, very few scenes set in the daylight hours, and an ambiguous-era setting in Gotham City that would be a timeless mix of 1940s style (in terms of costumes, cars on the street, décor, etc.) and futuristic detail (particularly with Batman’s gadgets).

Speaking of costumes, the Batsuit itself would need serious rethinking – Adam West’s version had literally been a cape and tights, and looked as if it had been bought from a low-rent costume shop. In the film, the Batsuit itself would serve a practical purpose as body armour and the cape would be able to extend into a hang-glider. The main grey and blue colours of the suit were kept, but darkened to a charcoal-grey and navy-blue which could serve to blend into the nocturnal urban setting; the bright yellow oval on the chest was eliminated, though the black Bat-symbol inside it was retained.

As for who would fill the Bat-suit – while the search for a lead actor to play Batman a.k.a. Bruce Wayne was not quite as long and gruelling as the one to find Superman had been, by the end a great many talented (and not-so-talented) actors had tried out for the role, both in open auditions and by request. The final choice was actor Jeff Bridges – at the time, Bridges was already committed to starring in the Walt Disney Pictures special-effects extravaganza Tron; the filmmakers of Batman agreed to delay principal photography until after Bridges’ work on Tron was completed rather than lose him entirely. This resulted in the film’s release date being pushed back from December 1982 to June 1983 (which in turn bumped the release date for Supergirl back from June to August). The longer pre-production period allowed time for further rewrites to the script, and in retrospect was regarded as being ultimately beneficial to the final film.

In their search for the right actor to play the Joker, the filmmakers were specific about wanting something more than a Cesar Romero impression: just as they intended to take Batman back to his roots as originally envisioned by Kane and Finger, they wanted to bring the Joker back to how he was written in his earliest comic-book appearances as a truly dangerous and murderous villain rather than merely a giggling prankster. The role went to a mostly-unknown comic actor named Michael Keaton, whose most high-profile job thus far had been second billing to James Belushi in a sitcom called Working Stiffs which had only lasted four episodes – Keaton’s audition for the Joker had been exactly the right mix of funny, crazy, creepy, disturbing and threatening, and the role would prove to be Keaton’s big break in Hollywood.

Michael Uslan’s first choice to play Alfred Pennyworth was British film star David Niven – after Niven turned down the part, the role was filled by Alec Guinness. For the role of Commissioner Gordon, the filmmakers made the unconventional choice of James Earl Jones; this was the first time the character was portrayed as African-American, a choice that would be carried over to the comics in the “rebooted” timeline following the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover story. Jeff Bridges’ older brother Beau also made a cameo appearance as Bruce Wayne’s father in two flashback scenes, one of which depicted Bruce’s parents’ deaths at the hands of mugger Joe Chill.

Following special advanced screenings of the rough cut of the film in early 1983, test audiences generally rated the film very highly – with the exception of the fate of the Joker, who died at the end of the film, to which audiences reacted badly. Keaton’s performance was rated very highly, and audiences were disappointed that the character had essentially been shut out of sequels – additionally, it appeared to fly in the face of Batman’s assertion that he did not kill his adversaries (although Batman himself did not directly kill the Joker). A new ending was written and shot in which the Joker survived, was apprehended and sent to Arkham Asylum.

Upon its release, Batman immediately went to the #1 spot at the box office, displacing Steven Spielberg’s Haunted House from where it had sat for two months. The film would prove to be a smash-hit most domestically and internationally – while it didn’t quite reach the level of success the first two Superman films had had (with the first film retaining the title of highest-grossing film ever), it handily beat the third one’s performance from the previous year and ensured that there would be Batman sequels in the making.

But despite the praise heaped upon Ridley Scott for his direction of Batman, Scott turned down offers to return for Batman 2. Aside from generally disliking working on sequels, Scott had decided to return to working on the film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune – a project that had been stuck in development hell ever since Scott’s departure three and a half years before.

