Shared Universes seem to be all the rage in Hollywood right now. 2017 alone will see the beginning of the Universal Monsters Shared Universe with The Mummy – now that Dracula Untold is officially non-canon -- where Tom Cruise will run away from CGI sandstorms and other creatures. Kong: Skull Island effectively teased future Kaiju movies with its post-credit scene, and the announcement of a Transformers/G.I. Joe crossover feels inevitable.
Audiences have really embraced this episodic approach to storytelling, and it’s exciting to watch iconic characters and properties combine in ways that felt impossible a decade ago. While it’s an exciting time for fans to daydream about potential team-ups, sometimes a reality check is in order, too.
Put plainly, some crossovers or shared universes that might sound natural on paper will never happen. It could be that characters are owned by different studios who will never pair for a movie, or key creators simply refuse to allow such crossover events.
While situations can change and shock crossovers can happen (see: Spider-Man appearing in Captain America: Civil War) these 15 Shared Universes We’d Love To Happen – That Never Will feel particularly unlikely.
Probably the most obvious dream crossover on this list is one of the least likely to happen. It’s weird looking back on Marvel’s plan for the original Avengers now, where they announced they'd make solo movies for each team member before assembling the team. Such a move had never been attempted, and it seemed like a recipe for failure.
Nearly a decade later, every studio is copying this model, including DC. Both studios have great characters, and the prospect of Superman fighting Hulk or Batman scrapping with Iron Man would guarantee bums on seats, but getting the studios to play nice isn’t happening anytime soon.
Both studios are raking in cash at present, so financially, there’s not a huge amount of incentive. Then comes the sticky question of sorting out the details. If certain characters fight, who should win? How would the grosses be divided? Those questions are the tip of the legal iceberg, and while the studios remain active rivals, audiences shouldn’t expect a Hawkeye versus Green Arrow movie in the near future.
Kevin Feige himself has stated it won't happen anytime soon, and it will likely remain that way for many years to come.
14 Slasher Universe
Freddy vs Jason was a movie born out of a generation of horror fans musing which slasher icon would win in a fight, and while the movie received a robust critical panning, it also raked in money. The old school slashers have seemingly fallen out of favor nowadays, with Jason and Freddy on indefinite hiatus, while Chucky and Pinhead have seen their more recent outings head straight to video.
Michael Myers got some good news recently, with Blumhouse producing the next Halloween, which is bizarrely being co-written by actor Danny McBride. They remain iconic characters though, so surely a shared universe full of famous mass murderers sounds like a no-brainer?
The barrier is a legal headache of overwhelming magnitude, since the rights to each character have jumped around so much. Hellraiser is trapped with Dimension, Blumhouse has only recently acquired Halloween, and Leatherface seems to jump around every few years. It’s a tangled mess, so getting all the rights and permissions in order and crafting solo and crossover movies would be a nightmare even Freddy himself couldn’t imagine.
Terminator and RoboCop remain staple characters from the 1980s, and while they’ve both suffered their share of bad sequels and spin-offs, they’re still beloved franchises. A grudge match between the two is the stuff of many a playground argument, and the idea led to a video game and even a Frank Miller penned comic.
A movie never emerged, though there was apparently talk of one in the early '90s. Nowadays, both franchises find themselves in troubled positions. The RoboCop reboot was a critical and commercial underwhelmer, and a direct sequel looks unlikely. Likewise, Terminator Genisys made money, but was so critically reviled that plans for a direct sequel were canned.
It feels like the perfect time to team the characters up, but it’s doubtful that this will happen. Fans would want to see a crossover between Peter Weller’s RoboCop and Schwarzenegger’s Terminator, but with both actors circling 70, it’s doubtful a studio would feel confident in their star power; Arnie's lack of box-office clout recently killed the long-gestating Legend Of Conan.
The rights to the Terminator series are about to revert to James Cameron in 2019. Given his dislike of crossovers (see: his thoughts on Alien Vs Predator) this one sounds like a pipe dream.
12 Indiana Jones/Lara Croft
The Tomb Raider games are openly inspired by Indiana Jones, with both franchises featuring a plucky archaeologist plundering tombs in search of mythological items, and occasionally shooting thieves in the face. The Tomb Raider series has gone up and down in popularity over the years, but Lara Croft herself remains a groundbreaking character. Angelina Jolie played her in two movies, which both had a “mixed” critical response, and nowadays, Alicia Vikander is taking over the part for a reboot.
Harrison Ford is also returning for a new Indiana Jones, currently penciled for 2019, but audiences shouldn’t expect any cross-franchise pollination where Indy acts as a mentor to Lara. Firstly, the Tomb Raider tales are set in modern-day, while Indiana Jones is a period piece, so unless he’s mentoring her when he’s well over the age of 100, the timeline simply doesn't won’t work. Even if that wasn’t an issue, its doubtful Spielberg or Ford would see the wisdom in it.
Maybe Lara could team-up with Nathan Drake if the Uncharted movie ever comes together, though.
