Top 10 Cancelled Superhero TV Shows We Never Got To See



Top 10 Cancelled Superhero TV Shows We Never Got To See

For better or worse, we never got to see these cancelled superhero TV shows. Our countdown includes "Wonder Woman," "Hellfire," "Aquaman," and more!

Top 10 Cancelled Superhero TV Shows We Never Got to See

Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 cancelled superhero TV shows we never got to see.

For this list, we’ll be looking at series based on heroes and heroines that never made it past the pilot stage. Shows that are currently stuck in development hell and TV movies meant as backdoor pilots will both be included.. Since some of these cancelled programs were spin-offs, beware of spoilers ahead.

Which of these cancelled shows would you have tuned into? Let us know in the comments!

#10: “Generation X”

In the “Generation X” TV movie, a mutant nicknamed Jubilee accidentally displays her mutant powers during an intense arcade session and is taken by authorities. Fortunately. Emma Frost and Sean Cassidy, AKA Banshee, offer her a home in Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters. This film seemed to set up a show where young mutants would grow to use their powers wisely. However, the low budget feel of the movie and choice to cast a white actress to play the traditionally Chinese-American Jubilee hurt the project right out of the gate. A recasting and more cash could've made “Generation X” into a great exploration of mutant prejudice and triumph. Instead, it’s just another lackluster X-Men project that didn’t go anywhere.

#9: “Wonder Woman”

Before Gal Gadot stepped into Wonder Woman's shoes, actress Adrianne Palicki was set to bring the character to television. She would have starred in a show that would have seen the Amazon try to live a triple life as a CEO, superheroine and regular civilian. This odd set-up wasn’t helped by the pilot’s pacing issues and seemingly random plot turns. However, the show's action scenes showed some real potential. And actors like Pedro Pascal, who would ironically go on to star in “Wonder Woman 1984” and Palicki showed real commitment to their roles. Unfortunately, their talents couldn't carry the famous Amazon warrior to a full series.

#8: “Hellfire”

There have been many interpretations of the Hellfire Club in Marvel properties over the years. This shady organization is usually full of wealthy benefactors, morally grey figures and a few villains who all want to influence society in major ways. In the 2010s, Fox was planning to produce the series where an agent would investigate the Hellfire club in the 1960s. However, the series was never able to get traction. Fans got a feel for what that show would like when the Inner Circle group appeared as antagonists in Fox’s “Gifted” show. But we still can’t help but be curious about what a show that revolved around the mysterious Hellfire club would’ve looked like.

#7: “Painkiller”

A series of tragic events gave Khalil Payne a twisted second personality named Painkiller. This alter ego had the ability to poison people with a touch and had no problem hurting enemies. Although Khalil and Painkiller struggled for control for a while, they seemed to be coming to an understanding by the time their backdoor pilot aired in “Black Lightning’s” 4th season. Fans saw the two work together to stop villains in an emotional plot full of fantastic fight scenes. Unfortunately, viewers later found out that this promising premise wouldn’t be moving forward as planned on the CW network. Fans are still holding out hope that a network like HBO Max can save them from this show’s painful cancellation.

#6: “Marvel's Most Wanted”

The heroine Mockingbird nearly led three different shows. “Marvel's Most Wanted'' was the third and most promising of them all. It would have starred Adrianne Palicki as Bobbi Morse, aka Mockingbird on the run with her ex-husband Lance Hunter. They would’ve teamed up with Delroy Lindo’s Dominic Fortune to stay under the radar. Since fans got to know Bobbi and Hunter through their appearances on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”, the premise didn’t require much setup. But after the duo’s touching send off from that show, “Marvel’s Most Wanted '' never got off the ground. It’s doubtful that fans of Mockingbird and Hunter will even get to see the pilot they shot for what could’ve been a thrilling adventure series.

#5: “Untitled Deadman Series”

Although Deadman isn't exactly a household name, he has an interesting story that's worth knowing. He was originally a circus performer who was slain during one of his shows. Deadman’s story continues after a goddess gives his spirit the ability to jump inside and control living creatures. Since he tends to have mystical adventures and switches identities, his show could’ve been a fun cross between the body hopping antics of “Quantum Leap” and “Supernatural”. The latter show’s creator was even attached to make a “Deadman” series. But this spiritual hero never got a chance to show off his unique skills in his very own show.

#4: “Green Arrow and the Canaries”

During Arrow's 7th season, viewers were introduced to Oliver's future daughter Mia in a series of flash forwards. After having a season’s worth of adventures in the future, she journeyed into the past, fought alongside her father and made alliances with Laurel Lance and Dinah Drake. The chemistry Mia had with those powerful women built up to a fun backdoor pilot in season 8. While the “Green Arrow and the Canaries” episode was well received, the show it was meant to launch never took flight. What made this cancellation particularly frustrating was the fact that the backdoor pilot ended on a major cliffhanger. Fans who had enjoyed the past “Arrow” adventures and those who were looking forward to Mia’s spinoff were both left disappointed.

#3: “New Warriors”

Marvel assembled a lineup of heroes that were going to make us laugh for the company’s “New Warriors” pilot. Heroes like Speedball, Mister Immortal and Squirrel Girl would’ve all starred in this live action comedy series. There were also plans to turn the legendary Keith David into the big-headed villain M.O.D.O.K. Although the pilot and its wild concepts were well-received by the network Freeform, the tv channel said they couldn’t make time to air the series. A few behind-the-scenes images are all fans have left of this comedic show. Sadly, our dreams of watching a cackling Keith David fight an energetic Squirrel girl may never come to be.

#2: “Aquaman”

After “Smallville” successfully brought Clark Kent to the small screen, Aquaman was set to star in a series on the WB network. The pilot featured a young version of the hero who tried using his aquatic powers for good while piecing together the mystery surrounding his origins. Outside of decent effects for the time, we saw Ving Rhames as a cool lighthouse keeper, Adrianne Palicki in yet another superhero pilot as a villain and Justin Hartley’s fun interpretation of Aquaman. But the series sank when the WB channel merged with UPN to form the CW network. When this pilot was released on Itunes, it spent time as the top downloaded tv show. There was clearly a desire to see Aquaman’s show take to the seas.

Before we feature our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
David Hasselhoff Wasn’t Enough To Get This Campy Backdoor Pilot a Full Series

“Daredevil and the Black Widow“
Angela Bowie Tried & Failed to Bring This Legendary Duo Into Live-Action

“Dr. Strange”
This Trippy Sorcerer Show Would’ve Featured the Legendary Jessica Walter as a Villain

Series Based on “Tigra & Dazzler” & “Howard the Duck”
Both Were Meant to Build Up to an Animated Crossover With “Hit-Monkey” & “M.O.D.O.K.”

“X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men”
This Cancelled Animated Series Could’ve Given Us More Mutants

#1: “Deadpool: The Animated Series”

Deadpool’s ability to break the fourth wall with funny jokes and recover from most injuries made him the perfect superhero for a cartoon series. And Donald Glover, who created the Emmy-award winning show “Atlanta,” was co-running the merc’s show with his brother Stephen. The sharp and sometimes absurd humor that “Atlanta” relies on would’ve been perfect for Deadpool. But despite the hype and momentum for this project, FX Networks ultimately didn’t push the merc’s show forward. Donald Glover later wrote a story where Deadpool criticizes Marvel and FX for the decision and posted it on Twitter. This script will be the closest fans get to his version of a wild and hilarious animated Deadpool show.