Captain America (1982)

In many ways, the task of adapting Captain America to film would be much more difficult than adapting Superman or Batman – not in terms of filming, special effects and such, but in terms of writing. While Superman had been made with director Richard Donner’s motto being “Verisimilitude”, in many ways it was easier for the audience to accept the more fantastical parts of the Superman story precisely because they were so unbelievable. If you’ll accept that a superpowered humanoid alien was sent to Earth from the planet Krypton, why wouldn’t you believe that he would wear tights, a cape, and a family crest that looks suspiciously like an “S”? And Batman, being set in a stylised noir-ish environment rather than in a recognisably contemporary era, likewise made it more acceptable to the audience that a billionaire could indeed use his power and influence to spend his nights fighting crime dressed as a bat. But Captain America the character, a.k.a. Steve Rogers. was just a little too close to reality: he began as a regular human from New York, his origins were closely tied in with World War II, and his being a fish out of water in what was recognisably modern society was a major part of his character. He was just believably real enough in some ways that it would be too hard for the audience to believe him wearing a costume including a winged helmet, saving the world with a boy sidekick, and punching Hitler in the face. Yet at the same time, it was essential that the film did not go too far the other way and lose its comic-book origins.

The appropriate middle ground was found by the film’s director and co-writer, Nicholas Meyer. Meyer was a talented writer-director who had previously written the Sherlock Holmes novel The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (later adapted to film) and had most recently directed the film Time After Time (a time-travel film starring Malcolm McDowell as HG Wells and David Warner as Jack the Ripper). After the success of Time After Time, Meyer had been unnecessarily picky with choosing his next job, until finally his friend Karen Moore had told him over a meal of barbecued hamburgers that he needed to get out of the house and start directing again if he wanted to be considered a director. Moore worked at Paramount Pictures, and had offered to introduce Meyer to the producers of Captain America. Meyer knew next to nothing about Captain America at the time, only having the vague idea that he was “the superhero guy with the shield” (something echoed with the very first frame of the movie: an extreme close-up of the shield). But after a crash course in Captain America lore, Meyer had an instinct for the right way to do the film and portray the character.

Meyer’s film had Steve Rogers and his fish-out-of-water nature fundamentally at its centre: it followed two main storylines, with one set in early 1980s America following Captain America’s recovery from being frozen and the other told in flashbacks to the 1940s spaced throughout the film. Both storylines were bridged by the villain Red Skull a.k.a. Johann Schmidt, who appeared in both eras, and by the two love interests Peggy Carter and her niece Sharon Carter (played by the same actress). The interesting choice was made to make the persona of “Captain America” a cultural icon within the world of the film, like a real-life superhero would be – most obviously by the modern 1980s setting having a primetime television show depicting a fictionalised version of the real Cap’s exploits. The show-within-a-movie was a way to give a wink and a nod to some of the more ridiculous aspects of the Captain America comic book – such as the title character’s costume complete with winged & lettered helmet and stripy tights, and the whole concept of having a child sidekick in Bucky Barnes – while providing a contrast to the “real” events shown in the flashback story, such as the story of Bucky Barnes (whom the film reinvented as a teenager from Steve’s neighbourhood who lied about his age to join the army, was captured as a prisoner-of-war and later rescued by Captain America, only to later die while fighting at Cap’s side).

Like Superman, Captain America featured a then-mostly-unknown lead actor whose billing was displaced by a more famous actor in a supporting role. Steve Rogers was played by actor Michael Biehn in his first starring role; top billing went to Sean Connery for his role as Dr Josef Reinstein, the scientist who invented the Super-Soldier serum administered to Steve Rogers (Connery took the part in a deal which paid him a seven-figure fee plus a percentage of the gross). The dual roles of Peggy and Sharon Carter were played by actress Daryl Hannah. Also featured in the film was GD Spradlin as General Chester Phillips, who grew a moustache for the part.

The limits of technology to portray both the skinny and the Super-Soldier versions of Steve Rogers meant that only three flashback scenes featured the character pre-Super-Solder-serum: these scenes were filmed in a brief earlier shooting block before Michael Biehn would undergo an intense training regimen to bulk up, and involved strategic camera work, use of a body double and extremely careful split-screen to make the character appear far scrawnier than Biehn actually was. (All shots which showed the skinny Steve’s face and body had him either standing or sitting still, never in motion.) The limited ability to feature the main character meant that these particular scenes were more focused on the characters of General Phillips and Dr Reinstein.

Although Captain America was set to face some tough competition from other major franchise films that were coming out the same summer, including its main rival Superman III as well as The Star Wars – Chapter III: Return of the Jedi, the film would unquestionably prove to be the major success story of 1982. Critical reception was mixed-to-positive, with most praising the film but some (including Gene Siskel) claiming it was “too hard-hitting to suit its target audience” – but public reaction to the film was overwhelmingly favourable. It remained at the top of the box office for fourteen weeks, its streak only broken in one week by Return of the Jedi – and best of all (from Marvel Comics’ perspective) it handily beat Superman III to the tune of an extra hundred million dollars’ revenue. This last fact is what prompted Columbia Pictures to finally officially put their planned Spider-Man film in motion, with a view to releasing it in 1985.