11 Star Trek/Star Wars
There will always exist friendly rivalries in pop culture that split people down the middle; McDonald’s vs Burger King, PlayStation vs XBox, Marvel vs DC, and so on. Star Wars vs Star Trek has always divided sci-fi fans too, with some preferring the pulpy, myth-based approach of George Lucas’ space opera over the more cerebral social commentary of Star Trek.
Based purely on numbers, Star Wars is the clear winner, but Star Trek will always hold a very special place in the hearts of the sci-fi fanbase. Since they’re both adventure tales set in outer space, fans of both franchises have also imagined what a crossover would look like.
Comics and fan fiction have helped fill that gap, but the prospects of an actual movie crossover appear remote. Star Wars is currently sucking up money like a black hole for Disney, and they have a full slate of movies to focus on without the need for the Enterprise crew to appear. Their storytelling approaches are also fundamentally different, and while it may look good in fan art, Kirk versus Darth Vader would probably ring false on a big screen.
10 Die Hard/24
A Good Day To Die Hard was an expensive reminder that Bruce Willis has essentially given up on action movies, and it was mildly depressing to see the star joylessly trudge through a plot-free wall of explosions and badly edited action. Since then, the star has generally cropped up in straight to VOD fare, collecting a healthy check for a few days of work.
Before A Good Day To Die Hard made a mess of things, 20th Century Fox briefly had the notion of pairing John McClane with Jack Bauer, as 24 had recently come to an end. While it sounds like a strange notion, such a crossover could have added a much-needed spark to both franchises, as the actors could have bounced off of each other beautifully.
Ultimately, Kiefer Sutherland killed this notion, choosing to pursue a solo 24 movie that ultimately didn’t happen. Such a crossover now appears impossible, with work progressing on a Die Hard prequel and the rebooted 24: Legacy series producing disappointing ratings.
9 Resident Evil/Underworld
In recent years, the Resident Evil and Underworld franchises have started to blur together. They started around the same time, they both feature badass female warriors in leather outfits firing guns and throwing blades in slow-mo, and they both have needlessly convoluted mythologies.
A pairing between Milla Jovovich’s Alice and Kate Beckinsale’s Selene sounds easy enough, and since they’re both at the same studio, there wouldn’t be much of a problem combining them. The first problem is that – despite their superficial similarities – the stories are incompatible. Resident Evil takes place in a sunny, zombie infested post-apocalypse, which contrasts poorly with Underworld’s fantastical, blue tinted universe of vampires and werewolves.
Plus. Resident Evil just finished up its Final Chapter, and after six movies, the talent involved is no doubt eager to move on. Audiences will want something fresh too, and a reboot is far more likely than yet another sequel. For the time being, this is a team-up that will only exist in the form of YouTube fan trailers.
8 James Bond/Jason Bourne
While action cinema purists have derided the Bourne franchise for making shaky-cam popular, the impact the series had on the spy genre cannot be denied. The murky politics and morality of the story, combined with the unstable camera, inspired everything from 24 to Taken.
The Bourne Identity came along the same year as Pierce Brosnan’s final James Bond outing Die Another Day, which came across as pretty embarrassing by comparison. Casino Royale essentially copied the Bourne movies approach to action and plotlines, and the DNA of Jason Bourne can still be seen in the Bond series today.
Surely, a meeting of the two gloomy secret agents would be a treat for fans, right? Maybe, but it won’t happen. It took nearly a decade to convince Matt Damon to return for Jason Bourne because he was waiting for a decent script, so a buddy movie between him and Bond doesn’t sound like an idea he’d jump on. He’s also labeled Bond a misogynist stuck in the past, so that won't exactly be greasing the crossover wheels.
Neither the Bond or Bourne franchises are suffering financially at present, either, nor it is likely that current (for now) Bond star Daniel Craig would find the idea enticing.
To defeat the Predator in the original movie, Arnie essentially had to transform into Rambo, using the environment and self-constructed weaponry to beat the seemingly unkillable beast. A jungle setting has always worked best for the alien hunter too, and the same can be said for Stallone’s disturbed Vietnam vet.
While a fifth Rambo now looks unlikely, there was a time that Stallone considered a concept where the character hunts after a vicious, Predator-like creature, making it something of a horror movie. He quickly dropped the premise after fan feedback, but surely, it proves that he feels the two characters could be somewhat compatible?
It’s unlikely to come to pass now, with Stallone having stated he’s finished with the character. The Predator is also getting a Shane Black directed reboot, which is due in 2018, and even if it’s a hit it’s doubtful the studio would pair the hunter against the ageing Rambo for a sequel.
Arrow has proved to be a great example of how to make a superhero show for TV, and its popularity seems to grow year by year. Stephen Amell is perfectly cast in the lead, and the Arrowverse – where the character regularly crosses over with the likes of Supergirl, The Flash and Legends Of Tomorrow – has made fans very happy.