A sequel, Captain America II, was also planned for 1985 by Paramount. Michael Biehn and Daryl Hannah would both return, being signed for three-film contracts. While Nicholas Meyer declined to return to direct, he happily agreed to act as screenwriter for the second film. Early on it was decided that the sequel would be entirely set in the modern day, and would introduce Captain America’s sometime modern crime-fighting partner, Sam “The Falcon” Wilson.

Snake Plissken (1984)

Around a year after the release and surprise success of his film Escape from New York, writer/director John Carpenter was inspired to continue the story of one-eyed anti-hero Snake Plissken in a sequel. The new film would be on a bigger budget and bigger scale than the original, with twice the original’s budget – unlike Escape from New York, it would actually show the devastating Third World War being waged between the fascist United States, the Soviet Union, and China. Much like the recently released Captain America film, Snake Plissken would have a “Godfather-II-style” story structure: the main story, set in the year 2000, would feature the title character forced into another mission by the rump United States government involving entering the east coast war zone to recover a cash of lethal pathogens to be used for biological warfare; the secondary story would follow Plissken’s life before the first film, tracing his path from young idealist to wounded war hero to political outcast to criminal, before finally showing the events of his capture which led him to be set for imprisonment at the beginning of the first film.

Kurt Russell returned as Snake Plissken, as did Lee van Cleef as Bob Hauk and Donald Pleasence as the President of the United States. Harry Dean Stanton also made a cameo re-appearance as Harold Hellman (before he was known as “Brain”) in a flashback scene set in Kansas City 1993.

The movie featured an idea which Carpenter had first thought up while making Escape from New York but decided not to use: that the deadly implant inside Snake which compelled him to complete the mission was in fact fake, and he was never in any real danger. It also briefly referenced an explanation for the President’s semi-English accent.

Snake Plissken was released in August 1984 to a generally positive critical reception, but while it grossed roughly twice its own budget it still underperformed compared to Escape from New York both domestically and internationally. Above all, what made it most famous was the ending, wherein Snake kills the entire United States government in their bunker, using one of their own viruses (while the character of the President dies at the ending of the film, Snake feels hesitant about killing Hauk in such an underhanded manner and allows him to escape in time.)

No plans for a third film were made, and after van Cleef’s death in 1989 it seemed there would be none. In 1996 a new film was finally released, titled Return to New York – which was widely scorned as a shallow retread of the original film but with even more blatant political soapboxing, and was a box office flop.

The Terminator (1984)

Unlike Snake Plissken, this film fared a lot better in terms of box office revenue when it was released two months later. The Terminator was the second feature film to be directed by James Cameron, a Canadian former truck driver who had first been inspired to work in films after watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Cameron had ended up getting a job working for Roger Corman, and had had many different jobs over the next few years (including working on special effects for Escape from New York) before being brought in as a replacement director on the execrable Piranha II: The Spawning. The Terminator had been inspired by a fever dream of Cameron’s while working on that film on location in Jamaica.

Starring in the film were Austrian bodybuilder-turned-actor Arnold Schwarzenegger (best known for his starring roles in the Conan films) playing the titular Terminator cyborg from the future, and Linda Hamilton as the would-be target Sarah Connor. Initially, Schwarzenegger had been interested in playing Sarah’s future-soldier protector Kyle Reese until Cameron persuaded him that he’d be better suited to playing the villain. Reese ended up being played by Mark Hamill, an actor who had been working in small roles for a decade or more but had never yet got a “big break”. Although Reese was described in the script as being 26 years old while Hamill was in his early 30s, Hamill had a boyish sort of face that made him appear younger.

Budgeted at $6.5 million, The Terminator ended up grossing over $80 million at the box office; its later release on home video went on to make it a long-term success. It was also on the strength of The Terminator that Cameron finally got noticed as a director; Cameron would next go on to direct Aliens (the sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien), which would be his first proper blockbuster. It also significantly raised the profile of Mark Hamill, who soon after the film’s release was signed on to play the lead in another movie due for release in 1986 – one that would also turn out to be a surprise success, to a degree that no one could have reasonably expected…

Blade Runner (1982)

Plans for a film adaptation of Philip K Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? had been floating around Hollywood ever since it was first published in 1968, but for nearly a decade afterwards there was nothing but multiple false starts. Martin Scorsese had considered directing an adaptation in the early 1970s but had taken no action on the idea; Herb Jaffe had previously optioned the novel but his son Robert’s screenplay was reportedly so awful that Dick (probably facetiously) threatened to beat him up over it. No real movement was made on the project until Hampton Fancher optioned his own screenplay for a film adaptation in 1977, which caught the attention of producer Michael Deeley. Fancher would go on to write several new drafts over the next few years.

Fancher’s version was only a loose adaptation of the novel: entire subplots that were integral to the book’s story were eliminated from the screenplay; many characters were eliminated, combined or otherwise altered; and an entirely new motivation for the escaped androids – of seeking to extend their four-year lifespan – was added in. The title was also to be changed: after Fancher first advocated titling the film Mechanismo, he and Deeley settled on Dangerous Days (a title Fancher hated, but figured could be changed later). Later still, the title was changed again to Blade Runner – a term Fancher had already appropriated from an Alan E Nourse novel, which he defined as a bounty hunter who hunts androids.

The film was offered to several directors, all of whom turned it down (including Ridley Scott, who was still working on Dune at the time), before it was finally picked up by David Lynch in July 1980. Lynch had first become known for his horror film Eraserhead, and was currently finishing up work on his film The Elephant Man. To bring Philip K Dick’s surreal writing style to the screen, Lynch seemed a natural fit (even though Lynch had never been particularly interested in science fiction before taking the job). Fancher and Lynch would go on to write several more drafts of the screenplay together to bring more of Lynch’s ideas to the story.

The central role of Deckard nearly went to Dustin Hoffman, but eventually he was let go after butting heads with Fancher, Deeley and Lynch too often in trying to get his own ideas and concepts shoehorned into the story. Afterwards, the filmmakers went back to looking for actors who were more along the lines of how Deckard was described in the novel: on the older side of middle age, and not handsome. Finally, Gene Hackman was cast.

The main antagonist Roy Batty, who would be the last android to die at Deckard’s hands at the end of the film, was played by Dutch actor Rutger Hauer (who would next go on to play the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt in Tony Scott’s adaptation of Interview with the Vampire). Although the two androids Rachael Rosen and Pris Stratton were described as being identical models in the book, the two roles were cast with different actors: the renamed Rachael Tyrell was played by Nina Axelrod, while Pris Stratton was played by Stacey Nelkin.

Lynch’s idea for the look of the film was to emphasise the concept of Earth as a dying world. Browns and greys dominated, giving the film an almost sepia look, and an overall atmosphere was created that was dingy, dusty and dry. Many scenes were set in daylight (all shot within the studio, of course) which had only a dim light from the sun shining through the ever-present smog and dust. Meanwhile, all man-made structures (both the interior sets and the exteriors which were shot on backlot or – in the case of the opening sequence, set in and around an android’s farmhouse hideout – against bluescreen) appeared tumbled-down and decaying, as if nobody bothered to maintain them, as described in the novel.

When the film was released on 25th June 1982, critical reception was generally mixed-to-negative. Although certain parts of the film were duly praised – such as the opening sequence, wherein Deckard kills a man seemingly without reason before reaching into the corpse’s mouth and removing its robotic jaw – as were the performances of Hackman and Hauer, reviewers generally found the film’s deathly decaying atmosphere to be unengaging and alienating rather than intriguing, its dialogue stilted and unnatural, and the central story to be unnecessarily confusingly handled.

Also, Blade Runner ended up being lost in the shuffle among all the other films released over the summer of 1982, including Captain America, Star Wars – Chapter III and Superman III. With a budget of $28 million, Blade Runner only grossed $12.6 million at the box office and was officially deemed David Lynch’s first flop. The film was likewise not a success in home video, and would later be remembered only by aficionados of David Lynch’s work. The failure of Blade Runner called into question whether Philip K Dick’s works were at all suited for film adaptation – another attempt would not be made for over a decade.

Fortunately, David Lynch was eventually able to recover from the creative misstep that was Blade Runner: while his next film Blue Velvet (1985) did little better than break even it received great critical acclaim and would later become a cult classic; Goddess (1987), his biopic of Marilyn Monroe released 25 years after her death, was both a critical and commercial success. Goddess was produced by Mark Frost, with whom Lynch would go on to create the television series Northwest Passage.