Viewers who’d love to see Amell bring Green Arrow to the big screen are in for a major disappointment, however, as Warner Bros has made it clear that the movie and television incarnations are separate beasts. Amell himself has been told there’s no real desire to make a solo Green Arrow movie, and since the continuity of the two universes doesn't align anyway, such a crossover is supremely unlikely.
Some kind of Crisis-like event where multiple universes meet is one possible way to solve that problem, but again, Warner Bros has a full slate of projects ahead, and such a major event is unlikely to happen for many years.
5 Freddy Vs Jason Vs Ash
Following the huge success of Freddy Vs Jason back in 2003, it’s somewhat surprising that the studio didn’t attempt a sequel. It wasn’t for lack of trying, with New Line attempting to pit the two killers against Bruce Campbell’s Ash from the Evil Dead series.
A treatment was drawn up that would have had the demon hunter tracking down the Necronomicon, which Freddy was using for evil deeds while using Jason as his henchman. The idea quickly fell apart, though, with Evil Dead franchise creator Sam Raimi feeling it would only work if Ash killed both of the slashers at the end. New Line wouldn’t commit to that idea, so it died.
This led to much heartache in the fanbase, but the treatment was eventually used for a fun crossover comic series. It’s supremely doubtful that the idea will ever be revived either, with Ash Vs Evil Dead now being a popular TV show, and both Freddy and Jason being separately trapped in development hell.
4 Kaiju Universe/Cloverfield
Kong: Skull Island ended with a whopper of a post credit tease for Legendary’s planned MonsterVerse Universe, which will team various giant monsters together for an almighty scrap. The most anticipated entry will be Godzilla vs Kong, of course, but it will be exciting to see some lesser known creatures get some time in the spotlight.
While it’s possible that the Kaiju Universe could cross over with Pacific Rim, which makes sense given the fact that they’re at the same studio, there’s one Kaiju that won’t be involved. The beast from Cloverfield was an attempt at creating an iconic American monster, although the design of it wasn’t quite as memorable.
Since Cloverfield is with Paramount and the Kaiju Universe is with Warner Bros, it’s doubtful that the studios will try to pair the monsters. Paramount are also developing their own separate Cloverfield Universe, too, which will be independent of the continuity of the Kaiju Universe.
X-Men was the first comic book superhero team to hit it big, and while the franchise has certainly had it’s up and downs since it began in 2000, it’s proven quite robust. With Hugh Jackman having officially retired his claws, it will be interesting to see where the series goes next, but it looks like Deadpool will be picking up some of his slack.
When Marvel and Sony made a deal for Spider-Man to cross over with the MCU, fans were hopeful a similar deal could be worked out with Fox, allowing the X-Men to meet The Avengers. That sounds like an amazing prospect for sure, but it certainly doesn’t appear that Marvel has any interest in that happening.
In fact, Kevin Feige went so far as to call such a deal “an impossibility”, which kind of hammers shut the coffin lid. The two studios don’t have a great history together, and Marvel likely isn’t keen on playing in the same sandbox anytime soon.
While Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Deadpool actually have met onscreen, nobody really counts X-Men Origins: Wolverine as a legitimate pairing of the two. Reynolds made for a fun Wade Wilson, but that movie's take on the Merc with a Mouth was (rightfully) so reviled that it’s been stricken from continuity.
The 2016 Deadpool movie was a glorious rebirth, winning over both fans and critics, and making gigantic sacks of money. It seemed like destiny that Wolverine and Deadpool would meet again onscreen, but an epic case of bad timing means that will never happen.
Jackman retired his version of Wolverine with Logan, vowing that it would be his last appearance in the role. Given the movie’s critical acclaim and success, he made the right choice. This also rules out an appearance in Deadpool 2, and while Reynolds and Jackman are best buddies in real life, the latter is holding firm to his vow.
Deadpool will likely meet a rebooted version of Wolverine somewhere down the road, but it will always be a little bittersweet that Jackman and Reynolds didn’t get to share another scene together.
1 The Dark Knight/DC Extended Universe
Chris Nolan’s Batman Begins brought the character back from the dead after Batman & Robin had thoroughly rammed a stake through the heart of the franchise. While The Dark Knight Rises proved divisive to some fans, there’s little doubting the impact the trilogy has had on modern comic book movies.
Christian Bale is also cited as arguably the best Bruce Wayne/Batman to date, but from the very beginning, he made it clear that he was sticking around for a limited story. He laughed off any notion of appearing in a Justice League movie and dismissed the notion of Batman teaming up with a costumed version of Robin. He’s said to have turned down an epic payday to return to the role for DC’s Extended Universe, too.
Even if Bale was interested, it’s hard to see how his version of the character would be compatible with the way the DC universe has evolved. Ben Affleck’s Batman has a different backstory, so it’s not like Bale could just be dropped in to take over the role. It's just not going to happen, basically.
What other insanely unlikely movie crossovers would you pay to see? Let us know in the comments.