Notes: yep, this is a long long update. I was expecting each section to be shorter but to my surprise I ended up writing two pages on Batman -- but I knew the parts on Snake Plissken and Terminator would too short for their own updates so I decided to keep it all together.

The thing about the Batman movie rights is basically what happened in OTL except Warners picked up the film in 1983: here it's sooner due to the Superman films' success, so it comes off as kinda funny.

So, now you know what Ridley Scott's "big project for Warner Bros" mentioned in a previous update was: it was none other than Batman! The thing about his older brother dying of cancer is actually what made him take the job of directing Blade Runner in OTL. Incidentally, Scott's early participation means that the resultant Batman film is quite different to any of OTL's proposed scripts.

The Batsuit bit is a subtle thing but I figured it's important: in this film, even though the Batsuit is now body armour like it is in OTL's films it's still coloured grey and blue like in the comics. It's odd -- OTL's 1989 film was apparently the first time there had been an all-black Batsuit, and you'd think a change like that would be controversial but as far as I can tell no one said boo about it.

Jeff Bridges as Batman is something that totally should've happened in real life -- he's a great actor and he's got a lantern jaw. Michael Keaton as the Joker is not meant as alt-historical irony (although I guess it is), but is mainly because of his OTL performance in Beetlejuice. His version of the Joker is NOT the same as his performance of Betelgeuse, but there are some shades of Betelgeuse in there.

Batman 2 uses Arabic numerals mainly to distinguish it from the Superman series. Captain America II, meanwhile, is aiming to supplant the Superman series so it goes for the Roman numerals.

Speaking of Captain America -- if you're wondering what Michael Biehn looked like around this time then here's a picture of him in the 1981 film The Fan in which he plays a creepy stalker.

The story of how Nick Meyer comes to be the director of Captain America -- right down to the barbecued hamburgers -- is how he became the director of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in OTL. This is basically why I made it so Captain America would be made by Paramount. And the thing about Meyer only knowing Captain America as "the guy with the shield" and thus starting the movie with a close-up of the shield is actually the same reason why The Wrath of Khan starts on a close-up of Spock's pointed ear.

The implication in the Snake Plissken bit is that the movie was at least partly inspired by Captain America doing the flashback thing. But honestly, this is just a movie I want to have existed, so I'm putting it in here. I'd imagine that it'd probably follow the usual sequel pattern of being less successful than the original, though. Return to New York is basically Escape From LA.

James Cameron in OTL was inspired to make films by watching Star Wars -- in TTL, he's inspired by watching Close Encounters. Either way, he gets a job working for Roger Corman the following year so it all works out. Basically, his life follows a different yet similar path. (Okay, okay, I admit it, I'm cheating! But I don't give a shit -- I like The Terminator, dammit!)

Ah, yes, Mark Hamill. I couldn't let him languish in non-Star-Wars-induced obscurity for the rest of his career -- and hell, with Michael Biehn playing Steve Rogers I needed a Reese. The bit about his boyish features is meant to imply he never had that car accident in 1977. Incidentally, the surprisingly successful film he stars in in 1986... will be revealed in a later update.

I was going to re-title Blade Runner to Mechanismo, but then I found out that the name Blade Runner came about before Ridley Scott joined the film so I decided to keep it.

This is Blade Runner without the influence of Ridley Scott (director), David Peoples (co-writer), Lawrence Paull (production designer), Syd Mead ("futurist") or Vangelis (musical score). In other words, it's not as good. :D It's a lot bleaker, for one thing, and emptier: OTL's Blade Runner is set on a dying world, but the constant motion in the frame by light sources, the blue neon in the fog and the teeming people on the streets always give the sense that it is not dead (life is scummy, but still it's life) -- Lynch's Blade Runner is more like the book, where life on Earth is in its final death throes before everything finally gets drowned in kipple. As per the early drafts, Deckard kills Roy (no "tears in rain" here) and Rachael commits suicide at the end. The opening sequence, with the farmhouse and the robotic jaw, is also from the earlier drafts.

Gene Hackman was one of many actors considered to play Deckard in OTL; likewise, Nina Axelrod and Stacy Nelkin were considered to play Rachael and Pris. Apparently, Rutger Hauer was the easiest person to cast so he still plays Roy in TTL as well.

Blue Velvet was based on ideas of Lynch's from back in 1973, so it still gets made (a year earlier, in fact). Goddess was a project he was going to make in OTL with Mark Frost, but it didn't end up happening. Northwest Passage is, of course, the alternate Twin Peaks.

Next update will be about the 1983 "Battle of the Bonds".
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Breathes sigh of relief. Was worried for a minute that I'd have to change some things in my timeline that I had planned.

On a mobile so I'll stick with a) some very interesting alternate films here (great use of Nicholas Meyer) and I hope Northwest Passage does well, and b) in Hollywood cheating on films totally works given all the ideas that float around there (and nothing stops the Terminator!).

Oh and I can't wait for Bond :).
Will we hear about how well Supergirl fared? I'm wondering if Helen Slater will be playing her ITTL or if the role will go to someone else.

The mention of Crisis on Infinite Earths makes me wonder how differently things will go. I'm I may be bold to make a suggestion-- maybe Marv Wolfman and George Perez's New Teen Titans never happens ITTL, which might have an interesting ripple effects. According to Greg Weisman, one of the reasons that DC did not go with a complete reboot with Crisis was because NTT was their highest selling title. (i.e. a rebooted Batman meant no Robin, which meant no Teen Titans.) So maybe there is a greater impetus to start the line from scratch, and as I suggested earlier, have Roy Thomas write the CoIE.

Come to think about it, no New Teen Titans may mean no Dick Grayson as Nightwing and no Wally West as the Flash. :eek:
I think I would have really liked this alternate Batman. Sounds like it all fits very well.

Would be great if someone talented could photoshop a few visual things for this thread!
I liked the update. I think Jeff Bridges would have made a great Batman. I don't see you've mentioned who you had in mind to play Supergirl. She's one of my favorites from the DC universe, so I would hope the choice is a good one. :D
Loving this more and more. Ridley Scott making Batman, with Jeff Bridges=awesome. Captain America sounds awesome as well. Will James Cameron make Aliens slightly different I wonder. How are the other genres of film expanding ITTL.
Brady Kj said:
That's what he did in Watchmen, and also in those comics he did with that Neopolis city. I was under the impression that all he does is write about creeps. Perhaps I need to know more about his career?
I should reserve comment beyond Watchmen. Bear in mind, that was a clean sheet of paper; with established characters, he'd have less room. (Then again, JLI used established characters...:rolleyes:)
ColeMercury said:
A director soon became attached to the project who was very receptive to Uslan’s ideas: Ridley Scott
An excellent choice.:cool:
ColeMercury said:
then-novel “bleach bypass” technique
Can you explain, for those of us who don't know?:eek:
ColeMercury said:
an ambiguous-era setting in Gotham City that would be a timeless mix of 1940s style (in terms of costumes, cars on the street, décor, etc.)
This is the one thing about the film I liked best. (Also the TV "Flash". Especially the '58 DeSoto.:cool:)
ColeMercury said:
The final choice was actor Jeff Bridges
:eek: Probably the last guy I'd have thought of.
ColeMercury said:
mostly-unknown comic actor named Michael Keaton
:cool::cool: An inspired choice.
The Terminator was one of Arnold's best performances, IMO (much better than he would have been as Kyle Reese). (1) Cameron made the right choice deciding he could be the Terminator. Michael Biehn wasn't a bad Reese OTL.

(1) It helped that he didn't get a lot of dialogue and looked menacing. The police station sequence and the Tech Noir sequence show that, IMO.
Will we hear about how well Supergirl fared? I'm wondering if Helen Slater will be playing her ITTL or if the role will go to someone else.

The mention of Crisis on Infinite Earths makes me wonder how differently things will go. I'm I may be bold to make a suggestion-- maybe Marv Wolfman and George Perez's New Teen Titans never happens ITTL, which might have an interesting ripple effects. According to Greg Weisman, one of the reasons that DC did not go with a complete reboot with Crisis was because NTT was their highest selling title. (i.e. a rebooted Batman meant no Robin, which meant no Teen Titans.) So maybe there is a greater impetus to start the line from scratch, and as I suggested earlier, have Roy Thomas write the CoIE.

Come to think about it, no New Teen Titans may mean no Dick Grayson as Nightwing and no Wally West as the Flash. :eek:
Hold on, Roy Thomas was a big fan of pre-established history, and older superheroes. I don't think he'd yank away Dick and Wally to make Bruce and Barry younger. Or do you know something about Roy Thomas that I don't?